Friday, March 6th, 2009 at 3:08 pm  |  70 responses

Movie Review: Slumdog Millionaire

Sure, it won an Oscar…but can it get 5 Gangstas from Omar?

by Omar Mazariego

Ask me about Slumdog Millionaire and I’ll compare it to City of God, but with a love story at the center. Slumdog is a Titanic-sized love story that takes place in the ghettos of Mumbai, India, where the hard streets are beautifully captured by the camera and you are surrounded completely in their essence. This is a place that so extensively educated one kid to the dark side of men that he ended up on India’s “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?” Funny enough, the only game shows Brooklyn has prepared me for are “Let’s Make a Deal,” “Deal or No Deal” and “Double Dare.”

slumdogThe movie begins with po-po torturing a kid in order to get him to confess his cheating methods on the show (torture that I’m sure Abner Louima and Michael Mineo would have gladly preferred as opposed to what they allegedly got from the NYPD). The cops refuse to believe that the kid was smart enough to know all the answers to the questions and put the hurts on him until he finally begins telling them how he knew the answers. That’s where the movie starts to take shape and draws you into the world of the young man, named Jamal K. Malik (played by Dev Patel). In 99-percent of the world a man like Jamal would be considered a nerd. Lanky and doofy in his movements, the kid could only be considered cool by Rick Moranis and AC “No Nookie For Me” Green. Yet in spite of all this, Jamal’s lived a life so hard and unjust that he probably should’ve just been born to Joe Jackson or Octomom.

At one point in his childhood, dude jumped in a pool of sh*t just to get a movie star’s autograph. I wouldn’t jump in a pool of crap if it meant creating the beast with three backs with Beyonce and Joe Budden’s wifey, Tahiri. (Well, OK, I can’t guarantee that I wouldn’t do that for a night of passion with either one of them.) I’m liable to do regretful things to get some. One time I got on some T.I. sh*t and straight balled outta control on this shorty. I took her to the 99 Cent store and told her, “You can have whatever you liiiiike.” I’d give anything to get that $10 back. Anyway, that was just one memory of his that answered one of the many “Millionaire” questions.

Other questions, like “In depictions of God Rama, he is famously holding what in his right hand?” and “The song “Darshan Do Ghanshyam” was written by which famous Indian poet?,” all led to story sequences that moved you through emotional and suspenseful scenes which captured your undivided attention. Not only because of what he went through to constantly track down the woman he loved since childhood, Latika, but also because of the person he had to put up with for most of his life, his older brother, Salim. Every time Salim saved Jamal’s life, he’d sabotage his happiness in another way.

Every question was correctly answered because the pain of life was much more educational and impressionable than anything he could’ve ever read in a book or learned in a class. And the source of his pain all led to one natural cause: a woman (Big surprise there). Can’t live with ‘em, can’t live without ‘em. No matter if she was free or property of your deadly neighborhood mob boss, Jamal would risk it all to get his girl. And man did he risk it all.

Anyway, I don’t want to give anything away. I’m just here to say that Slumdog Millionaire is worthy of 5 Gangstas.

A fairytale that took place in an environment of despair is the best way to describe this movie. And yes, it deserved every Oscar nod it got and award it won. The story (or stories) were creative, well shot and entertaining. Loved that M.I.A’s “Paper Planes” song was thrown in there, too. And enough can’t be said about the cinematography and acting. Even the little kids were light years ahead of Hayden Christensen (Anakin Skywalker from Episode II and III). By the end of the movie all you could do is appreciate that special someone in your life or long to find them.

With that said, please believe me when I say this: I believe in true love. I believe that there’s someone for everyone in this world. True love can be had if there’s a true connection between two people. They say when you truly love someone you’ll go through hell with/for them and if you come out right then it’s meant to be. This movie embodied that very notion and is inspirational to those looking for what Jamal and Latika had.

I myself hope to find a love like Jamal found one day. If the woman I love is being held as a sex toy by a mob boss that runs the slums, then best believe I’m taking the “L” on that one, like, “Damn, ma, you f*cked up in the game. Oh well, we’ll always have the 99 Cent Store.”

Now I ain’t no punk, but I ain’t willing to die for a goldfish in the pond when there’s lobster in the sea to be had. But that’s just me. Anyway, that’s neither here nor there. I’ll cross that bridge when I get there in life. But for now all I’m saying is that Slumdog Millionaire is an incredible movie with a heart wrenching love story. I loved it.

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  • http://vnsny.org Spaceship Jay

    I loved it as well. Especially the part where the reandom guy in the audience yelled his name when he decided to go for all of the rupies. JAAMMAALL!!!!

  • Matthew

    Hahaha!!! Funny as hell, O and yeah, the movie was off the chains… And “Paper Planes” was placed/played perfectly in the movie. BTW, that was my first time ever seein’ Budden’s wifey… Daaaayyyyuuuummmm. Back for days.

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    Khalid and O on the same day…with Farmer Jones in the queue? Awesome. I love Omar’s writing, but didn’t love this movie at all…I’d give it more like 3 gangsters…

  • http://theghostofroyhobbs.blogspot.com Mo Charlo

    Needs more gangsta.

  • http://Slamonline.com O

    Damn, Ben! Are you serious?!?! What didn’t you like about it?? And word up Matthew, JB’s wifey has the kind of back that dreams are made of.

  • Cake$

    and about your “not willing to die for a goldfish” comment I say, “we dont believe you, you need more people!”

  • http://slamonline.com Lang Whitaker

    O, I’m with Ben. Thought it was kinda predictable.

  • http://Slamonline.com O

    Predictable in the sense that he’d end up with the shorty? Definitely. But the road there was bananas. Gangsters blinding kids, his brother being a burden – y’all bugging.

  • http://coco-vents.blogspot.com Co Co

    O, did you read Ben Button?

  • http://Slamonline.com O

    You don’t know me, Cake$! Or do you?….

  • http://Slamonline.com O

    Co Co, i read Benny B and it really was hella different than the movie. But I understand why they changed it. I mean, I find it hard to believe that a grown man who could think and talk would be born right out the womb. That’s just scary. But it was dope too tho.

  • http://coco-vents.blogspot.com Co Co

    hahahah! I agree O the birth of the elderly man was a bit strange. I can’t compare it to the movie though cause I still haven’t seen it.

  • Khalid Salaam

    havent seen slumdog yet. i guess at some point i will. not really pressed. also, whats up with Watchmen?? i don’t buy this movie,maybe i’m wrong but something about it..i dunno. i’ll wait for O to review it first

  • http://Slamonline.com O

    I’ma catch Watchmen at 4:55pm today. Will definitely hit you up later and let you know what’s good.

  • riggs

    city of god + city of men >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> this movie by miles

  • http://coco-vents.blogspot.com Co Co

    Watchmen is 2 hours 43 minutes long. That’s where it lost me. I just can’t deal with these long a** movies. But I will look for a review.

  • riggs

    haha co, how the hell can u read ben button but a 2 hour movie is too much for you (unless you take breaks between reading)

  • http://coco-vents.blogspot.com Co Co

    Ben button is a short story that will take you no more than your lunch break to read.

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    O, it was a little like a Disney movie, no? Weren’t some of those “villains” straight caricatures? Latika is special, though.

  • http://myspace.com/bodiebarnett jbn74sb

    Timely job on this one.

  • O

    A Disney movie? Maybe. I don’t know how man Disney movies has guys blinding little kids and killin people off for religious beliefs. And reading Benjamin would take like a 2 and a half hour lunch break.

  • Teddy-the-Bear


  • Teddy-the-Bear

    I haven’t seen Slumdog, but its obviously different from City of God, I’ll tell you that. So comparing which one is better is pretty trivial, riggs.

  • Donn

    I watched it….thought it was good but i don’t know what the big deal is…i know this..O’s review of this movie was better than the movie…

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Anyways, fun review. I’m looking forward to seeing Watchmen, Shoutout to Alex Tse!

  • http://nbacheapseats.blogspot.com Chendaddy

    Ben, wasn’t that the point? Like a Disney movie, only if Disney merely plagiarized the Brothers Grimm and didn’t bastardize their work.

  • O

    Slumdog was way better than the past few movies that have won Best Picture. Well, not better than No Country For Old Men. But WAY better than Crash.

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    Yeah Bodie.

  • PL

    Yo, I totally agree with the points made above by those who didn’t like the movie. I think I left the screening about 30 minutes in. Danny Boyle is no director. When he came up with Trainspotting, it was fresh but was it a G.O.O.D. movie? Then he gave us The Beach, Sunshine and now Slumdog, pleeeaaase…

  • http://sjsu.edu davidR

    riggs, city of men was whack as ufck compared to slumdog and city of god. cmon!

  • http://sjsu.edu davidR

    caught a midnight showing of watchmen last night. i read the book a few years back and liked it so i had high expectations for the movie. so far everyone that has seen it is mixed, but for me? i’d say it’s a 2.5/5. the book had great character/plot development, but the movie didnt have that same level of development.

  • http://sjsu.edu davidR

    and O, im surprised you didnt make a comment about latika. she’s breezy!

  • http://www.ravingblacklunatic.blogspot.com Allenp

    Joe Budden’s wifey is smuggling hams…
    Gotta be….

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Izzo

    Slumdog is over-rated,but still really good.I’d give it 3 and a half gangstas.

  • http://www.hibiahi20.blogspot.com BETCATS

    the Dark Night should have gotten all its oscars. The award shows are too much about ‘hollywood politics’ so to speak then about the actual movies.

  • riggs

    you probably missed the whole point of city of men davidR.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Izzo

    If we’re being honest,Wall-E should have got best film.

  • hamberguesa

    Ditto to Izzo. O’s getting too soft!

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Actually, Wall-E was definitely one of the best films of the year. It and the Dark Knight should have been nominated for Best Picture, and taken home a slew of awards. Now I haven’t seen Slumdog, but it seems very, very overrated.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    One of the biggest robberies the Oscars committed this millennium was awarding Gladiator with Best Picture, when Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon should have taken it home.

  • jb21

    @Teddy “Now I haven’t seen Slumdog, but it seems very, very overrated.”
    What does that even mean??? The movie was dope, comparable to O’s review, the scenes shot when they were kids was unreal really, great movie.

  • http://Slamonline.com O

    Just finished watching Watchmen. I’ll have a review of it next week, but I will say I was impressed with the STRONG sexual content and violence.

  • http://web.mac.com/roaringred bbaby

    I’m Indian, so I’m biased. However, the movie was AMAZING. Ben’s got it right saying it’s predictable, but so is every other Indian movie. It’s what he goes through to the girl that’s special.

  • http://sjsu.edu davidR

    riggs, what was it? the movie didnt grab me the way city of god did

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    @ jb21: What does that mean? I’ll tell you. It means Slumdog Millionaire shouldn’t have won 8 Oscars, when the Dark Knight wasn’t even nominated for Best Picture, and neither was Wall-E.
    The Oscars are somehow trying to go the Indie route now, but its not working.
    I’ll have to see the film soon, so it might surprise me. There’s no doubt to me that the movie is GOOD. But is it 8 Oscars good? That’s what I’ll found out man.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    People are gonna be so disappointed when they find out I’ve written about basketball.

  • jer boi

    wooot india represent! lol

    yeah it was an awesome movie

  • Pardeep

    Yah man Im proud of being East Indian stuff like this makes me happy cas the world gets to know who we are. Maybe there will be a Indian in the nba someday.

  • http://www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    i detest traditional Bollywood movies, a fact driven home by my woman LOVING the things, she has a stash of DVD’s in the crib. I’ve always hated the musical movie and Bollywood movies in general have too much high pitched singing and choreographed dancing and twitching for my taste. That being said, this was an amazing movie, the children growing up in Mumbai, the feces covered Jamal going for the autograph, the do whatever it takes attitude in their teen years? FANTASTIC! And the young romance and longing of Jamal was so touching, up until the end. That being said, i HATED the bloody ending, and the dancing in the closing credits nearly bloody well spoiled the movie for me. Oh one more thing, Miss Pinto is SHAZAM hot! Not a good actress though. Comparison to City of God was on Point, Omar. Nice review (as usual)

  • http://www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    I also just saw watchmen yesterday, O. Jesus those bones be cracking with a vengeance. Malin Ackerman is usually right up my alley, but come on… she was lame in this. Ah well, great fight scenes and Rohrschach was A+, the rest was kinda uncomfortable (which i know is the core emotion of the graphic novel etc…). In my opinion, it was a bit too long, and disjointed, but hey, i’m a comic book buff who hated the graphic novel, probably the only one, so i wasn’t expecting the movie to blow me away. I’m thinking this won’t be THE summer blockbuster. Can’t wait for Rise of the Fallen!

  • http://www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    Oh and puhleeze, no more octomom references here, mmkay? The tabloids are making me gag with all the “stories” on that freak.

  • http://www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    Wall-E made me hold back some sniffling tears, and laugh like a Hyena all through the movie. Rollercoaster ride. THAT was a great Movie. stupid oscars.

  • BostonBaller

    I haven’t seen the movie and who knows if I will (maybe by chance) I have a problem with watching a movie just b/c the critics and movie people make it a must see movie. lol
    I had never heard of it until it was winning awards BEFORE it hit the theatres. lol

    It sounds ok but if I watch it I’m not going to love it b/c someone says I should, it actually has to be good.

  • BostonBaller

    Is it subtitled? I love to read but not while watching a movie. lol

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Izzo

    It’s an English movie,not an Indian one…..

  • riggs

    @davidR: the fact that it has nothing to do with city of god for one

  • http://Slamonline.com O

    I never read the Watchmen novel. I like comic books but was never THAT into them, na’mean.

  • http://www.lkz.ch Darksaber


  • giogolo

    i was just amazed how slumdog got all those awards..when dark knight clearly was the box office hit..it was a good story but not as that provoking as the city of Gods..i really don’t know what cord struck the judges/reviewers to make this a great-awarded film. No hate though. just sayin.

  • O

    Dark Knight is by far a better movie than Watchmen. But Slumdog was just original and well shot. Gave everyone an idea of what the slums of India is like. Sort of like what Boyz N Da Hood did for Compton and Twilight did for the suburbs.

  • http://sjsu.edu davidR

    riggs, i know it has nothing to do with city of god. i’m just saying, if you try to compare the three movies, it’s obvious city of men doesn’t belong with the other two. it’s a good movie, just not a great one.

    i’m still wondering though — what’s the point i was missing?

  • http://www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    Oh, the slimy, conniving, overbearing TV-Show host in Slumdog was fantastic too. Loved how he portrayed him.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Jake Appleman


    This is a five star review. I give you ten total gangstas. You’ve made me laugh so much and cry even a few times, simply by talking about how movies relate to you. As a man that once wrote in his high school yearbook that his preferred sex choice was “Latino”–that was a typo, I meant Latin-A…LAT-I-KA(!)–your review really hit home. I knew this dude back in the day, my best friend. He saved my life from the depths of total despair. We even went to Miami for our dream va-kay, after the big Palm tree helped his latest men-tee Wade in the water. I think I found true love on that Va-kay because there was this shorty I was hollering at back then, and my homie Ken threw us this party with Latina drummer girls–a trio of booties unlike any I had seen before–and I watched but I did not touch. Nowadays, I think I need total touch–best personified by a world pop group from Amsterdam back in like, 97, right before Puffy took over–but I don’t think that changes my opinion of my favorite shorty. A favorite shorty is always a favorite shorty. Some choices in life are made for you by the way the stars align. Btw, have you ever heard the MIA “Paper Planes” remix? I can play it for you some time…Nobody on the corner has swagger like us, O. Remember that. I’m your Saphardic Jew with a hint of Dole. If anyone else, needs help learning how to eat Indian food, lemme know.



    P.S. – Tell Lukie baby that this applesauce is
    from the apple orchard, and that I’ll probably never take him to the dollar store ever again.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Jake Appleman

    In the words of Snoop, feating the EastSidaz: SA WA!

  • http://www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    A Saphardic Jew with a hint of Dole and whose prefered sex choice is Latino, umm A. Now why isn’t Appleman blessing us more with stories on Slamonline? This be pure comedy, here.

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ Tariq al Haydar

    Slumdog was good, not great. But really, other than Dark Knight and Tropic Thunder, 2008 wasn’t that impressive movie-wise.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Izzo

    Tropic Thunder?Really?That sh*t was terrible.

  • http://Slamonline.com O

    Damn Jake. You made my day, homie. Good looks. And LOLOLOL @ “A saphardic Jew with a hint of Dole.” That’s just great, man.

  • LordKratos08

    I was skeptical at first but with each new site being unravelled before my eyes, I was drawn to the movie. It is site after site of things yet unseen. No fuzzy shots, no dull moments. It was an adventure and it toys with your emotions. Highly Recommended!

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Moose

    This movie was frickin’ amazing.