After a few tries thwarted by sick kids and a cancelled babysitter, we finally got to see Slumdog Millionaire. I have mixed feelings about the movie. I have read many reviews that referred to it as a "feel good" movie. Although it has a happy ending, I didn't think that description was completely accurate.
On one hand, I totally loved the movie's compelling story, and the tenacity of Jamal's love for Latika. I also love a story about an underdog who triumphs. I thought the story was told masterfully, and I loved the plot device using flashbacks related to the questions on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. The child actors were especially amazing, and Peter was nodding in recognition at the scenes of Mumbai, a city he has visited a few times.
(As a total side note, I was amused by the scene in which one brother fills water bottles with tap water and glues them closed to sell to unsuspecting customers. We read in our guide books to watch out for this. :o)
I was torn, though, about the depictions of the self-identified "orphanage," which was really not an orphanage at all, but a crime scheme. I felt really defensive on behalf of the dedicated people who took such good care of Anya Rashi for almost a year, and on behalf of the Indian parents I've met at my sons' school. I was wondering what they thought of the movie's depiction of their home country, and whether it reflected their own experiences or not.
What I hope is that people who see the film are moved by the plight of street children and orphans everywhere . . . I hope many more people will consider sponsoring children, supporting charities that serve children, and adopting children whose future will otherwise be very bleak.
After we came home, Peter found an article in the UK's Daily Mail about the "beggar mafia" in Mumbai who really do maim children so they will earn more while begging. Sadly, this part of the movie was not invented for shock value. Here's the link:
For those of you who have seen Slumdog, what did you think?