The votes are in...the result is out. Slumdog is the proud winner of 8 Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director. A.R.Rehman has brought joy to a billion-plus hearts by bagging Oscars for both categories he was nominated in: Best Original Song and Best Original Score.
Slumdog is a mix of Oliver Twist and Peter Pan: stark reality interposed with fairytale fantasy. Jamal's story from rags to riches is captivating, but doesn't really have repeat value (I got bored when I watched it a second time). I absolutely loved the 45-odd minutes of the story when the child actors dominated the scene. They were brilliant, realistic and cute(especially young Salim). Their introductory scene, with the 'Jai Ho' song, was very well filmed. My favourite scenes: young Jamal jumping into the shitpit, teenage Jamal conning the foreign tourists at the Taj, young Jamal and Salim snatching food atop a train. Older Jamal and Latika weren't really convincing; to me, their chemistry seemed forced.
I can't say I am totally happy with the product that Slumdog is. My complaint is not that it peddles poverty and shows India in a bad light. On the contrary, the movie just touches on the fringes of what Dharavi really is. The conditions of the beggars is a reality, and "slumdog" is a way nicer slur than some of the swearwords you get to hear on the streets. I just think that the story is way too implausible. If you show the reality in slums, you are expected to continue the realism in the rest of your story as well. You can't have one-third of the movie in Hindi, and then suddenly have Jamal switch to speaking impeccable English with a Brit accent. Jamal's answers to most of the questions were logical, but his getting the final answer right despite his not knowing it was a tad too much. But I must say, Slumdog did deserve atleast 5 out of the 8 Oscars it won. Kudos to them and three cheers to Rehman!!