In my memory, the movie ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ reminded me of the book ‘Roots’ in the following manner: it also has 2 clearly distinct parts; a short positive intro, followed by a long and bitter sequel. Both stories ultimately have a happy end.
In ‘Roots’, it was a poetic first ‘Kunta Kinte’ part in Africa, followed by years and pages of slavery in America.
In ‘Slumdog Millionaire’, I thought, we start with a nice part about the youth of Jamal, Malik and Latika; later followed by less prosperous times.
After beginning to watch the movie all over again, I realised that my memory was fooling me and I could not have been further from the truth.
Yes, at the start of the movie, there are some funny parts. But the children’s youth is all but rosy, amidst the squalor of Mumbai’s slumps. The flashbacks in the movie, based on Malik’s memories and which ultimately help him win more than a million rupees and more importantly reunite with Latika, show the ups and downs of both childish pleasure and deep distress, all set in the framework of a hard life.
I watched until Arvind’s and Malik’s audition before I turned away, feeling lazily guilty when I heard my wife unpacking boxes upstairs while taking care of our little boy at the same time.
I quickly straightened out a few things in the garage and now I’m pacing upstairs while finishing this text.
Hopefully, this will suffice to silence my guilty conscience.
Somehow, I doubt that it will.