Okay I saw.
And I prepared myself to be unexpecting as I sat in the theatre with a bag full of very cheesed out popcorn, my three insanely raucous friends beside me and my equally chatterbox of a mother. We sat in the jam packed theatre. I was already enjoying myself thanks to a super-long promo of Dilli 6 and some rather interesting PSAS. Hmmm. I'm getting into the advertising groove.
And the movie started. It didn't seem very captivating at first but then...
I was blown away by the scene where the kids are playing on the airport runway and 'O Saya' fuses into the scene, full-throttle. After that, I was hooked, goosebumps and all.
You cannot deny the power of this film. It is not a perfect logical, entirely plausible story. It is not an entertainer. But it takes those very values that we hold on to despite the chaos of our world-the values of hope, love, truth, beauty and infuses them in a tale of good v/s evil. And who can resist the triumph of the underdog?
It's like a great painting. It may seem grotesque to some, poetry to another. And it has different interpretations for everyone. But the end of the day, you can't really ignore it because there's something we identify with it-its pattern, colour or because it resembles a beacon of hope that makes you think life is worth all its nonsense.
The music? WOW (I really can't think of a better word) It makes me proud to just breathe the same air and be in the same city as the musical GENIUS. It MAKES the pain, the beauty, the catharsis of the movie.
The cast? Outstanding. Dev Patel is chillingly real as Jamal. And the kids? Oh my God. They can rip your heart into pieces. Where have they been all these years??? Most of the first half was filled with disturbing images of children living so off the edge because they have no other choice.
The second half was slightly too fairytale-ish for me but it was gratifying enough. I think I'd kill myself if it turned out otherwise. It's not life-changing. It's not art. It's a feel-good film with an interesting non-linear narrative, good dialogue, amazing music and an impeccable cast.
The film overall doesn't define India as such. It could be any story actually. But it does imply the range of the colour spectrum it is.
Overall, a must watch. For the kids. For Dev Patel. For A.R.Rahman. For hope.