We managed to watch the multi-award winning "Slumdog Millionaire" this weekend. It is difficult for me to understand why people (in India or PIO's) are so upset about the movie. It is a good movie (I do not know enough about cinema to pronounce it a great movie).
- the narrative style is very nice --- question and answer.
- the editing is tight; the movie doesn't drag at any point.
- there are some very nice sequences and panoramic views.
- none of the actors stands out, but then none bombs out either!
As a Rahman fan since "Kadal Desam" (1993 or so), my opinion on the music is a bit biased. His work on this movie is more than competent though not his best. A. R. Rahman has written better songs than "Jai Ho!" and I didn't notice anything spectacular about the rest of the music. Still, it is worth noting that his best work is in the context of Indian-style films, where there are a lot of songs; the background score of those films only stands out if it is bad!
So, I suppose that the criticism of this movie by Indians is largely based on its story-line and setting. This is strange, since poverty in a Mumbai slum (to the extent that I am acquainted with it) is depicted quite accurately here. The plot (like any Dickensian story) drives home the terrible nature of poverty in cities but still manages to inject a note of optimism.
If you are lucky/strong enough to survive with your humanity intact after growing up in a Mumbai slum, then the luck required to win a TV show is nothing in comparison.