While on a recent road trip from Texas to Michigan, we stayed in motels along the way and at our destination. Since we do not subscribe to HBO at home, watching it on TV is a treat for us. Our lives do not revolve around movies, in fact, we may see two a year—sometimes not that many. As I checked the schedule one night, I saw that Slumdog Millionaire was a primetime feature. Great! I wouldn’t have to stay up far past my bedtime to watch a movie.
I told my husband the movie we’d see (he doesn’t care, and allows me to be the film critic of the family.) Indeed, we watched the entire movie, enjoying some parts, distressed at others. When it ended, my husband asked: “What was the point of the story?”
Very good question.
Plot: A Mumbai teen who grew up in the slums becomes a contestant on the Indian version of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” Because he knows answers he shouldn’t with his non-existent education, he is accused of cheating. The police arrest, interrogate, and torture him. During the interrogation, he tells the story of his life, including specific events that explain why he knows the answers.
Summary: The story is a fairy tale with great imagery and a happy ending—exhilarating, in fact. The movie will invoke pity, sadness, anger, fear, disgust, surprise, and happiness. You will want to cheer at the end. This combination is a perfect mix of emotions for every superb story.
But what is the point of Slumdog Millionaire? It is “How do we come to know the things we know about life and love?” (One comment about the movie gave this reason. I agree.)
The two young brothers in the story had no chance to learn anything about love except from other slum children and each other. Certainly their environment gave them pain, hunger, filth, extreme poverty, and fear. And yet, even after they lost their mother to a murderer, they seemed happy and cocky, fearless in many cases, and accepting of their surroundings. How could such a thing happen to these pitiful, hapless children?
Those of us who write about life and love draw on our human experiences. Each person has a unique story, and our beliefs and memories help shape our novels, our short stories, and us as adults. Even when a normal person like Stephen King can author such horrific tales, something along the way shaped his belief system and his memory bank.
The older brother in Slumdog acted as friend, teacher, and protector to the younger one—the brother who becomes the contestant. But as they neared the teen years, the older brother turned criminal the day he picked up a Colt 45 and realized he had power after all. He turned against his brother—or did he?
Watch the movie.
My published novels are a Western Historical Romance and one Western Contemporary Romance. My Coming Soon novel is also Western Historical. But…I also have several novel-length stories in my files. Some are women’s fiction with a light romance. A couple of them border on Inspirational romance. One is almost a YA novel. Whatever category they may fit, each one contains what I have learned and absorbed in my lifetime.
What I know about love and life appears—to some degree—in my stories. What about yours? Do you agree?
SHOWDOWN IN SOUTHFORK: eBook available at:
ALL MY HOPES AND DREAMS-a Cactus Rose—
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