Slumdog Millionaire (Danny Boyle – 2008) A

Yet another right step for Danny Boyle. Here he gives us a rags to riches love story set in Mumbai and centering around a “slumdog” who stands to make millions on India’s “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” (or as the slimy host of the show pronounces it “Millin-aire”) and win back the love of his life, only if he can prove to his torturer (aka Police chief) that he did not cheat. After all, how can a 25 year old who has a very limited education and was raised mostly on the streets and slums of Bombay know all these answers? That’s how we learn Jamal’s life story and how he learned all he needed to know by simply surviving. The film is brilliant in it’s brutal portrayal of the Bombay slums where only the fit survive, where children are treated as commodities and sometimes worse. Those early scenes are pretty tough and gritty. Jamal and his borther survive by stealing, being fake guides to tourists in Taj Mahal (then stealing their shoes) and begging among other things. Boyle uses perfect editing and a slick energetic soundtrack (the chase scene in the beginning with the policeman through the maze of the slums alone is worth the price). All his actors are also quiet remarkable in their roles, especially the aformentioned slimy host of the show (Anil Kapoor). By the end of Slumdog, we more than care about Jamal, his pretty girlfriend Latika, his very flawed brother Salim and all those unfortunates who they meet while growing up. The Bollywood style twist while the credits roll is a welcome reprieve for all who had some wet eyes…not saying I did…I’m just saying it was…. So keep your ass seated and don’t go bolting as soon as the credits start to run. It will be worth it.

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One thought on “Slumdog Millionaire (Danny Boyle – 2008) A”

  1. I don’t know what my problem – I can’t work up the motivation to watch this movie – no matter how many people tell me it is great. I have some sort of mental block. I even have a screener here, so I wouldn’t have to leave the house!

    I’ll do it once the Oscar noms are announced, I suppose.

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