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Slumdog Millionaire movie poster

Slumdog Millionaire

Genre: Drama, Romance
Rated: PG-13
Directed by:
Danny Boyle, Loveleen Tandan
Starring: Dev Patel, Freida Pinto, Madhur Mittal, Anil Kapoor, Irrfan Khan, Saurabh Shukla, Ayuch Mahesh Khedekar
Released by: Fox Searchlight Pictures

In Short: Scottish director Danny Boyle triumphs with this tale of two Mumbai brothers born into extreme poverty, following their struggles to survive, their personal clashes, and the unexpected TV appearance of one on India's version of the game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?
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Mumbai Masterpiece
Slumdog Will Keep You on the Edge of Your Seat

Scottish director Danny Boyle has given the world some terrific movies in his career, ranging from his earliest attempts including Shallow Grave and Trainspotting to more current offerings like 28 Days Later. Most of his films have been specific to Scotland or a bit beyond, encompassing Great Britain or the U.S., which is part of what makes his achievement with Slumdog Millionaire so impressive.

Mostly set in the slums and streets of Mumbai, India, with side trips to other parts of the country including places like the Taj Mahal, Slumdog Millionaire offers a searing glimpse into the lowest level of Indian culture. Throughout the film, Boyle seems completely imbued with Indian culture, with an eye for detail that belies his Western origins.

Based on the novel Q & A by the Indian diplomat Vikas Swarup, the movie follows the biographical tale of two brothers born into extreme poverty. This fast-paced flick begins—and culminates—with the appearance of the younger on India's version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? It is an always exciting, often brutal, emotionally wrenching, fascinating, and ultimately heartwarming story of survival set against a backdrop of dangerous living, ruthless corruption, and cold-blooded organized crime.

Dev Patel and Freida Pinto in Slumdog Millionaire Dev Patel in Slumdog Millionaire

Structured in a series of memories and flashbacks, the film is a kaleidoscope of striking images and compelling performances. We see exemplary acting from the children who play the boys (and the girl they befriend early on) at various ages, to the three young adults—Dev Patel, Madhur Mittal and Freida Pinto—who give unforgettable, award-worthy turns as the grown-up lead characters. But it is Danny Boyle who deserves the most accolades for putting together such a wildly entertaining, emotionally compelling film that just gets better and better with repeated viewings. Slumdog Millionaire is already garnering plenty of awards and nominations, and is sure to be a leading contender come Oscar time. This is clearly one of the best films of this—or any other year—and should not be missed.

Reviewed by Jenny Peters

PKR121808 (Updated: 12/22/08 KR)

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