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Danny Boyle (Sunshine) directed this wildly energetic, Dickensian drama about the desultory life and times of an Indian boy whose bleak, formative experiences lead to an appearance on his country's version of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" Jamal (played as a young man by Dev Patel) and his brother are orphaned as children, raising themselves in various slums and crime-ridden neighorhoods and falling in, for a while, with a monstrous gang exploiting children as beggars and prostitutes. Driven by his love for Latika (Freida Pinto), Jamal, while a teen, later goes on a journey to rescue her from the gang's clutches, only to lose her again to another oppressive fate as the lover of a notorious gangster.
Running parallel with this dark yet irresistible adventure, told in flashback vignettes, is the almost inexplicable sight of Jamal winning every challenge on "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?," a strong showing that leads to a vicious police interrogation. As Jamal explains how he knows the answer to every question on the show as the result of harsh events in his knockabout life, the chaos of his existence gains shape, perspective and soulfulness. The film's violence is offset by a mesmerizing exotica shot and edited with a great whoosh of vitality. Boyle successfully sells the story's most unlikely elements with nods to literary and cinematic conventions that touch an audience's heart more than its head. --Tom Keogh
Stills from Slumdog Millionaire (Click for larger image)
- Forced Trailers: Notorious, S. Darko: A Donnie Darko Tale, Bottle Shock, Other End of the Line, The
- Commentary by Director Danny Boyle and Actor Dev Patel
- Commentary by Producer Christian Colson and writer Simon Beaufoy
- 12 Deleted Scenes
- Slumdog Dreams: Danny Boyle & The Making of Slumdog Millionaire
- Slumdog Cutdown
Top Customer Reviews
The settings move from the bleakest - the slums outside Mumbai, where our hero, Jamal Malik, lives as a child with his older brother Salim - to high rise vistas and no less than the Taj Mahal. The story ranges from the worst despair and heartbreak to the noblest sacrifice and most romantic love.
We are introduced in the opening moments to the young adult Jamal, played by Dev Patel. He is a contestant on the Indian version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire and has just answered the ten million rupee question prior to the end of the show. His next question will be worth twenty million rupees, an unimaginable fortune to the average Indian. The arrogant, primping star of the show, played with artificial charm concealing an oily narcissism by Anil Kapoor, cannot stand that young Jamal is stealing some of his spotlight, and believes that the young, uneducated "slumdog" is cheating. (One of the key sequences involves the host "proving" to himself that Jamal MUST be cheating.) Jamal has been handed over to the police, who torture him to make him confess his deception. This moment in Jamal's life frames the rest of the film, told in flashback, and explains the torturous road that allowed Jamal to answer even the most difficult questions.
We are not told about Jamal and Salim's father, but in an early sequence we see their mother murdered in a brutal religion riot as club-wielding Hindu's attack a Muslim slum. Orphaned, Jamal and Salim live in the trash dump at the edge of the slum. They befriend another orphan, the young girl Latika.Read more ›
Boy was I wrong.
This is such a smart, cleverly woven story with a classic twist--reminding me of Dickens--and all the stuff we love about life, but what's really striking--and I just watched this twice on DVD--is the precious love that is expressed here.
Lump in throat anyone?
Goosey bumps, too?
I just lap it up. Call me a sucker--but I had to re-play the last two minutes over and over again--where our hero brushes his sweetie's scarred cheek...and you either already know or will know the rest. It just kills me every time.The quintessential message is: LOVE OVER $$, GOLD, whatever, ANY DAY!
Slumdog divulges what real India is like: a fight for survival, but one that has moments of beauty in it as well. Again, MOMENTS. The amount of children MUTILATED and forced by parents and others to work is disgusting. It is beyond belief. I was in the Deli area, and that has nothing on Calcutta or some of the bad areas of Mumbai.
And despite this, one can see a beauty in these people that simply does not exist in the West. One brief scene ( SPOILER) in the movie when Dev is about to play the last round of Millionare, a woman on the street taps on his window and says 'go and win it all'. THIS type of genuine 'I'm happy for you', aka namaste, aka respect exists amongst the dire poverty.
And then Slumdog dives into the Muslim-Hindu tension. In the kashmir region, fighting is horrendous. This type of confusion, dislike, and sometimes hatred exists between these two religions, and now with the recent terrorist attacks, things aren't looking too good.
Slumdog Millionaire shows how hard working, diligent, determined, and driven many ( most) Indians are in their fight to survive and feed themselves/their families. The main character has to do this from when he was born, which is a sad reality for many infants/kids there.
THE FILM IS ARTISTIC, FAST PACED AND TYPICAL BOYLE STYLE, WITH A GREAT SOUNDTRACK.
Please watch it, and then DO something about what you have seen. Go and visit the country. It will change your life.
The film opens as a young Indian man competes on a television quiz show. He is winning and winning. In the next scene he is being tortured by the police because they think he is cheating as he is not educated and is a child of the slums. His story is then told in flashbacks, as the audience learns how he came to know the answers to each of the questions.
We meet him and his brother as young children living on the street and exploited by gangsters to become street beggars. However, there is constant humor in juxtaposition to the wince-inducing revulsion which adds a special kind of humanity to the story. Through all the misfortunes to which the brothers are exposed, there is an upbeat quality to the film, as we come to understand that it was these traumatic incidents in this young man's life that taught him the specific answers to the question being asked on the quiz show.
Of course there is also a romance. Our hero is looking for the young woman he loves, a childhood companion through the horror, who is still being exploited by the Indian underworld, which now includes his brother.
All of this is packed in an upbeat and moving story that involved me from the beginning and made me want to stand up and cheer at the happy ending.
This is not a film to be missed. It breaks all the stereotypes and comes across as a groundbreaking fresh new voice in the landscape of the world of film. I give it my highest recommendation.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The movie is amazing. So well done.
Also, any middle class American who watches this an doesn't feel heartbroken needs to get a EKG to check and see if you have a... Read more
It's a good movie but if you've read the book then you might not enjoy it, the plot was completely changed and it seems that they kept very little from the book.Published 9 days ago by Jessie M.
Great movie. I love the character complexity, story, and music, so I've watched this several times.Published 12 days ago by Questor