Slumdog Millionaire

by

Director – Danny Boyle

Writers – Simon Beaufoy (screenplay), Vikas Swarup (novel)

Starring – Dev Patel, Freida Pinto

Synopsis

Slumdog Millionaire is the story of Jamal Malik (Patel), an 18 year-old orphan from the slums of Mumbai, who is about to experience the biggest day of his life. With the whole nation watching, he is just one question away from winning a staggering 20 million rupees on India’s “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?”

But when the show breaks for the night, police arrest him on suspicion of cheating; how could a street kid know so much? Desperate to prove his innocence, Jamal tells the story of his life in the slum where he and his brother grew up, of their adventures together on the road, of vicious encounters with local gangs, and of Latika (Pinto), the girl he loved and lost. Each chapter of his story reveals the key to the answer to one of the game shows questions.

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Review

Danny Boyle makes another big splash with Slumdog Millionaire. Trainspotting, The Beach, 28 Days Later and Sunshine were all special films; but here Boyle reaches out to everybody with his talents.

Straight off the bat we are smothered by the visuals and engulfed into the story; one of the balsiest first five minutes in a film I have ever witnessed and one which will have you salivating at the thought of the next 115 minutes of your life. Racey editing and juxtaposed action from the two scenes caught me off guard; dispelling whats myths I had conjured in my head from watching the trailer and listening to every Tom, Dick and Harry recite how indispensible it is. Boyle hooked me. In the first five minutes, I was hooked.

After the five minutes of warm-up, Boyle cracks on with the plot. The characters gather depth as Boyle takes us from their childhood, with the kids giving great performances and seemingly having a lot of fun at the same time, to adulthood; with each of their personal traits and relationships being built upon resulting in truly believable characters that you really care about and understand. As for the plot itself – solid as expected. It sets up a lot of funny and shocking moments and is simply a fantastic adventure through India.

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Patel is on one in Slumdog, winning over the hearts of the audience and making you root for him (I remember saying in my head “please let him win!” towards the end of the film) while sharing an on screen chemistry, with Pinto, that makes their romance all the more believable. I’m pretty sure at least some of the credit has to go to Danny Boyle for each and every one of the actors (including numerous children) giving a credible performance.

While the narrative and shit-hot acting are huge parts of Slumdog’s success, Boyle shows off his artistic flare; whether he meant to or not. His imperfect shots (original in their imperfection); racey editing with low frame rate shots (reminiscent of Chungking Express); iconical soundtrack (a mix of new releases and more traditional Indian music) and vibrant visuals that could reduce a cat to tears, turn this epic love story into a landmark film.

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Overall – 120 minutes of pure gold. You’ll be so immersed that you’ll forget you exist.

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One Response to “Slumdog Millionaire”

  1. Snizzle left in Brizzle Says:

    “I’m pretty sure at least some of the credit has to go to Danny Boyle for each and every one of the actors” lol. isn’t it the directors job to direct the actors? so surely all the credit goes to him!

    i disagree with 28 days later and the beach as special, i personally think shallow grave is special and you omitted it!

    nice review tho. makes me wanna go watch the flick which i think is your intention.

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