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Phil Mercer

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Saturday, January 10, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire (Cert 15)


Director(s): Danny Boyle
Cast: Mia Drake, Imran Hasnee, Faezeh Jalali, Anil Kapoor, Dev Patel, Freida Pinto
This is really Oscar winning stuff. Just look at the number of awards it has already won!!!

Danny Boyle is back with another reinvention of himself. We have seen his shocking take on the world of drug infested Scotland in Trainspotting, a fantastic version of a horror movie with 28 Days Later and one of the best British Sci-Fi' Sunshine. However, none of these really match up to the wonderful and award winning Slumdog Millionaire.

Jamal (Dev Patel) is our Slumdog. A young man who was born to the squalid slums of Bombay (as it was known). Somehow he has made it on to the hugely successful “Who wants to be a Millionaire?” and is just one question away from winning a stonking 20,000,000 rand. But the producer and police can't believe he could possibly have made it that far without cheating, so we watch as they torture him in to confessing to how he was doing it.

By way of explanation Jamal takes them through the programme question by question retelling his life story and how it lead him to an answer for each one. The story is harrowing, from grovelling for his next meal, to bullying from his older brother, race attacks between Hindu's and Muslims, Grooming for begging on the streets, to finding his loved one. Jamal is always on the run and yet seems to develop an amazing sense of humanity and compassion as he goes.

Danny Boyle has managed to give us an insight in to what life in the slums of Mumbai is like. It's not a pretty sight yet at the same time the film is full of vibrancy and colour. Boyle never shies away from pulling punches, and when we need to be shown something horrible, we don't need much imagination. With the help of a wonderful soundtrack and what seems a really well mixed production team at no point did it feel like this was very much a westerners take on Indian society. It is true that India does not come out of it well... but the most important character will always have a place in your heart.

Definitely worth all those awards it keeps winning.

Other sites:
Official site: http://www.slumdogmillionairemovie.co.uk/
Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slumdog_Millionaire

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