Reviews

Slumdog Millionaire

Fox Searchlight

Mark Haddon

"In his finest film to date, Danny Boyle takes an unlikely subject and produces a terrific feelgood movie"

Philip French, guardian

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Now I'm going to immediately take issue with the quotation shown above. To describe the film as 'feelgood' is potentially a little misleading. True, ultimately the 'ends are tied', and the film finishes with a bizarre Bollywood-esque dance routine. However, the film is certainly not without a considerable number of testing moments.

Through the mechanic of an investigation into how a 'slumdog' could perform so well in the Millionaire quiz-show, Danny Boyle presents the rags to riches story of Jamal Malik and brother Salim. And this is a story which is considerably more 'rags' than 'riches'. And actually, may not be the latter entirely either.

The harsh reality of Mumbai-life is portrayed through the eyes of the two boys as they face some of the bitter consequences of living in the slum, in the shadow of the new 'centre of the world'. Orphaned, the two brothers befriend a fellow slum-dweller, Latika, who shares the good- and bad-times with the pair.

Through Jamal's interrogation by the Mumbai police, we discover more and more about what has driven Jamal through life, and ultimately to entering the Millionaire game show.

Ultimately, the film really isn't for the faint-hearted. Although there are glimmers of hope throughout of film, this is a 'roller-coaster' with significant downhill turns just around the corner from the 'ups'. The Indian government / press will take great lengths to ensure that this film is digested as pure fiction, rather than a real portal of life in modern India. Although it does make you wonder... Especially what has become of all those living in the slums that are now the high-rise apartment blocks of modern Mumbai.

 

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Reviewed on 24/01/2009 by Sam

 

Reviewed item details

Directed by Danny Boyle and Loveleen Tandan.

Images from IMDB

Purchase the reviewed item

On general release.

 

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