Slumdog Millionaire (Danny Boyle, Co-Directed by Loveleen Tandan)
big night, saturday, november 15 – starz denver film festival 2008
A story of destined love set in the slums of Mumbai may not be the expected next step for acclaimed director Danny Boyle (“Trainspotting,” “28 Days Later,” and “Sunshine”) but it is the step he took with “Slumdog Millionaire.” One that was a departure from his other romantically toned film, “Alien Love Triangle.”
Aside from the plot’s subject style, the movie supports Danny Boyle’s reputation for creating engrossing, engaging, exciting, emotional, rich and vibrant films.
“Slumdog Millionaire” is about Jamal Malik, a contestant on the Indian set of “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?” who is getting so many answers correct, that the producers accuse him of cheating. After his arrest and during his interrogation, question by question, Jamal explains to his accusers how his gritty life in the slums of Mumbai has led to him to this place in time where he’s winning and on the verge of 20 million rupees.
Then comes the surprise. Jamal doesn’t care about the prize money; his only reason for being on the show is to get on T.V. and get noticed so that his childhood love might find him.
Visually, “Slumdog Millionaire” was luscious and a pleasure to watch. From the dirty, gritty, yet somehow beautiful slums of Mumbai to the over-elaborate sets of wealthy TV game shows, every scene, every set, every angle was done immaculately and beautifully. Even the way the subtitles of this movie were done with a creative twist.
The story was compelling and entertaining, chalk-full of symbolism and/or metaphors. Even on the surface, without the symbolisms, this story is one that is hard to turn away from.
The three main characters were portrayed by three actors each, who represented their points in time—young, teen, and adult—providing seamless and superb performances.
So while “Slumdog Millionaire” may not come from the typical Danny Boyle movie vault, it truly showcases his talent and skill with a variety of stories and styles. It’s definitely worthy of, and demands, a captive audience. And be sure to stick around through the credits to see homage to “Bollywood.”