Slumdog Millionaire

D: Danny Boyle
Pathé/Celador/Film4 (Christian Colson)     
UK/India 2008
115 mins


W: Simon Beaufoy [based on the novel "Q & A" by Vikas Swarup]
DP: Anthony Dod Mantle
Ed: Chris Dickens
Mus: A. R. Rahman
PD: Mark Digby

Dev Patel (Jamal Malik), Frieda Pinto (Latika), Madhur Mittal (Salim Malik), Anil Kapoor (Prem Kumar), Irrfan Khan (Police Inspector)

Jamal Malik, a teenage call centre worker from a humble background is interrogated by police following his performance on an episode of the Indian version of "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?", where he is one question away from winning the fortune jackpot. Convinced that his success is due to cheating by the officers and show's producers, Jamal explains how some significant events of his life happened to imbibe him with the correct answers, from his early childhood in the Mumbai slums where he and his brother are orphaned following the murder of their mother, to escaping a group of gangsters who use homeless children for hustling purposes, as well as his present life, where it emerges that he only wanted to participate on the show to catch the eye of his long-lost childhood sweetheart.
Director Danny Boyle gives the film a unique style against the Indian backdrop, getting the very best out of his cast, especially the young performers who play Jamal throughout the different years of his life.
The marketing presented Slumdog Millionaire as a feelgood movie, but there's many scenes which negate this sentiment, despite ending on an upbeat note, including a Bollywood-style dance finale which feels very out of place considering everything that preceded it.
Adapted from Vikas Swarup's novel Q & A, the film delivers an important message, even in the 21st century, firstly for showing the gulf in class in India's most deprived areas, but mostly for portraying someone from an underprivileged background as an equal.
Winner of 8 Oscars, including Best Picture & Best Director.

Dev Patel & Frieda Pinto in Slumdog Millionaire
Dev Patel & Frieda Pinto in Slumdog Millionaire