Planet Bollywood
Slumdog Millionaire
Producer: Christian Colson / Fox Searchlight Pictures
Director: Danny Boyle
Starring: Dev Patel, Anil Kapoor, Saurabh Shukla, Rajendranath Zutshi, Freida Pinto, Jeneva Talwar, Irfan Khan
Music: A.R. Rahman
Lyrics: Raquib Alam, Gulzar, Blaaze, Wendy Parr, M.I.A., A.R. Rahman, & Tanvi Shah
Genre: Drama
Recommended Audience: Parental Guidance
Reviewed by: Shruti Bhasin  - Rating: 10.0 / 10
More Reviews and Analysis by PB Critics:
    • Review by Samir Dave - Rating: 9.5 / 10
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Public Rating Average: 5.12 / 10 (rated by 411 viewers)
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2005: Black (India); 2006: The Lives of Others (Germany); 2007: Juno (USA); 2009: Slumdog Millionaire (Britain). Every year it happens to me, watching a film from any country, that makes me think, be entertained, and fuels my passion to one day be a filmmaker and share my vision with the world. I had the pleasure to watch Danny Boyle’s, Slumdog Millionaire, with no knowledge of the plot, and being blown away by the endearing story. Was the entire movie really shot in India? Wow! You see the slums of Mumbai in all it’s glory, you see the innocence of children running through the streets through riots, you see the bustling commuters of a busy city as the backdrop of searching for someone’s true love.

Based on the book Q & A by Vikas Swarup, we are introduced to Jamal (Dev Patel), who is on his way of winning KAUN BANEGA CROREPATI (Who wants to be a millionaire?), yet there is scepticism from the game show host (Anil Kapoor) that a slumboy could know the answers and he gets him arrested. The policeman (Irrfan Khan) demands to know how Jamal could possibly know the answers to all the questions, and thus begins the journey of his experiences through flashback. With each question asked in the present, we learn from his past, that he learnt many things that common people would never know, without reading a book. As we move from flashback to the current time, where Jamal is proving his innocence, we learn that his real goal is to reunite with his true love Latika (Freida Pinto), whom he’s been searching for since he was a boy.

Slumdog Millionaire is the feel good movie of the year and is the biggest contender for best picture at the Oscars on February 22nd. The pacing of the story is fast-paced and you become eager to know how Jamal gets the answers right. Even though life has been unfair, he’s shown as a fighter and just never gives up despite all obstacles.

The film sets a benchmark on all levels. The adapted screenplay by Simon Beaufoy is suspenseful and intriguing. The cinematography is award winning by Anthony Dod Mantle. Editing by Chris Dickens is crisp. Music and score by AR Rahman blends perfectly in the background to the plot. Director Danny Boyle zooms competently through Jamal’s life and with ease so the viewer can’t help but fall in love with the main characters and the story. There is no bias, there is no religion, and the filmmaker ensures that even India is seen as a character in all its beauty.

On the acting side, all the newcomers are rising stars. Dev Patel acts confidently as the ambitious, defiant, courageous Jamal and you root for him till the very end. Bravo! Freida Pinto is a natural beauty that fills the screen with her damaged innocence. Her subtle chemistry with Dev is what made the characters feel real. Anil Kapoor is quite good as the cunning and cocky host; it’s great to see him really dig his teeth in this role. Irrfan Khan and Mahesh Manjrekar (villain) are adequate. Madhur Mittal, as Jamal’s older brother Salim, stands out. All the young actors playing Latika, Jamal, and Salim did an excellent job, especially in the sequence where they run away from an orphanage.

Thinking about this movie makes me smile and proves that the magic of movies is very much alive! Slumdog Millionaire is among the finest and most compassionate films I’ve ever seen about an underdog and is highly recommended to everyone. Enjoy!

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