Film: Slumdog Millionaire


Cast includes: Dev Patel, Freida Pinto
Director: Danny Boyle (Sunshine, The Beach)
Genre: Drama/fantasy

In brief: With one question left, Jamal Milik is on the brink of winning the grand prize of 20 million rupees on India’s popular game show, “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?” What the show producers want to know is how can an orphan from the slums of Mumbai possibly know the answers to so many questions. Leaving the TV studio on the last day before the final question, Jamal is arrested and aggressively questioned by police to find out what gives. What gives is Jamal’s life story, each chapter linked by fate to one of the “Millionaire” questions. But money isn’t Jamal’s real reason for being on the show.

This movie is an adult fairytale. Anyone who enjoys seeing the underdog come out on top will be rooting for Jamal… not only to win the game but also to win the life he deserves. Be warned, the slum scenes with abuse of children are disturbing. The use of a Bollywood-style color enhancement does make the slum scenes less real and more palatable, but if you can’t tell yourself “it’s just a movie,” you may have problems with this aspect of the film.

Don’t be mislead by the improbable story line, this is exceptional storytelling with a wonderfully crafted narrative spine. Even though the plot chapters could easily degenerate into repetitive gimmicks, they don’t. Each chapter feels original and advances the larger story with exciting twists and turns. It’s a spellbinder. Be sure to watch the end credits.

popcorn rating

4 popped kernels

A total fairytale but it's hard not to love this one

Popcorn Profile

Primary Audience: Young adults 
Gender Appeal: Any audience 
Distribution: Mainstream wide release   
Mood:  Jubilant  
Tempo: Zips right along  
Visual Style: High-end production  
Character Development: Engaging  
Language: True to life 
Social Significance: Pure entertainment  

 

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