Slumdog Millionaire is the story of Jamal Malik (Patel), an 18 year-old orphan from the slums of Mumbai, who is about to experience the biggest day of his life. With the whole nation watching, he is just one question away from winning a staggering 20 million rupees on India’s “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?”
But when the show breaks for the night, police arrest him on suspicion of cheating; how could a street kid know so much? Desperate to prove his innocence, Jamal tells the story of his life in the slum where he and his brother grew up, of their adventures together on the road, of vicious encounters with local gangs, and of Latika (Pinto), the girl he loved and lost. Each chapter of his story reveals the key to the answer to one of the game show’s questions.
Each chapter of Jamal’s increasingly layered story reveals where he learned the answers to the show’s seemingly impossible quizzes. But one question remains a mystery: what is this young man with no apparent desire for riches really doing on the game show?
When the new day dawns and Jamal returns to answer the final question, the Inspector and sixty million viewers are about to find out…
The result is the sweeping, stylish, intoxicatingly human experience of Slumdog Millionaire , the new film from acclaimed director Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, Shallow Grave, Millions, 28 Days Later, Sunshine). Part exhilarating love story, part eye-catching journey into the underbelly of the so-called “maximum city” of Mumbai, part stirring tale of an Everyman’s triumph against a harsh, cynical world, Slumdog Millionaire is a visceral, action-packed Dickensian epic for the 21st Century. At the heart of its exuberant storytelling lies the intriguing question of how anyone comes to know the things they know about life and love.
Danny Boyle (Sunshine) directed this wildly energetic, Dickensian drama about the desultory life and times of an Indian boy whose bleak, formative experiences lead to an appearance on his country’s version of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” Jamal (played as a young man by Dev Patel) and his brother are orphaned as children, raising themselves in various slums and crime-ridden neighorhoods and falling in, for a while, with a monstrous gang exploiting children as beggars and prostitutes. Driven by his love for Latika (Freida Pinto), Jamal, while a teen, later goes on a journey to rescue her from the gang’s clutches, only to lose her again to another oppressive fate as the lover of a notorious gangster.
Running parallel with this dark yet irresistible adventure, told in flashback vignettes, is the almost inexplicable sight of Jamal winning every challenge on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?,” a strong showing that leads to a vicious police interrogation. As Jamal explains how he knows the answer to every question on the show as the result of harsh events in his knockabout life, the chaos of his existence gains shape, perspective and soulfulness. The film’s violence is offset by a mesmerizing exotica shot and edited with a great whoosh of vitality. Boyle successfully sells the story’s most unlikely elements with nods to literary and cinematic conventions that touch an audience’s heart more than its head. —Tom Keogh
In composing the music for acclaimed director Danny Boyle’s intoxicating new film Slumdog Millionaire, A.R. Rahman has conjured the sound of a city, fusing the frenetic scramble of daily life in Mumbai, India into beautiful fugues that ride upon the dust clouds kicked up by its everyday people.
From the movie’s first frames—with children racing through alleyways, knocking over merchants and pottery, police kicking loose clay roof tiles, disrupted birds fluttering from gutters—we hear the sound of their commotion made manifest in “O…Saya.” It’s a rumbling hybrid of Bollywood and hip-hop, a brand new collaboration between Rahman and M.I.A. It’s the kind of cinematic moment where image and sound coexist. And that’s only the first five minutes.
Filmed in the streets and slums of Mumbai, India, Boyle needed just the right music to compliment the film’s cinema…[more]