Saturday, January 10, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire - Mini-Review

Slumdog Millionaire is the little movie that could. It seemed to come out of nowhere and has ended at the top of several critics' top 10 lists, and was named best film of the year by the National Board of Review. Danny Boyle, director of Trainspotting, has made an incredible film and may go all the way to an Best Picture Oscar.

This film is the improbable story of a kid from the slums of Mumbai (Bombay) who works at one of those infamous call centers. It's a love story - he doesn't care about the money except as a way to win the freedom of his childhood sweetheart. We see the story through flashbacks to explain how this kid can answer all the questions correctly on India's version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire.

How can Jamal, a kid from the slums of Mumbai, know the answer to who is on the American $100 bill? One of the flashbacks shows how Jamal and his brother hustle as tour guides at the Taj Mahal, to tourists from all over the world, and especially gullible Americans.

This is a wonder of a film. A true gem. I don't want to spoil much more of the plot. This a film you should see and experience yourself. You will see it among the best picture nominees, and it may go all the way. I cannot recommend it highly enough to you. Four stars.

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