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Slumdog Millionaire Movie poster

A 2008 movie directed by Danny Boyle

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A Really Good Film. Not as Great as I Was Led to Believe!

  • Nov 16, 2009

I enjoyed this film but I did not feel it was as great as all the hype it has received.  The director uses flashbacks in a confusing manner starting with an adult Jamal being tortured in a Mumbai police station.  We are then treated to all kinds of flashbacks with an adult Jamal playing the India version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire and a very poor kid Jamal being abused by his bully brother Salim.  Salim locks Jamal in an outhouse when the local celebrity comes to visit their villiage.  The only way Jamal can get out is to fall in the cesspool beneath the outhouse.  A Jamal covered with feces is able to get an autograph from the star.

Jamal's misery is intensified as his brother sells his Jamal's autographed photo and then a bunch of rioters kill the boys' mother.   The two boys escape the rioters to be taken in by some criminals that are trafficing and exploiting young children.  The boys eventually escape but Salim twarts the escape of Jamal's female friend Latika.

The movie follows them as they grow up and Jamal is constantly searching for his friend Latika.  The movie shifts constantly between the present day torture in the police station, Jamal answering questions on the TV game show and the boys story growing up.

All through their life Salim is bad to Jamal and Jamal can never seem to find happiness without Latika.  I really liked most of the film but I found the constant flashbacks and time shifts to be annoying.  Also, the subtitles when needed were virtually impossible to read.  Jamal's game show experience did not seem believable except if the movie were to be labelled a fantasy.

I did like the Bollywood number that the director threw in to the end.  I liked the Paper Planes song that is played in part of the movie.

One of the better movies of 2008 but not the epic film that many make this movie out to be.

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November 16, 2009
The headline of your review sums up how I feel about this film!  I actually watched it on a long flight around the time the hype was dying down, and though it was a good film, I couldn't help but think, "Huh?  Why was everyone talking about how amazing this is?".  I found the flashbacks confusing as well, but I did dig that Bollywood dance scene at the end.  And yes, I love Paper Planes as well!  Thanks for sharing, Michael :)
November 16, 2009
Sounds like we are on the same page! Hope you went somewhere good on your long flight! Maybe you could write a review of your trip if you haven't already.
November 17, 2009
I was going to Hong Kong! I don't know about reviewing my travels, but the food, definitely! :)
November 17, 2009
Definately, I would love to hear about it. You have a talent of making everything you write about sound fascinating!
November 18, 2009
Thanks for the kind words, Michael! Always a pleasure reading your reviews as well, and I love how you've branched out from book reviews to a bunch of other topics! :)
November 16, 2009
I really liked this movie, but held off seeing it for a long time b/c of the hype. It seems like the hype machine picks a smaller film each year and pushes it along and even though it might be great, it can't live up to the expectations. This year, that film is Precious.

Glad you liked Slumdog in spite of the hype!
November 16, 2009
I'll try to find out about Precious. I haven't heard anything so far.
More Slumdog Millionaire reviews
review by . April 14, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
There is an underlying sweetness to Slumdog Millionaire which is belied by its overt brutality. This movie is a nasty, gritty and very realistic depiction of the slums, but in the end it proves to be an uplifting, heartwarming, and inspirational fairy tale and love story in the vein of Walt Disney. The very hard life which Jamal, the main character and hero of Slumdog Millionaire, reveals before our eyes makes us root for him harder than most other protagonists over the last decade. Jamal is a very …
Quick Tip by . October 01, 2010
I read the advertisements and couldn't imagine why I'd like it, but it really does pull you in.
Quick Tip by . September 25, 2010
Excellent storytelling from a great director, fantastic cast and superb narrative
Quick Tip by . July 13, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
This movie was phenomenal on every possible level. Breathtaking cinematography, heart wrenching human interest, engaging characters, unpredictable plot, sincere romance, original dialogue, and super super tense moments. I wish I could see a movie this good every time we go to the theater!!! If only ; )
review by . May 18, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
"…If you look hard enough, Life can give you all the answers." This is one phrase I've always been told and director Danny Boyle's adaptation of the novel by Vikas Swarup tells a very whimsical tale. The film has won several Academy film awards, most probably because of its portrayal of humanity. The film is a rousing crowd-pleaser, it is an excellent tale of life, love and delightful destiny. Jamal Malik (Dev Patel) is a young man on the verge of winning a significant large fortune …
review by . March 03, 2010
Slumdog Misogynist
This story is so well crafted that the viewer suspends their reason and disbelief, and by the end of the movie we all overlook the simple but persistant message of the film... women are stupid.        Having an almost entirely male cast (one of the two female characters is quickly bludgeoned to death in the beginning of the film,) the focus intensifies on the singular female character.  The writers and directors would have us believe that as a "helpless" little …
Quick Tip by . June 30, 2010
awesome movie..i love watching this movie over and over again
Quick Tip by . June 07, 2010
UNBELIEVABLE. What an incredible movie. Really moving, eye-opening, and overall entertaining. Can't wait to read the book as well.
review by . February 25, 2009
I know it's been said a million times already and I hate to sound cliché, but it's a statement that rings true every time you say it. Who would have thought Danny Boyle, a man from Manchester could have created such an award winning phenomenon. Slumdog Millionaire is a film I tried to keep away from as long as possible as I didn't want to seem like a person who jumps on the bandwagon. I guess it was inevitable that I was to see it eventually and tonight was the night. It has remained in my memory …
Quick Tip by . February 08, 2010
It looks a little too cliche and uplifting at first glance, but it pulls through so earnestly it still ends up likable.
About the reviewer

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I first got on this blog to discuss my first passion which is books. Since I have gotten on I find that books are only a piece of this blog and I can discuss just about anything that comes to mind. It … more
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About this movie


Slumdog Millionaire is a 2008 British drama film directed by Danny Boyle, with co-director Loveleen Tandan, and written by Simon Beaufoy. It is an adaptation of the Boeke Prize winning and Commonwealth Writers' Prize nominated novel Q and A by Indian author and diplomat Vikas Swarup.

An eighteen-year-old from the slums of Mumbai finds himself competing on the game show "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire," where the questions he must answer offer a look back at his earlier life. The show's host, however, insists that he must be cheating and takes steps to force young Jamal to admit that a boy from such an impoverished background could not possibly possess the knowledge necessary to win the show's top prize.

2008 Oscar Nominations
  1. Achievement in Cinematography
  2. Achievement in Directing
  3. Achievement in Film Editing
  4. Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Score)
  5. Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Song, "Jai Ho")
  6. Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Song, " O Saya")
  7. Best Motion Picture of the Year
  8. Achievement in Sound Editing
  9. Achievement in Sound Mixing
  10. Adapted Screenplay
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Movies, Foreign Films, Foreign Movies, Reel Overseas, Bollywood, Indian Films, 2008 Best Picture Oscar Winner, Best Picture Oscar Winner, 2008 Oscar Nominee, 2008 Best Picture Oscar Nominee, Oscar Winner, 2008 Oscar Winner


Release Date: November 2008 (US)
Runtime: 120 Min

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