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Slumdog Millionaire Movie poster

A 2008 movie directed by Danny Boyle

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Ugly Mixed With Hope Makes For A Fine Film

  • Oct 18, 2009
  • by
Pros: Superbly directed, acted and filmed.

Cons: N/a

The Bottom Line:

Despite the depressing setting Slumdog Millionaire is strangely uplifting and hopeful and in the end is a movie the whole family can and most likely will enjoy.

Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot.

India: the south-central Asian country is an enigma to most Americans, indeed most of the world.  The 1.1 billion people that inhabit this most famous of former British colonies seem to live in an age far removed from modern human civilization.  And yet, India is where some of most brilliant technical and scientific minds of our age are born. 

Indian society is a dichotomy of ancient traditions that refuse to die and modern practices that have propelled India into the forefront of the 21st Century economic framework.    

It is a place of mind-numbing poverty nestled in the shadows of ultra-modern buildings and cutting edge technology; of deadly clashes between the followers of Islam and Hinduism; of a medieval social order that refuses to pass, and democracy that Slumdog Millionaire takes place.  
Story Line

Directed by Danny Boyle Marc Foster (The Beach, 28 Days Later, Sunshine) Slumdog Millionaire (winner of 8 Oscars including Best Picture) takes place in the world's most populace city, Mumbai (Bombay), the capital of the Indian state of Maharashtra.  Here young brothers Jamal and Salim Malik watch in horror as their mother, and scores of others, are set upon and killed for being Muslim, thus casting the brothers and another orphan, a girl named Latika adrift in the teaming slums of Mumbai. 

Jamal and Latika form and instant attachment to one another that is to last throughout the film and form the basis for this love story.  

As the boys try and fend for themselves along with Latika, they are taken in by men of ill-repute and turned out to beg in the city streets.  But when Jamal is set to have his eyes taken out (you know to bring in more money), the boys escape, but Latika is caught (she is turned out as a prostitute), and thus begins a saga in which the boys and Latika are separated and reunited several times, until 18-year-old Jamal makes an appearance on the Indian version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and wins big in an effort to connect with Latika once more!

But, because he is winning so handsomely he is accused of cheating and through the course of his interrogation we learn of his life and the basis for his fortunate turn on the show.          

My Thoughts
Despite the brittle and often brutal edges of Slumdog Millionaire the movie is at its heart an enduring love story set against a backdrop of misery and despair.  The movie was brilliantly directed, shot and acted and well deserves the accolades it received including 8 Oscars.

Slumdog Millionaire immerses the us in an totally alien landscape and goes on to portray it through the eyes of a young boy and man fighting day-to-day to survive. And it leaves us wondering how he and his fellows survive at all living in such squalid conditions and where every adult is out to exploit them. 

Slumdog Millionaire is beautifully shot and crafted as the screen bursts with color, alien sights & sounds and excitement, despite the heaps and mounds of trash and endless squalor.

The Indian actors are, for the most part, unknown in the Western world, but they uniformly impress with their deft and emotive performances. Latika and the brothers are all portrayed by a trio of actors - one for each stage of their lives as portrayed by the movie; i.e. childhood, teenagers, and young adults. Their touching interactions add a needed layer of humanity to an oft-times all-too brutal existence.

Despite the depressing setting Slumdog Millionaire is strangely uplifting and hopeful and in the end is a movie the whole family can and most likely will enjoy.            


Viewing Format: DVD
Video Occasion: None of the Above
Suitability For Children: Suitable for Children Age 13 and Older

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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 . November 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 …
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 …
About the reviewer
Vincent Martin ()
Ranked #77
I am an IT Professional and have worked in the industry for over 20 years. I may be a computer geek, but I also like reading, writing, cooking, music, current events and regretfully, politics.
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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, Best Picture Oscar Winner, 2008 Oscar Nominee, 2008 Best Picture Oscar Nominee, Oscar Winner, 2008 Oscar Winner, 2008 Best Picture Oscar Winner


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

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