Quickcard Review Slumdog Millionaire
Directed by: Danny Boyle Cast: Dev Patel, Freida Pinto, Madhur Mittal, Irfan Khan Running Time: 1 hr 50 mins Rating: PG-13
Plot: It's the potential of rags to riches as a slumdog (poor Indian boy played by Patel) must answer questions while on India’s own “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.” Each question somehow relates to a moment in his past mainly involving his older brother (Mittal) and a girl (Pinto) who he believes is the love of his life.
Who’s It For? This is the most accessible, mainstream Indian film (yes, it's Indian even though a English man directed it) I have seen. The only thing Bollywood about it is all the vibrant colors and a slightly odd musical number at the end of the film. And even though it's about kids, it's not for kids.
It's a tough sell to American audiences. An Indian film with barely any recognizable faces, centered on a game show that has clearly passed its prime in the States. But Boyle delivers a fantastic adaptation of Vikas Swarup's novel. It doesn't take long before you are completely hooked on Jamal's adventure. For me, it started with a disgusting and hilarious splash into ... well, I'll let you find out ... in order to retrieve an autograph from a famous Indian action star. There's a little something for everyone from this film which seems to tell you the ending right from the beginning.
There's a Usual Suspects thing happening between an officer (Khan) who believes a slumdog like Jamal must have cheated. Khan was the best part of The Namesake and he's solid here. There's the young Jamal (Ayush Mahesh Khedekar) who completely steals the show during flashbacks. You will love this kid's spirit, even if you hate the world they must grow up in.
The potential love story between Jamal and Latika has it's strained moments, like when she is a crime boss's girlfriend, but it works for Jamal's motivation to get on the game show. And during "Who Want's to be a Millionaire?" the host has the right amount of smug to make you worry for Jamal and the blank stares he gives while attempting some answers.
All of the dots fit together very nicely and this journey is one I would take again in a second. I can't go higher with my final score, because I needed tears of joy at the end and I didn't get it. But I was close.
Final Score: 8/10