Slumdog Millionaire (Drama/Adventure) 2008 [Movie/Review]

10/10

Year: 2008
Genre: Adventure/Drama
Director: Danny Boyle
Original Title: –
Source: Blu-Ray (Svensk Filmindustri)

PLOT

Eighteen year old Jamal Malik is having an amazing answering streak on Kaun Banega Crorepati? (2000), the Indian version of the television game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (1998). He’s only one correct question away from the big prize. However, some, including those associated with the game show, question how someone like Jamal, a self confessed non-genius who grew up in the slums of Mumbai, can be doing so well on the show when others who are brighter, more educated and wealthier than him have failed. Is Jamal cheating? Is it purely luck that they have asked him the questions to which he knows the answers? Seeing Jamal’s life journey to this point ultimately answers these questions. His life journey includes being orphaned at an early age; growing up with an older brother, Salim, who was both his guardian/protector and antagonist; and having a relationship since childhood with another orphaned child, a girl named Latika. His motivation for being on the show also may provide some answers to his success. Perhaps it was all just meant to be.

OPINION

This is one of those perfect movies, you know the ones that you wouldn’t change a second, the ones that you put on to have in the background but after 2 minutes you sit there glowed to the screen.

The movie is an fantastic mix of action, adventure, comedy, drama and romance. The story is uniquely told in flashback as Jamal must reveal how he knew the Who wants to be a millionaire show’s answers. For instance, he knew who was on a U.S. hundred-dollar bill from when he was stealing from tourists and posing as a phony tour guide. The story of Jamal, his brother and Latika is so engaging that even the police chief questioning him wants to know what happens next in the story.

The acting is awesome, both as Jamal is a young boy, a teenager and as a young man. There is much empathy with him, though especially as a young man his actions speak more than his expressions or words. The directing is terrific, telling the story in a unique way but without drawing attention to itself. The music is fun and lively, and there is the necessary “Bollywood-style” dance number over the end credits 😂

Director Danny Boyle is also a favourite of mine with ”Trainspotting” on my all-time 10-top list. Also ”Shallow Grave” and ”28 Days Later” are masterpieces.

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LOCATION/BACKGROUND

The movie was mainly filmed in and around Mumbai in India.

Danny Boyle was initially reluctant to take on the film as he didn’t want to make a film about Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (1998). However, once he learned that the screenwriter was Simon Beaufoy, who had written The Full Monty (1997) which is one of Boyle’s favorite British films, he decided to look at the script again. Boyle was particularly impressed with how Beaufoy had managed to weave the multiple story lines from the novel into one narrative and he decided to accept the project.

He also deicided to place the money to be paid to the 3 lead child actors in a trust that is to be released to them upon their completion of grade school at 16 years of age. The production company has set up for an auto-rikshaw driver to take the kids to school every day until they are 16 years old.

When viewers objected to the term “Slumdog” as racist-sounding, Danny Boyle explained that it wasn’t; the word is a combination of Jamal’s twin standings as a “slum-dweller” and an “underdog.”

Some editional trivia …

The pile of excreta that the young Jamal jumps into was made from a combination of peanut butter and chocolate.

Dev Patel’s and Freida Pinto’s first feature film roles. Not only did they play a couple onscreen, they shared a real-life relationship until late 2014.


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FORMAT

My copy is the Scandinavian/Swedish blu-ray with great picture and sound quality.

  • Audio Commentary by director Danny Boyle and actor Dev Patel 
    Audio Commentary by screenwriter Simon Beaufoy and producer Christian Colson
  • Extras:”Slumdog Dreams: The Making of Slumdog Millionaire” featurette (22:58) 
    “Jai Ho remix” music video (5:20) 
    “From Script to Screen: The Toilet Scene” featurette (5:26) 
    “Bombay Liquid Dance” featurette (3:00) 
    “Manjha” short film (41:23) 
    12 Deleted Scenes (with Play All) 
    – “Chase Through Slums – Longer Version” (4:41) 
    – “Boys at Container/Bean Bags/Yellow Dress” (2:08) 
    – “Prem at Police Station” (2:46) 
    – “Frederick Stevens’ Question” (4:44) 
    – “Opera/Boys Leave Agra” (4:00) 
    – “Jamal Finds Arvind” (1:32) 
    – “Chowpatty Beach and Tulipstar” (2:03) 
    – “Jamal Returns to Hotel” (0:36) 
    – “Jamal Wakes in Slum” (1:44) 
    – “Why Can’t You Leave it Alone” (1:19) 
    – “Jamal Calls Salim” (1:45) 
    – “The Folder” (7:04)
  • Subtitles:Danish, Finnish, Icelandic, Norwegian, Swedish
  • Aspect Ratio:2.40:1
  • Picture Format:1080p 24fps AVC MPEG-4
  • Soundtrack(s):English/Hindi DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 
    English/Hindi Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Case type:Keep Case
  • Notes:”Manjha” with optional Danish, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish subtitles, other Extras with optional Danish, Finnish, Icelandic, Norwegian and Swedish subtitles.

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