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Great Britain, 2008, 120 Minute Running Time
Additional Countries: USA
Genre/Subjects: Action/Adventure, Coming of Age, Drama, Romance
Program: Red Carpet PresentationsLanguage: Hindi, English English Subtitles
DIRECTOR: Danny Boyle, Loveleen Tandan
Producer: Christian ColsonEditor: Chris DickensScreenwriter: Simon BeaufoyCinematographer: Anthony Dod MantlePrincipal Cast: Mia Drake, Imran Hasnee, Anil Kapoor, Irfan Khan, Madhur MittalUS Distributor: Fox Searchlight
Jamal (Dev Patel) is a teenager who was orphaned as a young boy and left to fend for himself in the slums of Mumbai. He has suddenly vaulted to celebrity status by competing on the Indian equivalent of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, where his ace performance has earned him the passionate devotion of the audience—and the suspicion of the authorities. Arrested the night before the final, grand prize–winning round, he is tortured by the police, who aim to extract a confession that he has been cheating. Instead, Jamal turns the situation into an opportunity to recount the events that taught him everything he knows—and an empathetic police investigator (Irrfan Khan) begins to believe his story. What becomes clear is that Jamal isn’t invested in the game’s outcome. The prize of 20 million rupees doesn’t really matter to him; he’s using his TV appearance as a means to rescue his true love, Latika (Freida Pinto), who was a companion in beggary to him and his brother—and who has since been kidnapped.
Director Danny Boyle (Shallow Grave, Trainspotting, 28 Days Later) has hereby carved himself a niche as the Dickens of modern-day cinema—with the help of his codirector on the Indian set, Loveleen Tandan, as well as screenwriter Simon Beaufoy (The Full Monty) and his winsome crosscultural adaptation of Vikas Swarup’s novel Q&A. Through the prism of a single romance, Slumdog Millionaire captures the extremes of Indian society, from the tragedies in its teeming streets to the shadowed quiet of the TV studio and the thinly veiled class condescension of Prem Kumar (Bollywood standout Anil Kapoor), the subcontinent’s answer to Regis Philbin. The film took the People’s Choice Award at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival.
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