Slumdog Millionaire could easily have been the cinematic equivalent of ‘Slum Tourism’. However, despite the graphic detailing of the dark underbelly of Mumbai, the commercial capital of India, the movie has come out with a content that far surpasses the physical displays of poverty, slums and crime. Brimming with hope, humanism and humour, this Dickensian tale of an underdog, who, with a basketful of street-smarts and infinite love for his childhood sweetheart at his disposal, makes the incredible journey from hell hole to "hot seat", and experiences every possible kind of joy, heartbreak and horror in the process, is a grim fairy tale and an ode to life itself. Danny “Trainspotting” Boyle, has shown his amazing ability to capture a place and its inhabitants without diluting the contents; in fact I can recall of only a handful of Hindi movies, like Parinda and Satya, that succeeded in painting the city in such striking detail. Boyle’s tour-de-force direction has been aided by terrific camera work, an expressionistic splash of colours and images, hyper-kinetic narrative (making terrific use of flashbacks), and a thumping score by A. R. Rehman. Right from Dev Patel’s restrained and mature performance and Anil Kapoor’s sleazy and wisecracking game show host, to every single support and child actor employed, the acting is first-rate and the characters very well delineated.
To read a more in-depth review of the movie by me, click here.