Slumdog Millonaire Review

January 22, 2009

Hope within squalor, humour within violence – they’re all thematic trademarks of the British director of druggie drama ‘Trainspotting’ and zombie saga ’28 Days Later’. This time, Boyle takes his wildly high-energy visual aesthetic and applies it to a story that, at its core, is rather sweet and traditionally crowd-pleasing.
Unassuming Dev Patel stars as slumdog underdog Jamal, an 18-year-old who comes from nothing but is on the verge of winning more money than anyone has ever won before on the Indian version of ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?’. The game show’s host (ideally smarmy and egotistical Anil Kapoor) grows unshakably suspicious as Jamal prepares to face one last question for the top prize of 20 million rupees and has him hauled in for police questioning (by ever-imposing Irrfan Khan).
Simon Beaufoy’s complex script, based loosely on Vikas Swarup’s novel ‘Q&A’, glides effortlessly among Jamal’s interrogation, his unlikely success in the television hot seat and his rough-and-tumble upbringing that provided the life lessons serving him so well now.