John A. Douglas

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MOVIE REVIEW – Slumdog Millionaire

May 24th, 2009 · No Comments · Movie Reviews

Slumdog Millionaire Directed by Danny Boyle; produced by Christian Colson; screenplay by Simon Beaufoy; based on a novel by Vikas Swarup; director of photography, Anthony Dod Mantle; edited by Chris Dickens; production design by Mark Digby; music by A. R. Rahman.

Cast:
Jamal K. Malik………………….…….Dev Patel
Prem Kumar………………………..Anil Kapoor
Sergeant Srinivas………..…Saurabh Shukla
Director……………………………..…..Raj Zutshi
Vision Mixer…………………….Jeneva Talwar
Latika……………………………….…Freida Pinto
Police Inspector……………………Irrfan Khan

British director Danny Boyle is the talented man who directed “Slumdog Millionaire” and of all the interviews I conducted over a period of 29 years reviewing movies for The Grand Rapids Press, his interview was one of my favorites. He was pleasant and he was responsive to questions and best of all he liked to talk about movies. The interview with Mr. Boyle eventually turned into a conversation which is something very pleasant that occasionally happened in my career. It was a very rewarding chat.

I was pleased to see that he won an Academy Award for his efforts with “Slumdog Millionaire,” not only because I like the guy, but because “Slumdog Millionaire” is an excellent film and it was obviously a difficult film to make. In spite of the difficulty factor, it is obvious that the people who worked on this film never gave the film less than 100 percent effort thereby making thisa movie in which the audience gets maximum payback for its time and money.

What made this film so difficult is that much of it was shot in the slums of Mumbai which is located on the west coast of India. It could not have been easy to control the activities of all the humanity that makes those slums its home. (Those folks who are around my age group may be aware that Mumbai used to be Bombay.)

“Slumdog Millionaire” is a bit of a problem to describe except when you simplify it by saying that it is a coming of age movie built around three children who grow into adulthood under the most difficult of circumstances. But it is more than that – it is part romance, part crime drama and it even has a message for us. Plus there is singing and dancing in the film and did I mention that the television program “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” figures into the plot? Do you begin to see why the film may be difficult to describe?

“Slumdog Millionaire” is pretty much an Indian movie as the actors are Indian and most of the crew is made up of Indians. If you have never seen an Indian movie, this would be a good one to try in order to begin an exploration of Indian cinema. If you like the movie there are others available for rent on DVD at Indian House, 3760 South Division, Grand Rapids, Michigan. If you want a personal recommendation let me know and I will suggest other titles. India films are really quite unique.

In the meantime don’t let “Slumdog Millionaire” disappear from theaters before you have a chance to see it on the big screen as this is a movie that cries to be seen on a big theater screen but then don’t they all. Movies are simply not movies until they are blown up on a theater screen.

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