Slumdog Millionaire (2008) Director: Danny Boyle
Slumdog Millionaire is the explosive introduction of modern Indian culture and Bollywood-styled films onto the international stage.
It tells the story of Jamal, played by Dev Patel, a kid from the slums of India as he becomes a contestant on India’s version of the popular television game show, “Who Wants to Be A Millionaire?” He successfully answers every questions correctly, as they all correspond ironically to various moments throughout his life. The film is told through a variety of a flashbacks while he plays the game, and also is questioned by the police. A parallel story is told as Jamal’s harsh gangster brother rises in the underworld of India, but in the end he sees the error of his ways and sacrifices his life for his brother and so that his brother’s lover from many years ago can escape and they can be reunited.
The film was a smash-hit success in the US and the UK, winning a slough of accolades. As to be expected the film received a minor backlash from the halls of academia as well as from various quarters in India, as apparently “slumdog” is now an offensive term, and the film has a certain degree of ‘Western conceit’ -though being a Western film this is hardly news. It is first and foremost a fun rags-to-riches film that uniquely tells its story through the lens of a gameshow, via variety of compelling flashbacks. It is an unexpectedly delightful film, and the parallel love-story is charming.