Movie Review: Slumdog Millionaire (2008)

I'm quite baffled that a film like Slumdog Millionaire gets to be shown here in Manila almost nine months after its initial release.

In case you haven't heard, Slumdog Millionaire was a slam sunk at this years Oscars-- it won Best Picture and Best Director for Dan Boyle.

Unlike Doubt or The Reader, the film is not buoyed by powerful performances by the lead actors. But rather, it's the story and the collective performance of the cast that sticks. The premise of the film is very interesting-- how can an uneducated tea maker from the slums of Mumbai get on "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" and seemingly know the answers? The film takes a Forrest Gump-like journey where we see the experiences of Jamal (played by Dev Patel) build into his limited knowledge and count when it really matters.

The film scores another point on the use of Mumbai as a backdrop for the film. I don't think the movie will be as effective if another locale was used (say, London or *groan* New York). You empathize with Jamal and root for him till the end.

Slumdog Millionaire. It's a great film you should't miss. (Speaking of can't misses, stay until for the ending credits for the Bollywood-inspired production number for "Jai Ho.")

Rating: 5/5

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