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 Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire

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Donald McKinney
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PostSubject: Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire   Wed Jan 14, 2009 9:50 pm

Danny Boyle always makes watchable films. He came to the publics attention with Shallow Grave (1994) and Trainspotting (1996), which announced a British revolution in filmmaking, which is still to come. With two successes to his name, Boyle went to Hollywood with A Life Less Ordinary (1997) and The Beach (2000), which although they were good films, there was something missing, they didn't have the dynamic of his first two films, and there was a nagging feeling that Boyle had "sold-out". Wrong. He came back down to earth, and made a low-budget British zombie horror film 28 Days Later (2002), which saw him back on track, and finding success again!! Very Happy He then followed that up with the family-friendly Millions (2004), which won critical acclaim. He dabbled in sci-fi with the underrated Sunshine (2007), a thinking man's sci-fi crossed between Alien and The Wages of Fear. Now, for the first time since The Beach, he's heading East again. But this time, he's found himself in India. Loosely adapted from a book called Q and A by Indian diplomat Vikas Swarup, written for the screen by Simon Beaufoy, whose most famous writing credit was The Full Monty (1997). It is a very pleasant and uplifting film, even though it is set mostly within the slums of Mumbai, Slumdog Millionaire is one of Boyle's best films, an uplifting, gripping and compelling allegory on destiny and the mystery and wonder of life.

Set in 2006. It has streetkid Jamal Malik (Dev Patel) somehow becoming a contestant on the Indian version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, and he's done very well so far, and now, he's one question away from winning the big jackpot of 20 Million Rupees. With the show finished for the night, Jamal finds himself being arrested, when he's suspected of cheating. Under interrogation, Jamal insists that he didn't cheat, and that he genuinely knew the answers. We then flash through his very eventful and dramatic life. His mother was killed in Hindu-Muslim riots in the shanty town of Mumbai, he and his brother Salim get involved in a scam ran by gangster Maman (Ankur Vikal), who kidnaps children, mutilates them, and has them begging on the street for money. Jamal and Salim become friends with Latika, who Jamal falls in love with. The two brothers escape and travel across India by train, pickpocketing to make a living. As they grow old, they reunite with Latika, and Salim claims Latika as his own, and threatens to kill Jamal. But, Jamal is determined to have Latika, and would go to any length to get her, and that means going on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?

Boyle never makes two films of the same genre in a row, so far, he's already done a thriller, a drugs drama, a rom-com-fantasy, an amient travellogue, a horror film, a family dramedy, a sci-fi film and now, this is his Bollywood feelgood film. He was initially reluctant at first to make a film about Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, but after he read the script, he was sold on the idea. He brings out the best in the slums of Mumbai. Which are ravaged with poverty, disease and garbage. To capture it, Boyle worked with cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle, who makes even the wobbliest of camerawork look smooth and elegant with whats in the frame. Mumbai is a busy city, but it is captured beautifully, they make India look beautiful on screen. It's also a country where there's no health and safety, as we see the kids on top of a moving train and running through and over Mumbai. India is a very colourful country, in it's culture, people and language. Razz Even at the films cresendo, Boyle can't resist but give us all a Bollywood musical number... Wink

Cast wise, Boyle was restricted commerically. As alot of Indian actors are unknown outside their own country, but he made a brilliant choice when it came to the lead role of Jamal. After failing to find anyone in India who could play the part, Boyle got a recommendation from his own daughter, she was a fan of the hit Channel 4 teen drama series Skins, and she liked the character of Anwar Kharral, played by Dev Patel. Boyle had found his leading man. Patel brings confidence and aplomb to his part, and brings a likeable quality to the part, which is also played in Jamal's younger years by Ayush Mahesh Khedekar and Tanay Chheda, who play much of their parts in their native tongues, and it feels more real as a result.) The other roles were taken up by Indian veteran actors (such as Anil Kapoor playing Prem Kumar, the presenter of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? and Irrfan Khan, who interrogates Jamal on winning and how he did it), and the newcomers who play the young kids and almost everything in between. Boyle is able to get realistic performances from the mostly inexperienced cast, and make it look as if they've been acting in movies and TV for years. After this, it looks as if they might be doing that. Wink



It's a film which lives up to it's hype, and brings out the very best of the country it's set in. It's got a very good and gentle sense of humour that feels real, especially the scene set in the call centre where Jamal gets a job at. But, it feel real. It's also the sort of film that will have you coming out the cinema with a skip in your step and you will have a good feeling about you. Well, that's what feel-good films are meant to do. But, this is one of Boyle's best films, (maybe better than Trainspotting), he's always been an excellent talent as a director, and he certainly isn't afraid to tackle different genres. He won't be bound down by one particular genre. After going to space, he's come back down to Earth with this beautifully breathtaking and positively heartwarming tale about how destiny guides us all and protects us. Although the film has a dark vein throughout, don't let that put you off, it's a sumptious film and you'll be cheering along by the end of the film!! Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire   Sat Jan 17, 2009 2:40 am

A fan-fucking-tastic film! Saw this at the weekend and was genuinely surprised at how good it was, great performances from all, wonderful story and beautifully shot - kinda helped that the print we watched was in digital!

Definately one of Danny Boyle's best films and well deserving of its awards..so far!

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PostSubject: Re: Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire   Sun Feb 01, 2009 9:32 pm

It looks like it might be a dead cert for a Best Picture/Best Director Oscars now!! Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire   Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:51 pm

HOORAY!! It won BIG at the Oscars in Los Angeles last night!! Very Happy Well done to Danny Boyle and everyone who won!! Very Happy





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PostSubject: Re: Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire   Mon Mar 02, 2009 1:44 am

I saw it again yesterday, (with my Dad in tow this time), and I can say that it did deserve to win it's Oscars. I know I defended Benjamin Button for so long, but after seeing this, and seeing it a second time, and picking up on little details I missed out first time around, I can say this had the upper hand.
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PostSubject: Re: Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire   Tue Mar 17, 2009 11:21 pm

The DVD will be coming out over here on June 1st 2009!! Very Happy It's got Special Features too, which include:

Commentary from director Danny Boyle and Dev Patel

Commentary from producer Christian Colson and writer Simon Beaufoy

Deleted Scenes

Slumdog Dreams: Danny Boyle and the making of Slumdog Millionaire

Jai Ho Remix Slumdog Cutdown

UK Theatrical Trailer


Oh, and if you pick up the Blu-Ray edition, it has additional features including...

Slumdog Guru an interactive option of watching the film that gives the viewer access to special features directly from the film. Contains exclusive picture in picture interviews.

From Script to Screen: The Toilet Scene

Indian Short Film: Manjha

Bombay Liquid Dance


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PostSubject: Re: Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire   Mon Jun 01, 2009 7:43 pm

I bought it today, anyone else gonna get it??
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