‘Slumdog Millionaire’ – Movie Review

Slumdog Millionaire, this year’s media movie darling about a young boy from the slums of Mumbai (Bombay) who discovers love and fortune, arrives on Blu-ray Disc With Digital Copy and DVD March 31st from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.
Slumdog Millionaire is loosely based on the fictional novel “Q and A” by Indian writer Vikas Swarup, which tracks the life of Jamal Malik, an impoverished child living in Mumbai’s sprawling slums. After losing his mother, Jamal (played as a teen by Dev Patel) and his brother Salim (played as a teen by Madhur Mittal) must do whatever is necessary to survive.
Slumdog Millionaire begins as Jamal, a tea wallah at a phone company, experiences the biggest day of his life. With all of India watching, Jamal is just one question away from winning a staggering 20 million rupees on India’s “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?” But after lasting longer than anyone ever expected, when the show breaks for the night, police arrest him on suspicion of cheating. How could a street kid know so much? After Jamal is accused of cheating, he must prove to the police and the show’s producers how he knows the answers by retelling his arduous childhood through a series of flashbacks.
Desperate to prove his innocence, Jamal tells the story of his life in the slum where he and his brother grew up, of their adventures together on the road, of vicious encounters with local gangs, and of Latika (Pinto), the girl he loved and lost. Each chapter of his story reveals the key to the answer to one of the game show’s questions. Each chapter of Jamal’s increasingly layered story reveals where he learned the answers to the show’s seemingly impossible questions. But one question remains a mystery: what is this young man with no apparent desire for riches really doing on the game show?
When the new day dawns and Jamal is released to return to answer the final question, the show host and sixty million viewers are about to find out. At the heart of its exuberant storytelling lies the intriguing question of how anyone comes to know the things they know about life and love.
Slumdog Millionaire uses flashbacks to effectively tell Jamal’s story. Jamal’s travels are filled with memorable encounters, good and bad, but along the way he meets another orphan child, Latika (played as a teen by Freida Pinto). When Jamal and Latika become separated, Jamal becomes determined to reunite with Latika… even if it means appearing on the Indian version of “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?” Jamal begins drawing on his past experiences to answer the questions that will inevitably lead him to vast wealth and lost love.
Providing a glimpse into the tough existence of homeless children in Mumbai while juxtaposing optimism and love, Slumdog Millionaire features heartfelt performances by a largely Indian cast. Slumdog Millionaire stars Dev Patel (Skins), Freida Pinto, Madhur Mittal (Say Salaam India), Irrfan Khan (The Namesake, Haasil) and Anil Kapoor (Taal, Pukar). Boasting a memorable soundtrack that blends modern and traditional Indian music by acclaimed Indian composer A. R. Rahman (Lagaan: Once Upon A Time In India, Taal), Slumdog Millionaire also features tracks from artist M.I.A. including the Grammy nominated song for Record of the Year “Paper Planes.” Special features include commentary by director Danny Boyle, star Dev Patel, writer Simon Beaufoy and producer Christian Colson, behind-the scenes featurettes, deleted scenes, and more.
Garnering top honors at the 2009 Academy Awards* including Best Picture – Christian Colson, Best Director – Danny Boyle, Best Original Score – A. R. Rahman, Best Original Song – A. R. Rahman and Sampooran Singh Gulzar for “Jai Ho,” and Best Adapted Screenplay – Simon Beaufoy, Slumdog Millionaire also won four Golden Globe Awards including Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Director – Danny Boyle, Best Original Score – A. R. Rahman and Best Adapted Screenplay – Simon Beaufoy, and seven BAFTA Film Awards** including Best Film – Christian Colson, Best Director – Danny Boyle, Best Music – A. R. Rahman and Best Adapted Screenplay – Simon Beaufoy.
DVD Specs
Slumdog Millionaire single-disc DVD will be presented in widescreen format (2.35:1 aspect ratio) with English/ Hindi 5.1 Dolby Surround. Bonus features include:
Slumdog Dreams: Danny Boyle & The Making of Slumdog Millionaire
• Deleted Scenes:
o Chase Through Slums Longer Version
o Boys At Container Yard/Beanbags/Yellow Dress
o Prem At Police Station
o Frederick Stevens Question
o Jamal at Opera, Boys Leave Agra
o Jamal Searches, finds Arvind
o Chowpatty Beach And Tulip Star
o Jamal Returns To Tulip Star
o Jamal Wakes In Slum
o “Why Can’t You Leave It Alone”
o Jamal Loses Latika, Calls Salim
o The Folder
• Commentary by Director Danny Boyle and Actor Dev Patel
• Commentary by Producer Christian Colson and Writer Simon Beaufoy
• Slumdog Cutdown
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