Slumdog Millionaire (15)

Film

Comedy drama

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Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5
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Time Out says

Tue Jan 6 2009

Danny Boyle’s ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ is a film so upbeat and colourful that, by the time you’re relaying its infectious air of optimism to friends, you could forget that it features orphans, slaughter, organised crime, poverty, enslavement and police brutality in its crowd-pleasing repertoire of suffering and renewal. Hell, it even ends with a get-up-and-dance Bollywood number on the platform of Mumbai’s Victoria Terminus.Shot entirely in India and largely on location, the fabric of the film is winningly realistic. But the story is pure fantasy inspired partly by co-producer Celador’s desire to enshrine its winning creation, the game show ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire?’ in a movie.

Still, Boyle succeeds in leaving these creepy beginnings behind to create a film that’s full of warmth and humanity and forever looks on the bright side of tragedy. The script is a simple conceit: writer Simon Beaufoy (‘The Full Monty’) has ripped up Vikas Swarup’s novel ‘Q&A’ and turned it into a rags-to-riches yarn about Jamal (Dev Patel), a young, slum-born adult in Mumbai who gives such a cracking performance on ‘…Millionaire’, that he’s only one question shy of the 20-million-rupee jackpot. Such unlikely success inspires envy on the part of the show’s creepy host (Anil Kapoor), who invites the police to arrest, question and torture him. This interrogation offers flashbacks of episodes in Jamal’s life that reveal the extraordinary sources of his knowledge and lend Boyle the handy framework of a child becoming an adult against all the odds in an India that’s changing by the hour but still dangerous for any kid on the loose.

Of all Boyle’s mixed work, from the promise of ‘Shallow Grave’ to the embarrassment of ‘Millions’ and the recent experiment of ‘Sunshine’, his new film probably best resembles ‘Trainspotting’: where in that film he found energy, humour and bonhomie in the stupor of heroin addiction, here he takes the impoverished life of a young Indian and spins it into an escapist fairytale steeped in the sights and sounds of the new India. By the time Jamal gets his girl – ultimately and simplistically it’s a romance – and everyone’s tapping their feet, you’ll have forgotten that one of his young friends was blinded and another sold into prostitution. You may also forgive some of the plot’s wilder turns and increasingly erratic jumps in time.
Boyle flirts with realism but never fully buys into it.

He’s too concerned with keeping the mood light and the pace furious. He’s a flashy filmmaker at times, but the real saving grace of ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ is how Boyle and cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle go to extreme and pleasing lengths to soak up the colours, people and places of India. The film’s messages – that hard-earned street knowledge can be as valuable as traditional education and, while hardly original, that later success can overcome earlier hardship – are attractive if you’re willing to bite your tongue at the air of positivity. With so much good humour about you can even forgive the film’s bizarre slip from one language to another as young Indian actors give way to a warm, English-language performance from Britain’s Patel, who’s just one of a cast of actors who are as likeable and compelling as the film itself.
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Release details

Rated:

15

UK release:

Fri Jan 23, 2009

Duration:

110 mins

Cast and crew

Cast:

Dev Patel, Madhur Mittal, Irfan Khan, Freida Pinto, Anil Kapoor

Cinematography:

Anthony Dod Mantle

Music:

AR Rahman

Director:

Danny Boyle

Screenwriter:

Simon Beaufoy

Cinemas showing Slumdog Millionaire

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The Plaza, Regent's Place

350, Euston Road, London, NW1 3AX Show map/details

  • Address:

    350
    The Plaza, Regent's Place Euston Road
    London
    NW1 3AX

  • Venue phone:

    08444 771000

  • Transport:

    Tube: Euston Square, Great Portland Street, Warren Street

  • Map

    1. The Plaza, Regent's Place
      • 350
        Euston Road
        London
        NW1 3AX
      • 08444 771000
      • 51.52439,-0.142128
Map
  • Sat Aug 23:

    • 17:30

New Diorama Theatre

15-16, Triton Street, London, NW1 3BF Show map/details

  • Address:

    15-16
    New Diorama Theatre Triton Street
    London
    NW1 3BF

  • Venue phone:

    0844 209 0344

  • Venue website:

    www.newdiorama.com

  • Transport:

    Tube: Great Portland Street, Warren Street, Regent's Park

  • Map

    1. New Diorama Theatre
Map
  • Sat Aug 23:

    • 17:30

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

4.2 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:86
  • 4 star:8
  • 3 star:6
  • 2 star:19
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|219
1 person listening
Chuck Norris

Hey there buddy, i like to dance to this film, sometimes it makes me happy, sometimes it makes me sad, after watching this film i went to the toilet and had a wee.

Chuck Norris

Hey there buddy, i like to dance to this film, sometimes it makes me happy, sometimes it makes me sad, after watching this film i went to the toilet and had a wee.

Suzz

Without a doubt the best film I have ever seen including a pulsing, compelling soudtrack! Beatutiful cinematography throughout, a captivating film featuring gritty realism yet awe-inspiring romance. it crosses every genre including; rom-com, bollywood, cultural examination and drama- cannot be pigeon-holed. But as for being negative towards India- yes, it INSTRUCTS as far as the slums, prostitution etc. is concerned, but to me anyway, it shows India as a vibrant, colourful, fast-moving, hope-filled place. Danny Boyle and Loveleen Tandan have taken the Indian version of the British franchise show "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" and weaved it enchantingly with interrogation and flashbacks forming the adrenaline-fuelled, turbulent yet picturesque film that it is- a credit to Boyle, Tandan and Mumbai. Flaws? In no way is it a "Family feel-good" as labelled and characters are generally uncomplex. Overall however, deserving of the 8 Academy Awards and 7 BAFTAs. A film I would recommend to aanyone and everyone, best film, in my opinion, of the decade at the very least!!!

Suzz

Without a doubt the best film I have ever seen including a pulsing, compelling soudtrack! Beatutiful cinematography throughout, a captivating film featuring gritty realism yet awe-inspiring romance. it crosses every genre including; rom-com, bollywood, cultural examination and drama- cannot be pigeon-holed. But as for being negative towards India- yes, it INSTRUCTS as far as the slums, prostitution etc. is concerned, but to me anyway, it shows India as a vibrant, colourful, fast-moving, hope-filled place. Danny Boyle and Loveleen Tandan have taken the Indian version of the British franchise show "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" and weaved it enchantingly with interrogation and flashbacks forming the adrenaline-fuelled, turbulent yet picturesque film that it is- a credit to Boyle, Tandan and Mumbai. Flaws? In no way is it a "Family feel-good" as labelled and characters are generally uncomplex. Overall however, deserving of the 8 Academy Awards and 7 BAFTAs. A film I would recommend to aanyone and everyone, best film, in my opinion, of the decade at the very least!!!

AD

Shows India in such poor light. EVERYTHING, I mean every little thing in this movie shows India in a bad light. Its almost offensive. Read the following and tell me if I am just being defensive because it shows the -ve points abt my country: - The biggest & most respected Indian actor 'Amitabh Bacchan' portrayed almost like a joke - featuring tacky colorful clips of his movies with crazy music - Slums stricken with extreme poverty, kids jumping into pools of human-excreta - The host (of Millionaire) is a mean-little bastard and the show seems to be a cheap copy of ABC's popular show Millionaire, in a 3rd world country - with the host running the show as he pleases - The police are corrupt and chillingly brutal - The teachers are merciless, literally everybody seems to be so completely brutal and heartless - The riots and the killing of the mother - The blinding of the beggars - Prostitution of small girls - The kids stealing food in the trains, cheating and stealing from tourists, cars being looted completely empty when left unattended, and much more... - The criminal underbelly, a city full of unchecked crime and utter-chaos. Goons running wild without check - The call-centers - Foolish looking Indians Can you point out a single thing that shows something 'good' or even 'normal' about India. And when you read comments like : "Makes me not-want-to-go-to-India after watching this movie..." I think it validates my concern and adds to the point I am trying to make. The portrayal of India is a bit degrading in the movie. No wonder so many Indians voiced their opinions abt it. Frankly I am not too concerned. Cuase its just a movie and we don't give a damn abt what anybody thinks. But just the other day was watching this on TV and my mom pointed out, it shows all -ve abt India. And I thought that was not right. So just voicing my opinion here. Its like portraying the west as a greedy-materialistic place with shallow-superficial-greedy people, cities full of wealth but lacking in sole. True to some extent, but not completely accurate. With everything said I liked the movie and have seen it several times - its different and was better than I imagined.

jhon

carole you are talking a load of rubbish this is actually how it is in india you think it is sick and wrong but this is how it actually is but you just dont want to see it as it is they do live in tin huts and do poverty porn because there is no money over ther so go get a life and start living in the real world

jhon

carole you are talking a load of rubbish this is actually how it is in india you think it is sick and wrong but this is how it actually is but you just dont want to see it as it is they do live in tin huts and do poverty porn because there is no money over ther so go get a life and start living in the real world

panky

Certainly not a feelgood film. Noisy, energetic, fast-moving and colourful, yes, but how can so much cruelty and misery leave anyone feeling good?

skeptikal

DONT EXPECT MUCH IN ORDER TO ENJOY. To put it simply is a cartoon rollercoaster of cheap emotions that you forget within a couple of hours. I would not give one star because is a film that was watchable for those 2 hours, in hollywood terms, of course by no stretch of imagination it is a great film or art work or significant for any other reason than its inexplicable popularity among your average low-brow cinema goer. The only thing I remember now, a month later is a feeling of frustration "what the hell was all the fuss about" and I remember a very hot Asian chick that I would never understood what she found to that dumbo eared skinny laddy. A yes, maybe the miillions made the difference. Nothing else. Totally indifferent.

Leigh

It's the future of Bollywood. Most directors of Bollywood will now look to copy this format, which in itself took influence from Bollywood. People might not recognise progress but look back to this film in ten years time and you will see for yourself. Great story. Very simple but hugly effective. Great stories are usually very simple no need for twists or turns. All Jamal was interested in was Latika and that shone throughout the film......brilliant!!

Leigh

It's the future of Bollywood. Most directors of Bollywood will now look to copy this format, which in itself took influence from Bollywood. People might not recognise progress but look back to this film in ten years time and you will see for yourself. Great story. Very simple but hugly effective. Great stories are usually very simple no need for twists or turns. All Jamal was interested in was Latika and that shone throughout the film......brilliant!!

Bill_D

A lively, colourful and clever story with excellent camerawork, to be sure, and it's good that contemporary India, a country so on the up, is featured in a mainstream Western film, but I'm surprised the always brief scenes and constant sensationalising haven't annoyed more people without a short attention span.

JeremyKyle

After weeks i finally managed to convince my friends to see this film. I was expecting it to be completely amazing. It wasn't. It definitely wasn't. It was a monument to mediocrity. I fail to see anywhere what was so amazing about it. I just thought it was deeply average. I sat through the whole film thinking "any minute we will see something amazing" and then i just didn't. And then the credits were happening and it was over and i felt violated. Why was it so good. Good means good compared to other films. Maybe i'm not enough of a snob to appreciate the cinematography or something but i thought it was super average. Also, people can shut up about the sound track, because it was poor. I saw a review which complimented the love story in this. That's bullshit. The love story was worse than average. It just seemed like a naive little boy chasing the sexy lady because he doesn't know what else to do...i thought we had grown out of "love at first sight". Eugh. Dissapointment. Eughghhh.

Jay grand

Most over rated crap I have seen since Titanic. Soapy, narrative, voyeuristic setting, failed cheap tear jerking, low depth of character exploration, awful acting, and a very strong inspiration (read theft) without the talent, from City of dogs and City of men, fantastic brazilian production. Slumdog miliionaire has bored me and made me angry.

Helen_R

This is one of the best movies I have seen in the last 10 years. No, it's not high art, it never pretended to be. This is a reminder to film makers that there are other things that matter in movie making. Catching the audience's attention, making them care, presenting a story (cliched though it may be) in a way that holds the viewer spellbound for 2 hours, and ultimately transcending all that to let you leave the theater with joy and optimism in your heart .. these things are the essence of storytelling, which is ultimately what movie making is all about. This is a style that has become unfashionable in Hollywood lately, but it's not new to us. We had it once, and now this Bollywood-fusion is there to remind us again how wonderful movies can be. If you haven't seen this movie yet, I strongly encourage you to go see it as soon as you can.

Helen_R

This is one of the best movies I have seen in the last 10 years. No, it's not high art, it never pretended to be. This is a reminder to film makers that there are other things that matter in movie making. Catching the audience's attention, making them care, presenting a story (cliched though it may be) in a way that holds the viewer spellbound for 2 hours, and ultimately transcending all that to let you leave the theater with joy and optimism in your heart .. these things are the essence of storytelling, which is ultimately what movie making is all about. This is a style that has become unfashionable in Hollywood lately, but it's not new to us. We had it once, and now this Bollywood-fusion is there to remind us again how wonderful movies can be. If you haven't seen this movie yet, I strongly encourage you to go see it as soon as you can.

Iain

Over hyped, I was quite bored. I think those who really love it are responding to the fact that they normally watch American rubbish full of CGI special effects and this was something a bit different. It was OK.

Lorna

This is one of the best films i have EVER seen! And is a real heart-warmer of a film. 10/10 A MUST SEE!

Lorna

This is one of the best films i have EVER seen! And is a real heart-warmer of a film. 10/10 A MUST SEE!

Hannah

I loved every second! This film absolutley deserved to win at the Oscars. I was not one bit dissapointed after hearing all the hype.

Hannah

I loved every second! This film absolutley deserved to win at the Oscars. I was not one bit dissapointed after hearing all the hype.

George

Over-hyped dross. The children were wonderful, but the adult actors, in particular the two leads, were shocking. They were about as authentic as a Chicken Tikka Massala. Once again Danny Boyle turns a decent and thoughtful novel into an easy to digest fast-food flick for Hollywood to devour.

sam

What a great film; fantastic music and you must sit through the credits. Great film, but hit me later that people actually live that way in this time and age.

sam

What a great film; fantastic music and you must sit through the credits. Great film, but hit me later that people actually live that way in this time and age.

ayse

went to see this last night and really enjoyed it.I loved the fast paced action of it all which is typical of Danny Boyle.The film making style was quite similar to that of 28 days later(another fantastic film of his may I say!) bollywood song at the end surprisingly worked and was a lighthearted end to a thought provoking and quite dark film.Well done to Dev Patel (the boy from 'skins') who portrayed the character of 'Jamal' really well.Well worth a watch!

ayse

went to see this last night and really enjoyed it.I loved the fast paced action of it all which is typical of Danny Boyle.The film making style was quite similar to that of 28 days later(another fantastic film of his may I say!) bollywood song at the end surprisingly worked and was a lighthearted end to a thought provoking and quite dark film.Well done to Dev Patel (the boy from 'skins') who portrayed the character of 'Jamal' really well.Well worth a watch!

kat

Very Over-Hyped...Good to watch once, but not one for the DVD collection.

laura

the begining was boring, but i didnt quite get to the end because i fell asleep.

GP

Brilliant, really full of colour. I first heard the story on radio, and it's a great concept, some bits are lost on screen, but they are more than made up for by other areas that are much stronger, a film that both moves and makes you smile, showing the best and worst of humanity, but leaves you feeling upbeat. Fun and light, without making light of some of the serious issues it raises, I loved it!

GP

Brilliant, really full of colour. I first heard the story on radio, and it's a great concept, some bits are lost on screen, but they are more than made up for by other areas that are much stronger, a film that both moves and makes you smile, showing the best and worst of humanity, but leaves you feeling upbeat. Fun and light, without making light of some of the serious issues it raises, I loved it!

lucy annamarie ema louis

Slumdog Million seems to press the buttons of unfair judgement of the people of the slums, the feeling as you watch the movie is melancholy yet inspiring, quite fantastic but a hint of depression seeps through as your eyes touch the screen with deep emotion. See it if you care for those in the slums, if you have no care for tem, i wouldnt bother, yours Lucy Annamarie Ema Louis

Mia

darryl, I can not agree more (as with you revolutionary road review). it was not earth shaking, but managed to communicate about darkness through bollywood pink glasses. Done very skillfully and smooth, letting you just peak into richness, hope and horror of modern India's culture

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