Slumdog Millionaire

I’d been looking forward to seeing Slumdog Millionaire from director Danny Boyle since I first heard about it. It was such a remarkable idea for a story, based on the book, Q&A.
Now despite what you may have seen in the film’s own advertising, this is not the “Feel Good Film Of The Year” – at least not unless you’re a fairly sick individual. Life is tough for the kids from the Mumbai slums.
The film is episodic with each question basically introducing an extract of Jamal’s (Dev Patel) life. He’s being interrogated by the police who believe that he must be a cheat for someone like him to have got so far in Who Want’s To Be A Millionaire.
There’s an amazing sequence at the start of the film with a group of kids being chased from a runway where they’re playing cricket by police on mopeds. The visceral thrill of them running into the nearby shanty town whilst being chased by the police is precisely the same as you had when Ewan MacGregor was running down Princes Street at the start of Trainspotting.
There are some tough scenes in this film – and at no point, despite what some might think, are we really presented with some kind of idealised picture of life in the slums. There’s religious intollerance, organised crime, murder, torture, kidnapping and more. Life is tough, but the film has heart and I can’t recommend it highly enough.
The music, incidentally, is absolutely awesome, and feels very cross cultural. It’s a CD that I’ll be tracking down.