If someone told you to go see a movie directed by Danny Boyle (who?), and starring Dev Patel, Anil Kapoor and Freida Pinto, (who, who, who?) filmed in India and partly subtitled, you’d probably take a pass. “No Thanks.”
Don’t do it.
It might very well be the best movie of 2008.
The movie follows the life of a Mumbai orphan, Jamal, from early boyhood to the age of eighteen when he becomes a contestant on India’s version of, “So You Want To Be A Millionaire.” After answering a stream of seemingly impossible questions, and suspected of cheating, Jamal is brought into police headquarters and “interrogated” by the in-house toughy.
From there, the flashbacks to different stages of his life surviving in the slums, acting on wit and instincts, reveal the truth about his incredible knowledge.
The movie has it all: A great love and endless search for the girl of his dreams, family struggle, government corruption, chases, murder, conflict, suspense, humor, and acting levels that would rival the most well known thespians of the silver screen. British director, Danny Boyle also brings you into the heart of the old city of Bombay (Mumbai) where squalor and luxury prevail side by side so realistically, the viewer call almost feel and smell the plight of every day survivalists.
While the film necessarily depicts some violence, we don’t hear a constant repetition of the “F” word, no one leaps into the air flailing Karate kicks in rapid succession, and there is but a spattering of sexual innuendo without the graphics.
It is one of the best cinematic immersions into another culture I’ve ever experienced.
If Hollywood has any integrity at all, this movie will, at the least, be nominated for Best Picture, and maybe even win.
If you are a movie buff, put it on the list for the next outing. If you wait until the DVD comes out, make a note.
And…keep a watch on the future career of lead female actor Freida Pinto. Not only is she totally ravishing, she can also act.
I give this one a rare: 10
Tip: Don’t get up to leave when the movie ends. There’s another treat in store when the credits roll.