“Slumdog Millionaire”

OK, I know I said I’d blog about all the fun stuff we did with Ginger over the last few days, but after seeing director Danny Boyle’s new movie “Slumdog Millionaire” at a screening last night, I had to blog about that first because, well…this movie is freaking incredible!

SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE #1

Christine and I have been huge Danny Boyle fans for years — we have seen every feature he’s directed except for last year’s sci-fi epic “Sunshine” and his first big flick “Shallow Grave” — and while all of his movies have been amazing, I gotta tell ya, “Slumdog Millionaire” is arguably his finest moment as a filmmaker.

One of my favorite things about Boyle’s movies is the way they so effortlessly balance hysterical humor and totally gut-wrenching drama, and, trust me, the heartfelt, beautifully-crafted “Slumdog” has both is spades.

I don’t want to spoil too much by telling you what it’s about — you really have to experience this thing for yourself, preferably on a big screen! — but essentially the movie takes place during a frantic two-day period in the life of the titular Mumbai slumdog, Jamal Malik (an astonishing Dev Patel) as he appears as a contestant on India’s version of “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?”.

As the drama of the game unfolds, the movie flashes back in time to fill in the hilarious, touching and often painful series of events that brought a penniless Indian street urchin to the hot seat of the biggest game show in the world.

SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE #2

SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE #3

Like “Trainspotting” and his lesser-known “Millions”, Boyle’s “Slumdog” pulses with life and moves along at a breakneck speed with a soundtrack that will totally blow your mind. Seriously, we were looking for it online the minute we walked in the door. It’s not available yet, but, wow…it kicks ass!

And while the cast is uniformly excellent — no doubt due to the superb job done by his co-director, legendary Indian casting director, Loveleen Tandan — the non-pro child actors featured in the flashbacks will totally rip your heart out. I shit you not, amigos, these kids are incredible.

And with a sparkling, award-caliber script by “The Full Monty” scribe Simon Beaufoy, and breathtaking cinematography by frequent Boyle collaborator Anthony Dod Mantle, this movie truly soars above almost everything else we’ve seen so far this year.

But perhaps the highest praise came in the form of the crazy-loud cheers that arose from the crowd — at a screening no less! — during key moments in the film. Seriously, that shit never happens during award season, and with a crusty old Academy crowd? Never!

SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE #4

So, if they dug the movie enough to cheer each of the actors names in the super cool closing credits (yep, they did that too!) just imagine how much you’ll love this movie. “Slumdog” opens in limited release today, so check it out!

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13 Comments

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13 responses to ““Slumdog Millionaire”

  1. wan

    Yarg!!! Stop working on the internets and watch “Shallow Grave” and “Sunshine” IMMEDIATELY. GREAT movies, both.

  2. Melissa

    Wait, what? You haven’t seen Shallow Grave? Correct this error, please! So good.

    (pause for my moment of Christopher Eccleston lust)

    I haven’t seen Sunshine either, not being big on sci-fi generally, but from the comment above, I guess I should.

  3. OK, OK…man, sounds like we gotta rent us some Danny Boyle movies this weekend. Actually, I think “Shallow Grave” might just be the only Ewan McGregor movie that Christine and I have not seen…so, there is really no excuse!

    Also, was DYING to see “Sunshine” when it came out, but somehow missed it in theatres…so sad. 😦

  4. I’ll go see it … and that’s my final answer! 🙂

  5. Wow, you haven’t blogged in a bit.

    You better step up! 🙂

  6. dan

    hey guys

    Thanks for the get well card. very nice of you.
    this movie seems good. always an interesting read on your blog.

  7. Melissa

    I went to see Religulous tonight (finally–I’ve been dying to see it) and finally saw a preview for Slumdog Millionaire. It looks great, and I’m excited that Irrfan Khan is in it…I love him!

    Religulous was great–I’ve never been a big fan of Bill Maher, but it was hilarious and informative.

    Also saw previews for Doubt and Milk. Good night at the movies!

  8. OMG…we haven’t seen DOUBT yet, but MILK is freaking amazing. You’ll love it!

  9. Melissa

    loved it loved it loved it!!!!!!

  10. I know…best movie of the year so far. We are already dying to see it again!!

  11. Cathy

    Thanks for the accurate review of this movie. Mike and I saw it yesterday at the Nick and l o v e d it!

    Now I have to ask, is “The Curious Case….” really that bad? ‘Cause I have to say, I really want to see it, but after reading your review…not too sure anymore…

  12. So glad to hear you guys dug “Slumdog”! We have seen many movies since then and that is still our favorite!

    Sadly, I still think “Button” kinda sucks, but, as my Mom reminded me the other day on the phone, I hated “The English Patient” the first time I saw it and then looooved it the second time. She still rubs it in my nose that she never ended up seeing “Patient” because of my initial lousy review. Sorry, Mom…

    I don’t think that is gonna happen with “Button”, but you should see it for yourself, just in case! 🙂

  13. We saw it yesterday. Allow me to channel my inner Liza when I say it was “truly terrific!”

    I don’t want to spoil anything, but what they did at the end titles was so cool (and totally unexpected).

    Loved it.

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