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Movie Review: Slumdog Millionaire

Alternate Title: Rags to Riches

Story: You must see this exhilarating film. It is by far, the most feel good and at the same time, most exhausting production of the year. It was directed by Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, 28 Days Later, Millions, The Beach) and written by Simon Beaufoy (The Full Monty), based on the novel “Q & A” by Vikas Swarup.

The over the top melodramatic aspects should make you want to run from the theater but because of the extraordinary talent in the film making process you will find yourself accepting the whole unbelievable tale - lock, stock and barrel.

An 18 year old destitute orphan, finds himself on India's version of 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire' verging on winning the top prize. How he got to this point is revealed in flashbacks while he is being interrogated at a police station because it was believed that a man of his low class stature could not possibly know the answers to all of the questions.

I will not spoil anything for you but let me say that life lessons on the street are definitely underestimated in this tale of triumph. Are there holes in the plot? Most definitely. Are there stretches of disbelief? Of course. Will you find yourself cheering for our young hero? Absolutely. The story telling is first rate as are all of the production values up and down the line.

Treat yourself this holiday season and see this feel good film - but be warned - there are some very difficult to watch sequences that involve children of the streets.

Watch the trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIzbwV7on6Q

Watch director Danny Boyle discuss the challenges of shooting a film in India:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJRzk2WfOAo

Acting: British Dev Patel as Jamal, the Slumdog Millionaire, was absolutely perfect. The young actor who played Jamal as a boy was precious - Ayush Mahesh Khedekar. Model, turned actor Freida Pinto did her part adequately as Latika. Rubina Ali as the youngest Latika was adorable. Madhur Mittal as older brother Salim was believable. Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail as the youngest Salim was terrific. Anil Kapoor as TV moderator, Prem was great as was the always good Irrfan Khan as the Police Inspector.

Trivia: Some of director Danny Boyle's trademarks are employed in this film including, the opening shot is usually a shot taken from the middle of the movie. He often uses electronic music in his films. He often uses places, characters, actors or references to and relating to Scotland (in one of the more hilarious sequences) and the use of a kinetic camera (which work beautifully in the many chase scenes in the film).

Predilection: I like all things Indian.

Critters: There were surprisingly few critters considering the film was shot in India. But we did see some dogs and chickens.

Food: A sandwich, rice, nan bread.

Sex Spectrum: No sex - it is a film that takes place in India (but sex is definitely implied).

Soundtrack: Wonderfully frenetic.

Opening Titles: A fast montage of disjointed scenes that capture your immediate interest.

Visual Art: India is a visual delight and was captured beautifully (even the squalor) by director of photography, Anthony Dod Mantel

Theater Audience: Pretty crowded for the first show on a Monday.

Sappy Factor: 0

Squirm Scale: 2 - There are scenes where I flinched, winced and closed my eyes. (Nothing bad happens to any animals - just children).

Drift Factor: I was captivated throughout.

Predictability Level: High

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: Yes

Big Screen or Rental: Big screen for sure.

Length: Under two hours.