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Slumdog Millionaire

The fascinating story of a young man from the Mumbai slums whose success on India's 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire' reveals his true desire.

Danny Boyle's well-earned reputation as one of Britain's most versatile directors will be further cemented by his latest feature, a distinct change of tack from his recent films such as Sunshine and 28 Days Later. Based on Vikas Swarup's best selling novel, Q&A, and adapted for the screen by Full Monty scriptwriter Simon Beaufoy, Slumdog Millionaire is a vibrant, modern love story set and shot in India. Jamal Malik, an 18-year-old orphan from the slums of Mumbai, is about to experience the biggest day of his life. With the whole nation watching, he is just one question away from winning a staggering 20 million rupees on India's Who Wants to be a Millionaire. But when the show breaks for the night, police arrest him on suspicion of cheating: how could a 'slumdog' know so much? Desperate to prove his innocence, Jamal tells the story of his life – tales of the Juhu slum where and his brother Salim grew up, of their adventures together on the road, of vicious encounters with local gangs, and of Latika, the girl he loved and lost. Each picaresque episode holds the key to the answer of one of the game show's questions.

Intrigued by Jamal's story, the jaded Police Inspector begins to wonder what a young man with no apparent desire for riches is doing on the show. The revelation of Jamal's story, and the role of television in it, are fascinating and funny, and are well served by Boyle's confident direction, which brings an energetic, contemporary feel. The kinetic, visceral flashbacks to Jamal's life on the streets are stunningly composed and beautifully atmospheric, and exquisitely photographed by Anthony Dod Mantle. The cast brings together the acting talents of Bollywood actor Anil Kapoor and international cinema's highly regarded Irrfan Khan (The Warrior, A Mighty Heart) and marks the first big screen roles for British actor Dev Patel (Skins) and newcomer Freida Pinto. Neatly balancing humour and drama, and making inventive use of its eclectic, multi-cultural soundtrack, this European Premiere of Slumdog Millionaire promises to bring the festival to an upbeat, cheering close.
Sandra Hebron

Added by Craig Grobler on September 5, 2008