Yesterday I saw Slumdog Millionaire, directed by Danny Boyle and Loveleen Tandan, based on the novel Q and A by Indian author Vikas Swarup. It’s a wonderful film, cinematically as energetic and visceral as Baz Luhrman’s Romeo and Juliet, whilst the plot and characters are Dickensian in evoking 21st century globalisation and the yawning gulf between rich and poor in the cities of the Third World. Certainly it’s a feelgood movie with a love story threaded through it, but no-one could come away from it not stunned by the depths of poverty and violence, greed and corruption depicted here – as well as the exuberance and vitality of urban Mumbai.
Slumdog Millionaire has been critically acclaimed. Roger Ebert gave the film four stars, stating that it is, “a breathless, exciting story, heartbreaking and exhilarating.” In the Wall Street Journal, critic Joe Morgenstern refers to Slumdog Millionaire as, “the film world’s first globalized masterpiece.” However, Peter Bradshaw in The Guardian gave the film three out of five stars, stating that “despite the extravagant drama and some demonstrations of the savagery meted out to India’s street children, this is a cheerfully undemanding and unreflective film with a vision of India that, if not touristy exactly, is certainly an outsider’s view; it depends for its full enjoyment on not being taken too seriously.”
My name is Latika
End credits dance sequence
- Slumdog Millionaire could only have been made by a westerner: a spirited defence of the film in The Guardian by Nirpal Dhaliwal
- Telegraph review plus interview with Danny Boyle