DVD Revie

Slumdog Millionaire

January 11, 2010

Directed by Danny Boyle

British director Danny Boyle's ragpickers-to-riches tale follows the indomitable Jamal Malik (Dev Patel) through a winning streak on the Indian version of the game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and down a rabbit hole of memories filled with unrequited love and brutal violence. The movie, which won the Oscar for Best Picture, drew criticism from Indian nationals - including Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan, catalyst of one of the movie's most hilarious scenes - who complained it was "poverty porn." But Boyle's innovative vision, captured by state-of-the-art digital cameras, honored Mumbai's slums the way Fernando Meirelles' 2002 City of God brought out the gritty beauty of Rio de Janeiro's favelas. The energetic soundtrack by A. R. Rahman (with lots of help from M. I.A.) doesn't hurt the cool factor. While the characters could have been a little more complex especially Latika (ingenue Freeda Pinto) - one of the most exciting aspects of the film was the global collaboration that made it happen. The DVD includes 30 minutes of deleted scenes that really fill out the story and a two-part feature that details the Insanity of shooting on location in India.

- Neelanjana Banerjee