First Night: Slumdog Millionaire, London Film Festival

Oliver Twisted as Boyle goes 'Trainspotting' in modern Mumbai express

Geoffrey Macnab@TheIndyFilm
Friday 31 October 2008 01:00
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Slumdog Millionaire is an exhilarating ride – a feel-good yarn about a Mumbai street kid directed by Danny Boyle with a wild energy that makes even Trainspotting (Boyle's calling card) look leaden-footed.

Scripted by Simon Beaufoy (of The Full Monty fame), the film is an adaptation of Vikas Swarup's novel, Q & A. As the story begins, the irrepressible hero Jamal (Dev Patel) is close to winning the top prize in the Indian version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? but the producers and police are convinced he must be cheating.

"What the hell can a slum boy possibly know?" they ask as the cops beat him up and torture him in an attempt to make him confess his wrong-doing. It turns out, though, that each question Jamal gets right is linked with his troubled past. Beaufoy's schematic screenplay uses the questions as a way to uncover that past.

Slumdog Millionaire

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