Tiny Beam of Light

Shining a tiny beam of light on some great films you might not know existed (and the odd blockbuster too).

Slumdog Millionaire (2008) dir: Boyle & Tandan

The story of two children from the slums in Mumbai, destiny and ‘Who wants to be a millionaire?’.

This film is pretty much outstanding in all departments. Technically,  visually and also storywise (it’s based on a book) with a great soundtrack by A.R. Rahman – it all comes together beautifully. The film actually comes alive on the screen in front of your eyes – which is pretty rare indeed.  Don’t wait for the DVD or dodgy download. You have to go see it on the big screen. I’ve been to Mumbai and watching the film I was often thinking ‘how did they manage to film that?’. For example, in one sequence the camera whizzes through the slums and shanty towns (capturing so much detail as it goes!) as policeman chase the two young brothers (I’m guessing but maybe they were 5 or 6 years old), then pulls back to follow the chase from the air. Looks easy and we kind of take it for granted in a big Hollywood movie, but here it just kind of looked so much better and cooler.

I’d say this is the best Danny Boyle film I’ve seen, and here he shares his director credit with Loveleen Tandan, originally the casting agent, but I think here she went on to direct the 2nd unit material, as well as work with the children (who had no acting experience) to help bring out the wonderful performances from them. In fact, each of the six young actors, playing the two brothers as they grow up, are excellent. Often different actors playing the same role as that character grows up, don’t really convince. Here it’s pretty seemless.

Although the film is full of joy it also doesn’t avoid the harsh contradictions that exist in India, so there is poverty, death and crime.

This is truly a great film with a real heartbeat and soul.  Even the ending won me over.

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Filed under: drama, humour, romance, , , , , , , , , , ,

One Response

  1. Frances says:

    Hi V124
    Thanks for the great Slumdog review. I’m ashamed to say that I haven’t been able to see it – for various reasons that are Pathe related – but I expect you’ll be pleased to know Dev Patel has reached the top five Bafta nominees for best male actor. Do you think he should take the award above the likes of Mickey Rourke in The Wrester and Sean Penn in Milk? (You don’t have to answer if you haven’t seen those films yet!)
    Frances x

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