120 min. minutes | Rated R
In the opening scenes of Slumdog Millionaire, Jamal Malik sits in a Mumbai police station where a fat cop—who suspects him of cheating the Hindi version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire—beats the shit out of him, digging for a confession. Before long, Slumdog Millionaire--directed by Danny Boyle
(Trainspotting, 28 Days Later) and Loveleen Tandan--makes itself clear: It is the simplest thing. It's just a fairy tale, maybe the most delightfully straightforward adaptation of folkloric archetypes I've seen in a modern movie, a series of trials (riddling sphinxes, giants to be slain, princesses in need of rescue--all figuratively, natch) separating Jamal from happily ever after and all that. Boyle's ambition is exhilarating--if he's going to fail, he's going to fail spectacularly (and the second half of the film is shamelessly melodramatic)--and Slumdog Millionaire is a crazy, blazing contradiction.
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