Slumdog Millionaire

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +3

Content: +1/2

Dev Patel, Anil Kapoor, Irrfan Khan. Art/Foreign/Drama. Written by Simon Beaufoy. Directed by Danny Boyle, Vikas Swarup.

FILM SYNOPSIS: The story concerns Jamal Malik, an 18 year-old orphan from the slums of Mumbai, who is about to win a staggering 20 million rupees on India's Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? But when the show breaks for the night, police arrest him on suspicion of cheating? Desperate to prove his innocence, Jamal tells the story of his life in the slum where he and his brother grew up, of their adventures together on the road, of vicious encounters with local gangs, and of Latika, the girl he loved and lost. Each chapter of his story reveals the key to the answer to one of the game show's questions.

PREVIEW REVIEW: The film opens with the lead being tortured by a nefarious group who think he cheated on the show. Between beatings and electric shocks he explains how he knew the answers. This was actually the only weak point for me. I couldnt imagine the programs star actually having this guy abducted and tortured. Think Regis ever did that? But the rest is involving storytelling.

There are a few difficult scenes we must endure as we see a Fagin-like character luring street urchins into becoming thieves. He goes so far as to blind some of the younger ones in order for them to gain sympathy from tourists as they beg for money. Though these scenes are hard to sit through, nothing is done to be exploitive. Each scene is there to further the story and to develop the characters.

Though these kids spend most of the lives stealing from those who have more so that they can survive, the film is a potent morality tale. One of the best of the year.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Fox Searchlight Pictures

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: A couple of crude sexual comments from young teens who exist in a harsh environment.

Obscene Language: A few obscenities from children forced to grow up in a brutal world.

Profanity: I caught none

Violence: The boys are brutalized by a man who uses them as street urchins; in one scene we see a boy being blinded; a young girl is being used as a dancer in an adult club; we do not see her being molested, but learn that as she ages, men have abused her; two gangsters are shot and killed at point blank range.

Sex: One implied sexual activity

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: We see a boy drinking in one scene, the scene reveals his growing up in a harsh world

Other: None

Running Time: 120 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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