It would be hard in some ways to describe Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire as a Bollywood movie but it does capture many of the elements of the discipline. It tells the tale of Jamal, Salim and the beautiful Latika and is set both in modern Mumbai and in the period of inter-communal riots of the recent past.
The movie will grab your attention from the first frame, filmed in Danny’s iconic kinetic style of constant camera movements, penetrating musical soundtrack, hip dialogue and fast editing. Don’t blink at any point or you might miss three crucial scenes. What has grabbed the critics attention at the Toronto Film Festival, however, and created a buzz throughout the film world is Danny’s intricate level of understanding of modern India and the conflicts that are propelling it into the new century – intercommunalism, game shows, call centres, gangsterism, the clash of old and new and east and west, they all feature in a screenplay that doesn’t have an ounce of fat on it.
The film stars Londoner Dev Patel, recently seen in the excellent TV series Skins, and the new Mumbaiker Freida Pinto – a girl with a bright future ahead of her. Danny Boyle is probably the most creative of modern British directors, best known for the groundbreaking Trainspotting, the hilarious Shallow Grave, the paranoid 28 Days Later and the extraordinary children’s movie Millions.
How does Freida feel about the sudden rush of fame? “I hadn?t given acting a thought,” she admits, “I was kind of threshing around in life when I was asked to audition by the film?s casting director. I didn’t think I’d be selected to play the lead opposite Dev Patel in a Danny Boyle film!”
Stay tuned for Bollyspice’s exclusive review of the film, straight from TIFF.