A poor man from the slums of India goes on a trivia game show to try
and find the love of his life who was taken from him years earlier.
Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
Directed by Danny Boyle
Written by Simon Beaufoy
Starring Dev Patel, Frieda Pinto, Madhur Mittal, Anil Kapoor,
Irrfan Khan, Mahesh Manjrekar, Ankur Vikal
Based on the novel Q & A by Vikas Swarup
Oscar Wins - Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Sound Mixing,
Best Original Score (A.R. Rahman), Best Original Song (Jai Ho)
Oscar Nominations - Best Sound Editing, Best Original Song (O Saya)
Slumdog Millionaire was one of those rare films that just dominated the Oscars, taking home Best Picture in the process. It's a brilliant story full of incredible performances and gut-wrenching emotional moments. I understand why it won top honors, though I've still got two nominees left to see from that year (The Reader and Benjamin Button). This film is built around a life-changing game of Who Wants to be a Millionaire Indian edition, where young Jamal (Patel) is in the hot seat and knows the answers because of the crazy, dangerous, and unforgettable life he has lived thus far.
Dev Patel does a fantastic job as Jamal, a kindhearted young man who grew up in hell and didn't let it break him. He's been searching for the woman he loves, Latika (Pinto), his whole life, as they keep getting separated thanks to various criminals and Jamal's own piece of shit brother Salim (Mittal). We get to see flashbacks from Jamal's early childhood to his teen years to just weeks before his appearance on the show. Thanks to Danny Boyle's impeccable direction, it all flows perfectly and feels like a coherent and consistent story.
Slumdog Millionaire will make your heart skip a beat several times. From noble self-sacrifice to a satisfying ending, this film really does have it all. It hasn't really gotten the pop culture acceptance that other 2000's winners have, like Gladiator or No Country for Old Men. I think that's because this film is surprisingly light-hearted and optimistic.