An Anglo-Indian film masterpiece
WSJ film critic Joe Morgenstern exults -
"Slumdog Millionaire" is the film world's first globalized masterpiece. This perfervid romantic fable is set in contemporary Mumbai, the former Bombay, but it draws freely, often rapturously, from Charles Dickens, Dumas père, Hollywood, Bollywood, the giddiness of Americanized TV, the cross-cultural craziness of outsourced call centers and the zoominess of Google Earth. It's mostly in English, partly in Hindi and was directed by a Brit, Danny Boyle, with the help of an Indian co-director, Loveleen Tandan. The young hero, Jamal Malik, is a dirt-poor orphan from the Mumbai slums. "Is this heaven?" Jamal asks after tumbling from a train and looking up to see the Taj Mahal. I had the same feeling after watching the first few astonishing scenes: Was this movie heaven? The answer turned out to be yes.
Slumdog Millionaire is born out of the swirling energy of Brits and Indians -
English-born screenwriter Simon Beaufoy and Indian author and diplomat Vikas Swarup; the brilliant Mumbai cast and Lancashire-born director Danny Boyle (best known for Trainspotting); Oxford born cinematographer, Anthony Dod Mantle, whose "images come at you like light itself, in waves and pulsing clusters"; composer A.R. Rahman and film editor Chris Dickens.
Below, a scene from the movie - heart-twisting innocence -
Boyle on filming -
India. "The wave comes back. The thing is given you."