Slumdog Millionaire

Rated 3.0

Don’t be so cynical as to suspect the hype for director Danny Boyle’s feel-good fable arises out of pity for violence-stricken Mumbai; in fact, the Slumdog buzz has been building for a while. Adapted by Simon Beaufoy from Vikas Swarup’s novel, it’s the rags-to-riches saga of a street orphan (Dev Patel) who does so well on India’s version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? that the cops think he cheated. So before claiming his final payoff, our young hero must recount—under duress of a torturous interrogation—exactly how his hard-knock life gave him all the answers. Turns out the only help he had was from the one true love (Freida Pinto) who inspired him to persist. With a good feel for environment as character, Boyle brings his customary vitality—throbbing music, jaunty editing, showy cinematography—and an aptly, rousingly silly Bollywood-style dance number for the closing credits.