Top Dog

By Susan W. Woods

Top ‘Dog’ ‘Millionaire’ not to be missed

Although there are still many movies to see and review, in the mind of this critic, “Slumdog Millionaire” is the best film of the year.

In this life-affirming tale, director Danny Boyle takes viewers on an emotional, kinetic journey through Mumbai, India. We see the slums, the underworld, the backrooms of telemarketing centers, the Taj Mahal and the Indian version of the TV game show “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” By the end of this romantic, Dickensian journey, you find yourself cheering and crying, exhausted and exhilarated.

The story follows the fabulous, as in “fable-like,” life of Jamal (played by Dev Patel), a cunning street urchin who, through a heartbreaking series of events, survives the harshest of lives by luck. Without giving away any of the twists and turns he experiences while growing up, Jamal ends up being a contestant on “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” which is televised throughout the country of 1 billion people. The drama and tension is palpable, but the stories behind each answer are even more spellbinding.

Boyle brilliantly directs this film with whooshing cameras, surprising jumpcuts, flash-forwards and flashbacks that keep you riveted as the thumping soundtrack of techno music matches your heart beating out of your chest. “Slumdog Millionaire” is a cinematic experience one should not miss.

‘Slumdog Millionaire’

Directed by Danny Boyle
Rated R
120 minutes

five out of five