Growing up orphans in the slums of Mumbai, brothers Salim and Jamal barely eek out an existence. Living on a trash heap , the brothers and their young female friend, Latika, are taken in by criminals and turned out as beggars. This starts the threesome on a path of day-to-day survival that lasts into adulthood.
Used and mistreated by adults, Jamal, Salim and Latika learn hard lessons about life and about the art of survival. The most important of those lessons: destiny isn't something one simply allows to happen; even though "it is written," one can influence the outcome. Jamal's strong will and love for Latika helps him control his personal destiny.
Slumdog Millionaire is visually stunning and intricately written. While the entire cast delivers, it's Dav Patel as Jamal who is the heart of this film. The audience quickly comes to love this character for his determination and his sincerity. Patel gives a performance that demonstrates at once strength and vulnerability. His performance is, simply, brilliant.
A British flick directed by Danny Boyle, Slumdog tells Jamal's story through a series of flashbacks he experiences while a contestant on India's version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. The technique is incredibly interesting, and allows the story to unfold at a satisfying pace. It's a great, great story told in an interesting style that stays with the viewer after the closing credits.
Slumdog is food for the soul. And the sort of movie I wish Hollywood would make.