Director Danny Boyle who has given us 28 Days Later and Trainspotting returns with this epic movie about love in Mumbai India.  The movie is just about to go out of arthouse film theaters and I say, get there before it does.

I think movies and stories work best when they teach you something about the world where it takes place.  This movie teaches you something about India.  I’ve never been to India, but watching the main character’s life over 10 years or so, I felt like I had.    When you compare this movie to say, The Day the Earth Stood Still, you see the former for the lumbering, special-effects filled lummox it is.  Slumdog has heart, story, passion and fun.  TDTESS feels like everyone was just rushing to collect a good pay day.

(minor spoilers ahead)  Without trying to give the entire movie away, Slumdog centers around Jamal.  He and his brother Salim grow up in the most impoverished section of Mumbai, with only their mother to protect them.  But in present day, Jamal is being tortured by the cops because they think he cheated on India’s version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire.  But some of the answers came to Jamal because of events that happened in his life and there’s a more important reason he’s on the show.

In flashback, we follow Jamal and Salim’s life on the streets.  They eventually meet up with Latika and Jamal falls in love with her.  But, as kids, Salim is jealous and prevents Latika from following them after a particularly harrowing experience with Indian gangsters.  As the years grind on, Jamal gets a job, but his brother becomes a gangster and it all comes to a head in classic fashion

And just like all Indian movies, there’s a dance number at the end, but its at the credits so it doesn’t interupt the story.

I got hooked on this movie.  It goes from two kids litterally living in a pile of trash to the heights of fame and fortune in India.  There’s also a great sequence at the Taj Mahal too.  Maybe if you’re an expert on India or lived in India for a long time, this movie might not ring totally true, I don’t know.  But it worked for me and I felt a real sense of what people, especially poor Muslims, must have to go through to live there.

Overall, a really solid movie to take a chick to see and you won’t be bored either bros.  (Salim does kick some ass.)  I give this movie 9 kegs out of 10.