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Slumdog Millionaire

Is That Your Final Answer?

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Based off of the book Q & A by Vilkas Swarup and adapted for the screen by Simon Beaufoy (The Full Monty), Slumdog Millionaire is an endearing story about Jamalís (Dev Patel) search for Latika (Frieda Pinto), the love of his life. The story is told through his appearance on "Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?" after which he is arrested for cheating. Thereís no evidence of this, itís just that no one believes that a kid from the slums could possibly know all the answers.

So the Police begin questioning him and we flash back to different vignettes of his life that illustrate how he came to know each answer. Those vignettes also start to come together to tell the story of Jamalís life as he grows up a poor, orphaned boy. The only light in his life is Latika -- another orphan girl he meets one night after his mother is killed. Jamalís life is tough. He becomes orphaned as a young kid, he travels India constantly in search for food and shelter, heís betrayed, hunted and basically, just shit on.

But through it all Jamal remains optimistic and hopeful. Itís his outlook on life that makes the film so intriguing. His search for Latika consumes him and he never gives up even when it appears that heíll never prevail. But his perseverance is really astounding.

This is no Oscar bait film either. Itís not cheesy or overly sappy. Boyle tells an honest story about real people. Many of the actors, especially the kids who play the younger versions of the main characters, are real Indian people who have never acted before. Boyle also really makes you feel as if your there -- in India. The sights, the smells -- you can see them and you can smell them. You can tell that Boyle really cares about these characters and is careful to construct the story in a very organic way.

Heís careful to make sure that nothing is ever too sappy because in a love story there is a fine line between endearing and sentimental. And ultimately that is what Slumdog Millionaire is -- itís a true, honest and engaging love story told in a truly original style that will suck you in and wonít let go.