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Slumdog Millionaire: Hooray for Bollywood! 

Romance, melodrama, sentiment and violence, all spiked with a dose of magic realism: that's the eternal draw of Bollywood films, and it works just as well in Slumdog Millionaire, Danny Boyle's tale of Jamal, a Mumbai slum kid who hits it big on the Hindi version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire?. Jamal's quiz-show smarts all come from his experiences on the streets (seen in flashback), a device that's conceptually preposterous but thrilling to watch, thanks to Boyle's slick direction and the cinematography of Anthony Dod Mantle. As the adult Jamal, Dev Patel is matinee-idol material with real acting chops; Freida Pinto, an Indian model making her film debut as his love interest Latika, is doe-eyed and charming. And no swoony Bollywood tale could get away without a musical extravaganza; hang in for the end credits when the cast breaks into dance in a grimy train station. — Kevin Allman


Starring Dev Patel, Freida Pinto and Anil Kapoor

Directed by Danny Boyle


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