Movie review: "Slumdog Millionaire" (2008)
The gist: As a contestant on India's "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?", poorly educated tea boy Jamal inexplicably reaches the 20-million-rupee question. He's detained by the police, who are certain he cheated. Did he have an accomplice in the audience? Is he a trivia savant? Or is it destiny? The answers lie in his incredible journey from slum to TV studio.
Selling points: Director Danny ("Trainspotting", "The Beach") Boyle excels at adapting unusual/difficult novels. Indian legend AR Rahman's fantastic thumping soundtrack drives events at a reckless pace. And underlying it all is the impossible, unstoppable romance between Jamal and his childhood sweetheart Latika.
It's kinda like: Jamal drawing the interrogating officers into his tale is oddly reminiscent of "Verbal" Kint in "The Usual Suspects", while his time on the program, especially what happens off camera, has a whiff of "Quiz Show" about it. The closing-credits sequence is pure Bollywood.
Final word: Every life is rich and every slumdog has his day.
[Australian cinema release date: December 26]