The movie has mostly gotten the critics oohing and aahing over it.Â
Here’s a look at excerpts from some of the prominent reviews for Slumdog Millionaire:
Joe Morgenstern in theÂ Wall Street Journal:
“Slumdog Millionaire” is the film world’s first globalized masterpiece. This perfervid romantic fable is set in contemporary Mumbai, the former Bombay, but it draws freely, often rapturously, from Charles Dickens, Dumas pÃ¨re, Hollywood, Bollywood, the giddiness of Americanized TV, the cross-cultural craziness of outsourced call centers and the zoominess of Google Earth. It’s mostly in English, partly in Hindi and was directed by a Brit, Danny Boyle, with the help of an Indian co-director, Loveleen Tandan. The young hero, Jamal Malik, is a dirt-poor orphan from the Mumbai slums. “Is this heaven?” Jamal asks after tumbling from a train and looking up to see the Taj Mahal. I had the same feeling after watching the first few astonishing scenes: Was this movie heaven? The answer turned out to be yes.
….I’ve never seen anything like “Slumdog Millionaire,” and I welcomed the spectacle with open eyes. In these worsening times for feature films, timidity and mediocrity often vie for bottom honors at the multiplex. “Slumdog” breaks through to the top.
Kenneth TuranÂ in Los Angeles Times:
Who would believe that the best old-fashioned audience picture of the year, a Hollywood-style romantic melodrama that delivers major studio satisfactions in an ultra-modern way, was made on the streets of India with largely unknown stars by a British director who never makes the same movie twice? Go figure.Â That would be the hard-to-resist “Slumdog Millionaire,” with director Danny Boyle adding independent film touches to a story of star-crossed romance that the original Warner brothers would have embraced, shamelessly pulling out stops that you wouldn’t think anyone would have the nerve to attempt anymore.
Manohla Dargis in New York Times:
A gaudy, gorgeous rush of color, sound and motion, â€œSlumdog Millionaire,â€ the latest from the British shape-shifter Danny Boyle, doesnâ€™t travel through the lower depths, it giddily bounces from one horror to the next.
….In the end, what gives me reluctant pause about this bright, cheery, hard-to-resist movie is that its joyfulness feels more like a filmmakerâ€™s calculation than an honest cry from the heart about the human spirit (or, better yet, a moral tale). In the past Mr. Boyle has managed to wring giggles out of murder (â€œShallow Graveâ€) and addiction (â€œTrainspottingâ€), and invest even the apocalypse with a certain joie de vivre (the excellent zombie flick â€œ28 Days Laterâ€). Heâ€™s a blithely glib entertainer who can dazzle you with technique and, on occasion, blindside you with emotion, as he does in his underrated childrenâ€™s movie, â€œMillions.â€ He plucked my heartstrings in â€œSlumdog Millionaireâ€ with well-practiced dexterity, coaxing laughter and sobs out of each sweet, sour and false note.
Slumdog Millionaire is not merely a magnificent movie but itâ€™s also the most absorbing portrait of India weâ€™ve seen on the big screen.
And thatâ€™s what raises Slumdog Millionaire to the level of a classic – its amazing portrayal of the wonder and chaos and injustice thatâ€™s India.
The filthy slums, the abject poverty, the Hindu-Muslim violence, the Bollywood craze, cricket mania, Mumbai underworld, horrific exploitation of young children, the â€˜newâ€™ India rising over the demolished slums of Mumbai, police brutality, the call centers, inexplicable goodness in some souls, the packed commuter trains et al – nay, the very essence of India is distilled and captured with unusual verve and dexterity in the moving story of Slumdog Millionaire.
Â Anthony Lane in the New Yorker
Boyle and his team, headed by the director of photography, Anthony Dod Mantle, clearly believe that a city like Mumbai, with its shifting skyline and a population of more than fifteen million, is as ripe for storytelling as Dickensâ€™s London, and they may be right; hence the need to get their lenses dirty on its clogged streets. At the same time, the story they chose is sheer fantasy, not in its glancing details but in its emotional momentum. How else could Boyle get away with assembling his cast for a Bollywood dance number, at a railroad station, over the closing credits? You can either chide the film, at this point, for relinquishing any claim to realism or you can go with the flowâ€”surely the wiser choice. After all, to make an old-fashioned crowd-pleaser is no mean task, requiring both folly and verve; and right now, I suspect, the crowd is ready to be pleased.