Slumdog Millionaire, which is based on the novel Q&A by Indian diplomat/novelist Vikas Swarup, could very well be the closest thing genre-hopping director Danny Boyle ever makes to a crowd-pleaser. It won the coveted Audience Award at this year's Toronto Film Festival and comes pre-packaged with glowing reviews from both Roger Ebert and Variety's Todd McCarthy. Written by the English screenwriter Simon Beaufoy, who many may know as the scribe behind The Full Monty, Boyle has blended this romantic fable with his own, frenetic style and some nods towards a Bollywood aesthetic in order to create the Scottish filmmaker's most accessible work to date.

On the other hand, few of Boyle's images are as instantly tasteless yet characteristic as a young Indian boy jumping into a swamp of feces in order to secure an autograph from Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachchan. The boy running around covered in excrement, some of which is his own, is young Jamal (Ayush Mahesh Khedekar). Moments after that presentation, Jamal and his older brother Salim (Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail) become orphaned when their mother is murdered for being a Muslim. The two boys take up with another young orphan Latika (Rubina Ali) and join up under Maman, the Fagin of this revisionist Oliver Twist. Salim saves Jamal from being blinded by Maman and the duo make off in the night, leaving Latika to fend for herself.

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