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The Green Life: Movie Review Friday: Slumdog Millionaire

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December 19, 2008

Movie Review Friday: Slumdog Millionaire

Escape to the movies with one of our Movie Review Friday selections. Each week, we review a film with an environmental or socially responsible theme that’s currently in theaters or available on DVD. Seen a good eco-flick lately? Send us a review of 100 or fewer words and look for your review in the next Movie Review Friday.

Slumdog Millionaire (2008)

In theaters now

"In Alexander Dumas' book The Three Musketeers, two of the musketeers are called Athos and Porthos. What was the name of the third?" This is the question that 18-year-old Jamal Malik must answer to win $20 million rupees (just more than $400,000 U.S. dollars) on an Indian version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire?

Directed by Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, The Beach, and 28 Days Later), Slumdog Millionaire is a fast-paced journey that follows the childhood and adolescence of two "slumdog" brothers, Jamal and Salim, from the slums of Mumbai all the way to the "Hot Seat" on the popular show.

Boyle offers viewers both an intense visual joyride through India and a heartwarming, romantic story as Jamal searches Mumbai to find the love of his life, Latika, whom he last saw as a small child at an orphanage. It's hard, however, not to notice the underlying environmental issues present in India, like the derelict state of Mumbai's slums, overflowing with trash and filthy water.  By the time Jamal reaches young adulthood at the end of the movie, we also get a look at India's explosive development, visible in the traffic-jammed streets of Mumbai surrounded by skyrise condo towers.

With elements of action, romance, drama, and even some comedy, Slumdog Millionaire is an excellent movie that will satisfy the tastes of a diverse crowd of movie-goers. If you can't see it in theaters due to its limited release, be sure to check it out when it comes out on DVD.

--Michael Fox

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