As a British born Indian, I wanted to see Boyle take on his version of a bollywood film with a good mix of his direction, all the charm that most of Indian films have. Result, a good directorial effort with an Indian version of City of God; far less brutal and replaces that sardonic hardship from City of God to the hopeful dreams of a young boy from the slums, very much a style common in Indian films today.
I've been to India before and seen what this film shows. It doesn't make it less dreary by sugar coating; that's not Boyle's style, he will show what is there and this film depicts India's culture, beauty, depression, poverty, lustre, greed, vengeance, corruption and all the moralities. You might be mistaken into thinking I'm being patriotic but the fact is Boyle has made a very good film, with keeping the actual Indian viewers of this film in mind. He has given it a love story like most Indian films while providing the action and tension that so many Indian-film lovers sitting on corner streets in Mumbai and Delhi will want to see.
I've lived in West London all my life and this is as close to showing India any European film has done in the last 20 years, that includes Bend it like Beckham and Ghandi.
West-Londoner-born, like myself, Dev Patel made his début on SKINS, and excellent UK drama series involving the life of College/Sixformer teens. A good choice since learning an language and accent is easier, but also a familiar face to those who watch Skins. The main focus is on him becoming more than he is, a subtle underdog story that doesn't boast of its pious superiority. He just wants to find the girl, Latika, he met when he was a boy, save her from poverty, prostitution and give her a life she deserves. Along with that, Dev's character known as Jamal Malik has a older brother Salim Malik who cares for money and the high-life, anyway he can get it. It's the Romulus and Remus tale with loads of morality. There are 3 actors per character of Jamal, Salim & Latika, each depicting the 3 main characters at different ages who are excellently cast, cute and innocent from the younger ages; to the older actors who play them as time and chance have made them into what they are now, with their knowledge of the world changing their day-to-day perceptions. Dev's character gets the chance to play on "Who wants to be a Millionaire" in India (Indian Version) with familiar host and legendary Indian actor Anil Kapoor. What could a slum-dog know of the world, more than most. He's graduating from the university of life.
Contrasting, political, brutal, and bitter-sweet. 8.5/10.