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Blu-Ray Review: Oscar Winner ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ Wins Big on Blu-Ray

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HollywoodChicago.com Blu-Ray Rating: 4.5/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 4.5/5.0

CHICAGO – One of the most beloved films of the last several years, “Slumdog Millionaire,” hits DVD and Blu-Ray this week and Fox pulls out all the stops for this home release, polishing up the video and audio to a nearly flawless sheen and compiling a spectacular collection of special features for a movie that many collectors will want to own.

What more is there to say about “Slumdog Millionaire”? One of the most award-winning films of all time, the Danny Boyle-directed fairy tale took home eight Oscars, including prizes for Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Score, Best Director, and Best Picture. It was not just one of the most acclaimed films of 2008, it is one of the most acclaimed films of the ’00s.

Slumdog Millionaire will be released on Blu-Ray on March 31st, 2009.
Slumdog Millionaire will be released on Blu-Ray on March 31st, 2009.
Photo credit: MPI

Films as massively successful as “Slumdog Millionaire” have a different standard on Blu-Ray. Most home releases are still geared toward the renter who may not care much about video/audio quality or commentaries and deleted scenes, but films that win multiple Oscars are usually the kind that viewers purchase, making the “extras” beyond the movie that much more important.

Slumdog Millionaire will be released on Blu-Ray on March 31st, 2009.
Slumdog Millionaire will be released on Blu-Ray on March 31st, 2009.
Photo credit: MPI

Fans of “Slumdog Millionaire” will be more than satisfied by what Twentieth Century Fox has put together for their favorite film. I wish the behind-the-scenes material was incorporated into the film with picture-in-picture like some studios do with their product (WB, Universal) and I wanted more information on the deleted scenes, but these are the only minor complaints that hold “Slumdog” back from being a perfect Blu-Ray release.

As for the film itself, if you haven’t seen it, you should. Like a lot of people, I think the movie got a little overrated in the wave of support at the end of 2008 and beginning of 2009 but it’s still an excellent movie that everyone should see at least once and arguably twice. The second time through “Slumdog” is an even richer experience, as the details of Simon Beaufoy’s incredible screenplay are easier to admire when you know what’s to come.

If you’re somehow completely unfamiliar with “Slumdog,” Boyle’s film is the Dickensian tale of a young man (played in the majority of the film by Dev Patel) who goes on the Indian version of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” not to win the money but to be reunited with the love of his life (Freida Pinto).

“Slumdog” has a beautiful message in that it illustrates that life experience can be just as valuable as typical standards of intelligence. This excellent film is a crowd-pleaser, a romance, a fantasy, a drama, a musical, a comedy, and a portrait of a part of the world rarely seen in English-language cinema. It is an incredibly easy film to love.

As for the video, remastered in 1080p with a 2.35:1 aspect ratio, it looks incredible. Some Fox Blu-Ray releases have been a bit of a letdown when compared to other studio’s transfers but you will not be disappointed in “Slumdog Millionaire”. It’s been perfectly mixed and is the kind of film that you could use to show off your new HD TV. It’s a mesmerizing picture. The audio matches the video with a crystal clear English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track.

Slumdog Millionaire will be released on Blu-Ray on March 31st, 2009.
Slumdog Millionaire will be released on Blu-Ray on March 31st, 2009.
Photo credit: MPI

The special features on “Slumdog Millionaire” include:

Slumdog Millionaire will be released on Blu-Ray on March 31st, 2009.
Slumdog Millionaire will be released on Blu-Ray on March 31st, 2009.
Photo credit: MPI

Commentary by Director Danny Boyle and Actor Dev Patel (121 minutes)
Commentary by Producer Christian Colson and Writer Simon Beaufoy (121 minutes)

Two fantastic commentary tracks from different sides of the “Slumdog Millionaire” production are the highlight of the special features on this Blu-Ray release. The fantastically entertaining Boyle and the young man he made a star offer more of an on-the-ground perspective to the filmmaking while the Oscar-winning producer and writer give more of the background of the film. They’re great tracks, particularly Boyle’s. He’s a man I’ve been lucky enough to interview more than once and he’s SO well-spoken and interesting that one hopes he will do a commentary on every film he makes.

Deleted Scenes (33:51)

An amazing wealth of deleted scenes but none of it is introduced and it would have been nice for Boyle, Colson, Beaufoy or editor Chris Dickens to discuss why these scenes were cut out of the final film. It does indicate how perfect the editing was because while some directors and editors would have looked at a lot of this footage and wanted to keep the excellent performances and arguable depth these scenes added, Boyle and Dickens realized that the film worked better at a breakneck pace. Watch the deleted scenes and imagine them back in the film and you’ll see why both Dickens and Boyle are Oscar winners.

Slumdog Dreams: Danny Boyle & the Making of Slumdog Millionaire (22:58)

Every element of the production is examined in a slightly-too-brief look at the film. Less than half an hour of behind-the-scenes on a film that is this ambitious seems light, but the two commentary tracks fill in most of the gaps.

Slumdog Cutdown (5:36)

A mash-up, five-minute version of the film set to “Jai Ho”. Entertaining but the kind of thing you’ll never watch more than once.

From Script to Screen: Toilet Scene (5:25)

Self-explanatory examination of a controversial and pivotal scene.

Indian Short Film - “Manjha” (41:03)

Boyle himself chose this short film by Rahi Anil Barve to accompany his movie. I wish Boyle would have introduced the short film and explained its importance to him but it’s nice to see something creative like this as a special feature on a Blu-Ray that will clearly have a wide audience.

As Boyle said, according to Bollywood.com, “I’m delighted to include Manjha on the Blu-ray DVD release of Slumdog Millionaire throughout the world. Manjha is an extraordinary film. With little resources it is visually stunning and emotionally captivating. Surprising and gripping, it’s everything a short film should be, and I look forward with great anticipation to the director Rahi’s next project Tumbad.”

Theatrical Trailer & European Theatrical Trailer

Self-explanatory.

“Bombay Liquid Dance” Music Video (3:00)

This is kind of silly. It’s merely footage of Bombay with some music from the film for 3 minutes. It barely qualifies as a music video.

The Blu-Ray release for “Slumdog Millionaire” is likely to be one of the bestsellers of the early part of 2009. Even with an inferior technical transfer and no special features, fans would have picked this up because of how much they love Jamal, Latika, and Salim. We should be grateful to Fox that they didn’t take the easy way out and gave fans of one of the most Oscar-winning films of the last few decades what they and the film deserve.

‘Slumdog Millionaire’ is released by Twentieth Century Fox and stars Dev Patel, Freida Pinto, Madhur Mittal, Anil Kapoor, and Irrfan Khan. It was written by Simon Beaufoy and directed by Danny Boyle. It will be released on March 31st, 2009. It is rated R.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

By BRIAN TALLERICO
Content Director
HollywoodChicago.com
brian@hollywoodchicago.com

Dave's picture

So clear!

Wow, how did you get such amazing stills from the movie? I’ve not seen Slumdog, but I’ll be getting it based on your review alone.

Masha's picture

best movie of the year

I want to watch this movie but can not to find there I may download it. I listen about this film many good thing and I wait release of this movie.

Anonymous's picture

the kids play brillian childhood.

i love their childhood, the kids are amazing and awesome!

Anonymous's picture

great movie.. i watched it

great movie.. i watched it just few days ago

Movies Fan's picture

Cool movie

I like this movie very much, I saw it like 100 times :)

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