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Craft Spotlight: Slumdog Millionaire

With its heady mixture of the mean streets of Mumbai and a universal rags-to-riches fairy tale, “Slumdog Millionaire” taxed the considerable talents of production designer Mark Digby and costume designer Suttirat Anne Larlarb. Frequent Danny Boyle collaborator Digby (“28 Days Later,” “Millions”), already familiar with the challenges of shooting in India, having designed “A Mighty Heart,” reports that both wanted the film to reflect “a very modern and real India, and not allow old stereotypes and past perceptions of a long-dead colonial era to influence the visual integrity of ‘Slumdog.’ ”

Digby decided on colors and a corresponding palette that “would embrace and celebrate the diversity and sometimes uncompromising complexities and contradictions of India and especially Mumbai.” Larlarb’s mission was twofold: “We vigorously endeavored to keep the clothes as real as possible, although extras would consistently turn up in their ‘Sunday finest’ — beautiful, jeweled silks for street and slum scenes. And we made sure the main characters visually stood out for the purposes of storytelling, but didn’t feel overly stylized or heavy-handed in the approach to their clothes.”

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