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Thomas Kail on Danny Boyle’s ‘Slumdog Millionaire’

Director finds powerful mode to tell story

In his latest film, “Slumdog Millionaire,” Danny Boyle breathes life into the fiercely irrepressible hero Jamal and the kaleidoscopic beauty of Mumbai with a pulsing vitality. He creates a dazzling tapestry through his trust of the skilled co-director Loveleen Tandan and the freedom he gives the cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle, who executes a perfectly appropriate run-and-gun approach. Boyle has found a most powerful mode to tell this story, which was written by Simon Beaufoy with exhilarating inevitability. Employing a successful flashback construct, Boyle grabs us and spins us through the story with palpable delight. The sheer velocity of the storytelling is captivating and effective, but the most impressive achievement is Boyle’s ability to understand — and clearly express — the complexity of two brothers’ enduring love for each other. Boyle has assembled a marvelous group of actors who exude such honesty and humanity that I invested in them easily and completely. It is a thrill to be around someone who bursts with a passion for his work: “Slumdog Millionaire” reaffirms how deeply Boyle loves making movies. How lucky for all of us!

Thomas Kail directed “In the Heights,” which won the 2008 Tony for musical.

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