The movie, nominated for a slew of Oscars this morning and the winner of four Golden Globes (including best picture), opens with a young man being tortured by Indian police for allegedly cheating during India’s version of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire." They cannot reconcile how someone from his impoverished background could acquire the knowledge that is allowing him to win millions of rupees.
He explains how he knows the answers to each question through a series of flashbacks to a startlingly disturbing childhood in which he and his orphan brother scavenge to survive (hence the slumdog tag). Amid the violence and poverty, there are moments of joy and humor — providing tremendous relief to the audience.
But once the movie ends on a touching note and you expect to see the credits start rolling, the lead actor starts dancing with the love of his life and all these other dancers line up behind them in a revue of sorts. This afterthought works amazingly well in "Mamma Mia, " but seems misplaced in "Slumdog Millionaire" — even if it's a Bollywood production.