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Slumdog Millionaire ends 52nd London Film Festival on a high

Slumdog Millionaire, closing night gala

Story by Jack Foley

DANNY Boyle’s new film Slumdog Millionaire brought the Times BFI 52nd London Film Festival to a close on a very high note in Leicester Square on Thursday night (October 30, 2008).

The film, which follows the fortunes of an orphan from the slums of Mumbai to becoming the potential winner of India’s Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, received widely glowing reviews.

The stars of the film – including Skins actor Dev Patel and Freida Pinto – joined director Danny Boyle on the red carpet, as well as posing for photos and signing autographs for the many film fans who’d braved the cold weather to wish them well.

Among the many positive reviews that followed the closing night gala screening The Independent newspaper hailed the collaboration with Bollywood megastar Anil Kapoor as being even better than the director’s Trainspotting.

Slumdog Millionaire is an exhilarating ride… with a wild energy that makes even Trainspotting (Boyle’s calling card) look leaden-footed,” it said.

The Times, meanwhile, was equally impressed, awarding it four out of five stars and noting: “The fairytale power of the film is in watching a city evolve through the eyes of a child. There’s a comic poetry about it that feels totally in tune with its Indian setting.”

It concludes that the film had helped to deliver “a festival finale that puts a spring in your step and brings a tear to the eye”.

And The Daily Telegraph wrote: “Slumdog Millionaire is that rarity, a populist, mainstream entertainment that finds a way to deliver cheerful uplift to its audience without ever insulting the intelligence. A terrific festival climax.”

The 52nd London Film Festival proved another barnstorming success, having offered film fans a fortnight of films commencing with the world premiere of Ron Howard’s Frost/Nixon on October 15.

The festival finished with an undoubted flourish, with Wednesday’s night’s first public screening of new James Bond movie Quantum of Solace a popular draw immediately following the film’s Royal World premiere in Leicester Square.

View photos of the Slumdog Millionaire premiere

View photos of the Quantum of Solace Royal World premiere

Frost/Nixon world premiere photos