Comedy, Romance and Magic From India In This Week’s DVD Releases

By Diana Srougi

MONTREAL(RPRN) 02/03/09- So many people have been waiting for “Slumdog Millionaire” to come out on DVD and finally it’s here. And two other fabulous releases are also to be discovered this week.

Slumdog Millionaire

At last, the big winner of this year’s Academy Awards is out on DVD! “Slumdog Millionaire” is without a doubt one of 2009’s most anticipated films, bringing forth the kind of magic rarely seen in blockbusters.

This romantic drama was directed by Danny Boyle, who’s cinematic approach is reminiscent of some of his past successes such as “Trainspotting”, “The Beach”, “Millions” and “Sunshine”. Boyle worked alongside Loveleen Tandan (“Monsoon Wedding”, “Brick Lane”), his co-director from India. Writer Simon Beaufoy based his screenplay on Vikas Swarup’s novel entitled “Q & A”. “Slumdog Millionaire”, starring Dev Patel, Freida Pinto, Madhur Mittal and Prem Kumar, tells the story of Jamal, a young man who grew up in the slums of Mumbai and becomes a contestant on the Indian version of “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire”. Authorities find it suspicious that he gets all the answers right on the first show. Jamal is therefore forced to justify his knowledge by recounting his life story and the trials he’s encountered with his deceitful brother and his long lost love. This film won the Oscar for Best Motion Picture, but also took home seven other
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Academy Awards for cinematography, directing, editing, writing, sound and music. It won prizes at almost every film festival and event that it participated in, including the Golden Globes, the London Critics Circle Film Awards, the American Society of Cinematographers, the Austin Film Festival, the BAFTA Awards, the British Independent Film Awards, the Satellite Awards, the Toronto International Film Festival, etc.

DVD release date: March 31st 2009

Distributor: 8.6/10

Rating: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Seven Pounds

Oscar nominee (for his performance in “The Pursuit Of Happiness” and “Ali”) Will Smith stars in “Seven Pounds”, with Rosario Dawson (“Sin City” and “Grindhouse”) and Academy Award nominee Woody Harrelson (“The People vs Larry Flint”, “No Country For Old Men”). Italian filmmaker Gabriele Muccino, who gave us “The Pursuit Of Happiness” in 2006, is the director of this drama written by Grant Nieporte (this is his first motion picture screenplay). “Seven Pounds” tells the moving story of an IRS agent who is haunted by the deadly car crash that he caused. He seeks redemption by planning to do good in the lives of seven people unknown to him, until he falls in love with one of them. This movie was nominated for Best Film and for Best Director at the Black Reel Awards, and for Best Original Screenplay at the Satellite Awards. At the Imagine Awards, Will Smith and Rosario Dawson both won for Outstanding Actor/Actress.

DVD release date: March 31st 2009

Distributor: Columbia Pictures

Rating: 7.6/10

Marley and Me

Starring Oscar nominee (for his performance in Wes Anderson’s “The Royal Tenenbaums”) Owen Wilson, and Golden Globe winner (for the television series “Friends”) Jennifer Aniston and… Clyde the dog, this week’s comedy “Marley and Me” is fun for the whole family. Academy Award winning director for his short film “Dear Diary” in 1997, David Frankel (“The Devil Wears Prada”), directed this film. It’s the adaptation of John Grogan’s novel, transformed into a screenplay by writers Scott Frank and Don Roos. John and Jennifer move to Florida after getting married. John, however, doesn’t want kids just yet, so he buys his wife an adorable puppy that grows up to be overly energetic and utterly untamable, which is actually not such a bad thing. “Marley and Me” screened at the Glasgow Film Festival and at the Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival.

DVD release date: March 31st 2009

Distributor: Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation

Rating: 7.2/10