Slumdog Millionaire is a fairytale fantasy with realism thrown in to lend weight. The hilarious, suspense filled story is told with cinematography that creates views of vast tin-roofed slums of Mumbai that can only be called exquisite while dutifully keeping us in mind of their filth and poverty, and the wonderful music (for which it has a Golden Globe nomination) keeps the high going.
In spite of horrifying scenes of the exploitation and in-front-of-your-eyes mutilation of children, murderous sectarian violence, filth, poverty, pollution and institutionalized torture, it all adds up to fluff–hard to do but they manage. Is that in itself exploitation? Or entertainment?