After recounting the harrowing childhoods of two orphaned street urchins, current international movie hit “Slumdog Millionaire” bursts into a song-and-dance number in a Mumbai train station. British director Danny Boyle adapts his hallucinatory cinematic style of “Trainspotting” to the teeming streets of urban India with aplomb, and he couldn’t not give a nod to the city’s most famous export: Bollywood films. Stars Dev Patel (who you might recognize from “Skins,” the fabulous BBC series on the inner lives of teens) and Freida Pinto throw down their best Saturday Night Fever moves to a bhangra beat AR Rahman’s catchy “Jai Ho” featuring Sukhvinder Singh, Tanvi Shah and Mahalaxmi Iyer. Actually, though “Slumdog” is not a Bollywood musical per se, the soundtrack featuring performers such as MIA is such an integral part of the film that it’s not so removed from the over-the-top genre. If you liked “Slumdog,” go back to the source: Watch Film Curator Gina Caruso’s must-see picks at the second annual Bollywood Film Festival, now at the Doris Duke Theatre through Jan. 11. (She has to be on the phone at crazy hours to secure the films!) You get lovely, goofy romantic comedies such as “Main, Meri Patni Aur Woh” on Jan. 7 and 8, but also films with some socially conscious meat, like “Rang de Basanti” on Jan. 4.
Last year’s first Bollywood Film Festival was such a hit that Caruso decided to go annual. And again India Cafe is setting up a station in the Pavilion Court, so you can have a delicious curry dinner 5:30-6:30 (except Jan. 10) before the film.
The festival wouldn’t be possible without the support of Indru Watumull, Debashri Sengupta Muralidharan, and Christina Marouda, Director of the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles, Alice Coelho of Eros Entertainment, Lokesh Dhar and Prakash R. Chandran of UTV Films, and Gaurav Sabharwal of Yashraj Films.