Post ‘Slumdog Millionaire,’ watching an earlier Danny Boyle movie is not going to be a neutral exercise. But let me tell you, this is a really original movie. Both in terms of screenplay and direction. I can imagine why despite being good, this movie failed to garner significant audience attention. The element of fantasy where Saints and other Godly people flit around the screen and hold man to man conversations with our protagonist may have put off some people. And Danny Boyle is sometimes more interested in story telling rather than the story itself.
Essentially the story is about what happens when a bag of money lands on the cardboard hideout of a 7 year old kid. He believes it is from God, to do good to the world. This movie would have gone in an entirely different direction in typical Hollywood fanfare. Goons, cheap thrills, larger than life intelligent kids, too much sanity and uptightness…It would have ended up as a Home Alone sequel. The great thing about Frank Cottrell Boyce is that this story becomes much more than all this. It is about innocence, virtue and the love and longing of a boy for his dead mother. What makes this movie so endearing to me is that the 7 year old kid here has a real voice. And the simplicity of his morality appears genuine. Its not easy to write stories with kids as central characters. In the hands of lesser writers, kids end up precocious.