Slumdog MillionaireJanuary 23, 2009
A Mumbai teen who grew up in the slums, becomes a contestant on the Indian version of "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" He is arrested under suspicion of cheating, and while being interrogated, events from his life history are shown which explain why he knows the answers.
Release Year: 2008
Rating: 8.2/10 (273,467 voted)
Critic's Score: 86/100
Stars: Dev Patel, Freida Pinto, Saurabh Shukla
The story of Jamal Malik, an 18 year-old orphan from the slums of Mumbai, who is about to experience the biggest day of his life. With the whole nation watching, he is just one question away from winning a staggering 20 million rupees on India's
Writers: Simon Beaufoy, Vikas Swarup
(as Raj Zutshi)
Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail
Ayush Mahesh Khedekar
Airport Security Guard
(as Hira Banjara)
Airport Security Guard
What does it take to find a lost love? A. Money B. Luck C. Smarts D. Destiny
Release Date: 23 January 2009
Filming Locations: Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India
Box Office Details
Opening Weekend: $360,018
(16 November 2008)
(24 May 2009)
Did You Know?
Local Indian authorities decided to step in and move the children and their families from slums to new houses.
The "Millionaire" format is sold worldwide with the same rules, with small variations, like the amount of the final prize to adjust for the currency value. One rule is the presence of the two milestone – or "parachute" – questions (#5 and #10), to prevent the contestants' prize from falling further if they answer wrong. Yet the host keeps mentioning that if Jamal answers wrong he will "lose everything" or "get nothing".
Doctors… Lawyers… never get past 60 thousand rupees. He's won 10 million.
What the hell can a slumdog possibly know?
[spits out blood]
[quietly and gently]
I knew the answers.
The little movie that will wow audiences this year.
There has already been some talk coming from Telluride that this film
is set to be this year's 'Juno.' It does have the same distributor and
it is set for the same release period, and for anyone who hears this
buzz, they will definitely not be disappointed.
During the premiere of the final cut (in the words of director Danny
Boyle) at the Toronto International Film Festival, the audience gave
the film an incredibly enthusiastic response, and it went on to win the
People's Choice Award. Boyle, who is sometimes called a British Richard
Linklater for yet again surprising the audience with such diverse
subject matter, worked his magic. He transcended genres and created a
truly unique and energetic picture.
Just about every aspect of this film deserves merit, and above all it
belongs to Boyle, who managed to assemble such a massive achievement.
The score by A.R. Rahman, with contributions from M.I.A., perfectly
accompanies the action on screen. Still, it is great enough to be
listened to on its own. With India as a backdrop, Boyle and his
cinematographer have composed some remarkable images. The acting is
roundly impressive, especially coming from the younger cast, almost all
of which has never acted before.
The film begins as Jamal (Skins' Dev Patel) is under interrogation by
Mumbai police for cheating on India's version of Who Wants To Be a
Millionaire, being only one question away from winning it all. As the
inspector says, even doctors and lawyers cannot come close to the 20m
rupee prize, and so Jamal, having grown up on the streets of Mumbai,
cannot possibly know these things. As Jamal tries to avoid further
torture, he begins to explain to the police how he knew each of the
answers. Flashbacks present Jamal's boyhood and explain how he got to
At the centre of his journey is his brother, Salim, and a girl, Latika,
who is left a homeless orphan after an attack that took Jamal's mother
as well. After running from a man who exploits the trio for labour,
Jamal replays the incident when Latika left his life when she was
unable to catch a moving train. His uncertainty of her fate on the
streets of Mumbai and his intense desire to see his first and only love
again lead him to the interrogation room where the film began.
Like 'Juno,' Slumdog Millionaire is by genre a comedic drama, but it
becomes much more. The film asks questions about fate, righteousness,
greed, and even urban sprawl. Above all, however, it asks about love in
the face of the most dire obstacles, and if it can truly prosper.
Jamal's story is a tragic and unfortunate one, but as seen through his
eyes, it is still beautiful. The vast colour palate of India overwhelm
any negative feelings, and Jamal's hope of finding and being with
Latika overwhelm despair. For Jamal, 20m rupees isn't his prize. It
would be nearly impossible for there to be a better picture this year.