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.
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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 Kaun Banega Crorepati? (2000) (Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?) But when the show breaks for the night, police arrest him on suspicion of cheating; how could a street kid know so much? Desperate to prove his innocence, Jamal tells the story of his life in the slum where he and his brother grew up, of their adventures together on the road, of vicious encounters with local gangs, and of Latika, the girl he loved and lost. Each chapter of his story reveals the key to the answer to one of the game show's questions. Each chapter of Jamal's increasingly layered story reveals where he learned the answers to the show's seemingly impossible quizzes. But one question remains a mystery: what is this young man with no apparent desire for riches really ... Written by
Fox Searchlight Pictures
Mercedes-Benz asked that its logos be removed in scenes taking place in the slums. The company, according to Danny Boyle, did not want to be associated with the poverty-stricken area, fearing that that might taint its image. See more »
The original TV show "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" is recorded in studio some days before the actual broadcast. The show that we see in the film is broadcast live, which raises the incongruence that the person from home can easily see the question on TV, having plenty of time to come up with an answer before receiving the actual call. This explains the need to have the questions reread on the phone, and the credibility of the time limit. Moreover, the call itself is never directed to a mobile number, to prevent connection troubles, and for the same reason it's never issued directly when the contestant asks for it; the call is first made in the very moment the contestant begins his round and it's then kept live (but soundless) until the contestant calls for the hotline. As a side fact, after the hotline has been used the contact is still kept, so the contestant's people can hear live what happens from then on. However, this kind of show may have a 10-15-minute time delay. See more »
Danny Boyle has come up with some interesting cinema, certainly defining himself as someone above average. What he achieves in "Slumdog Millionaire" is transcend the line between inspiration and a miracle, awakening an emotional connection to the very special element great cinema can deliver. The packages might have changed, and the contents are more controversial and maybe a bit more tied to reality, certainly taking us to an exotic local, teaching us that our world extends beyond our freeway and limited perception of how more than the other half of the world's population has to deal without certainly preaching to us.
The tale of two brothers' lives is told to us through episodic flashbacks tied to an episode of India's "Who Wants to be a millionaire?". At first, the story introduces one of the brothers as being the subject of a very strong interrogation to find out whether he is being truthful about some knowledge that might be relevant to the game. As he answers the questions, we discover that this young man's life story might be more interesting than we originally expected.
There is an element of freshness in the way the story is presented, as we accompany Jamal through his life odyssey from a young child in the slums to a man who is determined to save those he loves. There are some strong emotions in the film, and Boyle's direction keeps the film dynamic and engaging.
Prepare yourself to be overtaken by emotions as varied as joy, pity, happiness, anger, revulsion, surprise, and an exhilarating conclusion rarely seen in movies anymore. This film has made me grateful to be alive and that we still have people in cinema like Boyle who understands the power and beauty of the medium. He knows that the perfect mix of a great story and the respective imagery can provoke unforgettable memories in its audience.
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