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Slumdog Millionaire (2008)

R  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  25 December 2008 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 602,092 users   Metascore: 86/100
Reviews: 1,002 user | 412 critic | 36 from Metacritic.com

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.


(screenplay), (novel)
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Won 8 Oscars. Another 139 wins & 111 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Rajendranath Zutshi ...
Director (as Raj Zutshi)
Jeneva Talwar ...
Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail ...
Jira Banjara ...
Airport Security Guard (as Hira Banjara)
Sheikh Wali ...
Airport Security Guard
Mahesh Manjrekar ...
Sanchita Choudhary ...
Himanshu Tyagi ...
Sharib Hashmi ...


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

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Love and money... You have mixed them both. See more »


Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some violence, disturbing images and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






| |

Release Date:

25 December 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Quisiera ser millonario  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$360,018 (USA) (14 November 2008)


$141,319,195 (USA) (22 May 2009)

Company Credits

Production Co:

, ,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In the scene early in the film where Maman approaches Jamal and Salim to give them a cool drink, the "Thums Up" branding had to be removed on the request of the manufacturers who did not want to be associated with the film. See more »


While driving the car after escaping from Javed and going towards meeting Jamal, the scar appears on right side of Latika's face although it is on left side of her face before the scene when Salim slips her hair and in rest of the movie. However, Latika's face is seen in the rear view mirror of the car; therefore, the scar on her left cheek appears to be on the right cheek. See more »


Police Inspector: Well, well. The Slumdog Barks.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Several of the cast perform a traditional Bollywood song and dance number set in a train station over the end credits. See more »


Liquid Dance
Music by A.R. Rahman
Performed by Palakkad Sriram and Madhumita
Published by K.M. Musiq Ltd.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The little movie that will wow audiences this year.
7 September 2008 | by (Toronto, ON) – See all my reviews

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 somewhat like 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 the show.

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.

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