Slumdog Millionaire

Jamal Malik, a former street child from Mumbai, is being interrogated by the police. He is a contestant on Kaun Banega Crorepati, the Indian version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, and has made it to the final question but has been accused of cheating.

The explanation of how he knew the answers leads us through the history of his short but full life, including scenes of obtaining the autograph of a famous Bollywood star (Amitabh Bachchan); the death of his mother during an anti-Muslim raid on the slums; and how he and his brother Salim befriended an orphaned girl, Latika. Jamal refers to Salim and himself as Athos and Porthos, and Latika as the third Musketeer of which they do not know the name.

Living on the trash heaps, they are discovered by Maman, a gangster who runs an orphanage and then uses the children to beg and bring in money. Salim is groomed to become a part of Maman’s operation, and is tasked to bring Jamal so he can be blinded to improve his income potential as a blind singer. Salim rebels against Maman to protect his brother, and the three children try to escape, but only Salim and Jamal are successful. Latika is re-captured by Maman’s organization and raised as a culturally talented prostitute whose virginity will fetch a high price.

The brothers eke out a living, traveling on top of trains, selling goods, pretending to be tour guides at the Taj Mahal, and pickpocketing. Jamal eventually insists that they return to Mumbai since he wishes to locate Latika. When he finds her working as a dancer in a brothel, the brothers attempt to rescue her, but Maman intrudes, and in the resulting conflict Salim draws a gun and kills Maman. Salim then uses the fact that he killed Maman to obtain a job with Javed, a rival crime lord. Salim claims Latika as his own, and when Jamal protests, Salim threatens to kill him and Latika intervenes, accepting her fate with Salim.

Years later, Jamal is working as an assistant in a call center, serving tea to the employees. When he is asked to cover for a co-worker for a couple of minutes, he searches the database for Salim and Latika. He gets in touch with Salim, who has become a high-ranking lieutenant in Javed’s organization. Salim invites Jamal to live with him and, after following Salim to Javed’s house, he sees Latika living there. He talks his way in as the new dishwasher and tries to convince Latika to leave. She rebukes his advances, but he promises to be at the train station every day at 5 p.m. Latika attempts to rendezvous with him, but is re-captured by Javed’s men and Salim. One slashes her cheek with a knife, giving her a scar.

Jamal again loses contact with Latika when Javed moves to another home. In another attempt to find Latika, Jamal tries out for the game show because he knows that she will be watching. He makes it to the final question, despite the hostile attitude of the host who feeds Jamal an incorrect answer during a break. At the end of the episode’s taping, Jamal has one question left to win 20 million rupees and is taken into police custody, where he is tortured as the police attempt to learn how Jamal, a simple slumdog, could know the answers to so many questions. After Jamal tells his whole story, answer after answer, the police inspector calls it “bizarrely plausible” and allows Jamal to return to the show for the final question. At Javed’s safehouse, Latika watches the news coverage of Jamal’s miraculous run on the show. Salim gives Latika the keys to his car and his phone and urges her to run away. When Jamal uses his Phone-A-Friend lifeline to call Salim, Latika answers his phone and they reconnect. She does not know the answer to the final question either, but believing that “it is written”, Jamal guesses at the answer (the one Musketeer they never learned the name of, Aramis) and wins the money. Simultaneously, Salim is discovered to have helped Latika escape and allows himself to be killed in a bathtub full of money after shooting and killing Javed.

Later that night, Jamal and Latika meet at the train station, and finally share a kiss. The closing credits then play with a Bollywood-style musical number.

Watch it people. Just watch it.


~ by eNocH on Monday, January 5, 2009.

8 Responses to “Slumdog Millionaire”

  1. Happy New Year! Malapit na berdey mo! Pa cheeseburger ka naman!

  2. akala ko real life na nangyari! yun pala movie! ^_^ nice! i like your review. ^^

  3. maganda nga raw sabi ni mo twister sa magic na download ko na kagabi try ko panoorin later pag uwi ko…

  4. Just read the book…

    Holding out on getting myself a pirated DVD copy or catching a torrent – I’ll wait ’til this comes out in Philippine cinemas.

    Kahit sa may Ayala cinemas man lang….

  5. matagal ng available sa torrent. screener pa. :)

  6. again, this is an excellent movie!

  7. one great movie.. grabe.. ang galing nga ngreview nya eh.. it was good, worth more academies than all the other movies could have earned..

    tama ung answer ko to the intro question..

    (D.) It is written.

    grabe.. i could not get over it all..

    ang galing.

    it’s worth the academy tlga!!!


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