Slumdog Millionaire is a British drama film directed by Danny Boyle, written by Simon Beaufoy, and produced by Christian Colson. Filmed in India, it is a loose adaptation of the novel Q & A by Indian author and diplomat Vikas Swarup, telling the story of Jamal Malik, age 18, from the Juhu slums of Mumbai. As a contestant on the Indian version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? who is able to answer every question correctly, he is accused of cheating. Jamal recounts his history, illustrating how he is able to answer each question.
After its world premiere at the Telluride Film Festival and later screenings at the Toronto International Film Festival and the London Film Festival, Slumdog Millionaire had a nationwide release in the United Kingdom on 9 January 2009, in Mumbai on 22 January 2009, and in the United States on 23 January 2009.
In 2006, eighteen-year-old Jamal Malik from Juhu slum is one question away from the grand prize of ₹20 million on the Indian version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?. However, before seeing the final question, he gets taken into custody and tortured by the police, who suspect that he was cheating due to the impossibility of a simple "slumdog" with very little education to know all the answers to the question. Through flashbacks, Jamal recounts the incidents in his life where he got all the answers from.
The flashbacks begin at the age of five when he managed to obtain an autograph of Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan, which his brother Salim sold, immediately followed by his mother dying at the Bombay Riots. As they flee the riot, they meet a girl from their slum named Latika. Salim was reluctant to have her come with them, but Jamal suggests her being the third musketeer, a character from the Alexandre Dumas novel which they had been studying in school, but not very carefully, so they did not know the name of the third musketeer. The three are found by Maman, a gangster who traffics children into becoming beggars by making them blind. When they discover this, they try to flee onto the departing train. However, Latika does not make it and gets recaptured by Maman. Salim and Jamal spend the next few years travelling on top of trains, selling goods, picking pockets, working as dish washers and stealing other people's shoes by impersonating tour guides at the Taj Mahal. They then return to Mumbai to find Latika, but find out that Maman has turned her into a prostitute. The brothers manage to rescue her and shoot Maman to death as they escape. Salim then gets a job with Javed - Maman's rival crime lord. Back at their room, Salim orders Jamal to leave him and Latika alone, but Jamal refuses. Salim points a gun at him, but Latika persuades Jamal to obey his brother.
Years later, Jamal is now a tea-boy at an call centre. He searches the centre's database for Salim and Latika, and while he is able to find Salim, he cannot find Latika. Salim is now a high-ranking lieutenant at Javed's crime organisation. Jamal reproaches Salim, who pleads for forgiveness and offers him to stay in his luxurious apartment, to which Jamal agrees, but only to reunite with Latika. However, she asks him to forget about her. Jamal nevertheless promises to wait for her every day at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus. However, he gets captured by Javed's men, led by Salim, and once Javed moves to a new house outside Mumbai, the two are separated again. Jamal eventually becomes a contestant on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, knowing that Latika watches the show. He soon becomes a wonder across India. He uses his 50:50 lifeline on the next to last question and during the break, Kumar, the show's host, tries to feed Jamal a wrong answer, but Jamal did not take his advice and went for the correct one.
The police soon become involved after suspecting that Jamal is cheating. After a battery, Jamal explains how he managed to answer every questions. The police inspector finds the explanations "bizarrely plausible" and allows him back onto the show. At Javed's safehouse, Latika sees Jamal on the news. Salim tries to make amends for his past behavior by giving Latika his phone and car keys and asking her to forgive him and to pass the message to Jamal. Latika reluctantly agrees and escapes. Meanwhile, Jamal faces the final question, asking for the name of the third musketeer in The Three Musketeers. He uses the Phone-A-Friend lifeline to call Salim, not knowing any other phone numbers, but is surprised when Latika answers the phone. Unfortunately, she did not know the answer, but tells Jamal that she is safe. After the phone call, Jamal goes for Aramis, the correct answer and wins the grand prize. Javed, hearing Latika on the show, finds out what Salim has done try to get rid of him, but Salim manages to kill Javed. Jamal and Latika meet at the railway station, kiss, and dance to the song "Jai Ho."
- Dev Patel: Jamal Malik
- Freida Pinto: Latika
- Madhur Mittal: Salim K. Malik
- Anil Kapoor: Prem Kumar
- Irrfan Khan: Police Inspector
- Saurabh Shukla: Police Constable Srinivas
- Mahesh Manjrekar: Javed Khan
- Ankur Vikal: Maman
- Rajendranath Zutshi: Millionaire show producer
- Sanchita Choudhary: Jamal's Mother
- Mia Drake Inderbitzin: Adele
- Siddhesh Patil: Arvind
- Arfi Lamba: Bardi
- Shruti Seth: Voice accent trainer
Regarded as a sleeper hit, Slumdog Millionaire was widely acclaimed, being praised for its plot, soundtrack and direction. It was nominated for ten Academy Awards in 2009 and won eight—the most for any 2008 film—including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay. It won seven BAFTA Awards including Best Film, five Critics' Choice Awards and four Golden Globes.
The film has received generally positive reviews from critics. It garnered a 92% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 267 reviews with the consensus saying, "Visually dazzling and emotionally resonant, Slumdog Millionaire is a film that's both entertaining and powerful." It also received a rating of 86 on MetaCritic based on 36 reviews.
Box Office ReceptionEdit
The film has a grossing total of $377,910,544, making it Fox Searchlight Picture's highest-grossing film.
- The Indian version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? as portrayed in the film is different from the real version in the following ways:
- The show in the film has the English name while the name of the actual show, Kaun Banega Crorepati, is in Hindi.
- The amount of questions on Kaun Banega Crorepati was never reduced to 10. However, not all of the questions may have been shown.
- In the film, the values of the questions are shown in a standard Arabic numeral system, while the actual version uses the Indoarabic numbering system (which differs in decimal comma placement)
- The film version isn't shown to have milestone questions as Kumar mentions that Jamal will lose everything if he gets a question wrong. The real version, however, does use milestones.
- Brad Abbey, a contestant from the U.S. version of the show, was asked a question about this film for $100.
- In the Russian dub, Prem Kumar was voiced by Dmitry Dibrov, the host of the Russian version of Millionaire: Kto khochet stat' millionerom?.
A sound track album for the film, called Slumdog Millionaire: Music from the Motion Picture, was released on 25 November 2008.