Slumdog Millionaire

January 23rd, 2009

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Slumdog Millionaire

Still of Danny Boyle and Freida Pinto in Slumdog MillionaireStill of Ayush Mahesh Khedekar in Slumdog MillionaireStill of Dev Patel and Freida Pinto in Slumdog MillionaireStill of Freida Pinto in Slumdog MillionaireStill of Anil Kapoor and Dev Patel in Slumdog MillionaireSlumdog Millionaire

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

Director: Danny Boyle

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

Dev Patel - Older Jamal
Saurabh Shukla - Sergeant Srinivas
Anil Kapoor - Prem
Rajendranath Zutshi - Director (as Raj Zutshi)
Jeneva Talwar - Vision Mixer
Freida Pinto - Older Latika
Irrfan Khan - Police Inspector
Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail - Youngest Salim
Ayush Mahesh Khedekar - Youngest Jamal
Jira Banjara - Airport Security Guard (as Hira Banjara)
Sheikh Wali - Airport Security Guard
Mahesh Manjrekar - Javed
Sanchita Choudhary - Jamal's Mother
Himanshu Tyagi - Mr Nanda
Sharib Hashmi - Prakash

Taglines: What does it take to find a lost love? A. Money B. Luck C. Smarts D. Destiny


Official Website: Official site | Official site [France] |

Release Date: 23 January 2009

Filming Locations: Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India

Box Office Details

Budget: $15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $360,018 (USA) (16 November 2008) (10 Screens)

Gross: $141,319,195 (USA) (24 May 2009)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Local Indian authorities decided to step in and move the children and their families from slums to new houses.

Factual errors: 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".

Police Inspector: [whispering] Doctors... Lawyers... never get past 60 thousand rupees. He's won 10 million.
Police Inspector: What the hell can a slumdog possibly know?
Jamal Malik: [quietly] The answers.
[spits out blood]
Jamal Malik: [quietly and gently] I knew the answers.

User Review

The little movie that will wow audiences this year.

Rating: 9/10

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 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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