Movie Review: Slumdog Millionaire (2008) English Film

S L U M D O G    M I L L I O N A I R E


Slumdog Millionaire is a 2008 British film directed by Danny Boyle, screenplay written by Simon Beaufoy, and co-directed in India by Loveleen Tandan. It is an adaptation of the novel Q & A (2005) by Indian author and diplomat Vikas Swarup. Set and filmed in India, the film tells the story of Jamal Malik, a young man from the dharavi slums of Mumbai who appears on the Indian version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? and exceeds people’s expectations, thereby arousing the suspicions of the game show host and of law enforcement officials.

Slumdog Millionaire was nominated for ten Academy Awards in 2009 and won eight, the most for any film of 2008, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay. It also won seven BAFTA Awards (including Best Film), five Critics’ Choice Awards, and four Golden Globes. Slumdog Millionaire has been criticised concerning language use, its portrayals of Indians, and the welfare of its child actors.


“You don’t have to be a genius to be a millionaire.”

Surely you wouldn’t believe this phrase right? But no, in Slumdog Millionaire, Jamal Malik, a former street child from the Juhu slums and with no proper education at all, answered every single question on the variety show “Who wants to be a Millionaire?”. Exceeding people’s expectations from an uneducated man, suspicions aroused that he already know the answers therefore he cheated. But that’s what they thought. He kept on telling them that it’s just luck that he got the answers right, since every question has something to do with his past.

And that’s the cheecky part, due to his past, he managed to answer all the questions without fail. I really like how the writer and director showed a very meaningful lesson. It doesn’t mean that because you are educated, you can get what you always wanted. Some things are meant for those who really need it.

The film shows many intriguing aspects. Starting from the way they show the poor aspects of India. Though it didn’t really turn me off. It’s pretty normal I guess. Every country have one so I don’t really criticize the film because of that. It also does have unique camera angles, surely it does deserve to win the Best Motion Picture on 2008.

As for the story, it has two plots. First the police asks Jamal how he came to know the answer to a question, and Jamal replies by recounting incidents in his life, told in flashbacks. In the other, the flashbacks tell the story of Jamal, who grew up to be a low-paid tea-vendor, his brother, Salim, who grew up to become a gangster, and Latika, who grew up to become a kept woman. It is also a love story between Jamal and Latika.

Well, over all, I really love it. It shows how life can be so tough as hell but can be as pleasing as heaven. We have our ups and downs but we should just keep on living. ‘Coz after all, that’s what life is about.


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