The movie Slum Dog Millionaire is about the Jamal, who somehow following a series of circumstantial events becomes a contestant on the Indian version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire? These circumstantial events create an appeal to the audience because while the events are not very strong as a plot, the events are possible.
The setting of the movie is in a slum area which raises issues of the battle between the rich and the poor where the poor are viewed as people with little hope of becoming wealthy. The beauty of the movie is the explanation of how Jamal knows the answers. Certain things have happened to Jamal in his life and the questions asked on the show happen to revolve around those things
The biggest danger surrounding the plot of the movie is the question of how a lowly Indian laborer could possibly know all the right answers that lead to winning 20 million rupees. However, the plot is so well planned that it not only makes sense but also brings suspense. The host of the show suspects foul play as to how Jamal knows all the answers to the questions on the show. The host organizes for Jamal to be interrogated at the local police station where he is tortured.
As Jamal explains how he knows the answers, flashbacks to Jamal’s childhood are shown. The early lives of Jamal and his elder brother Salim have an impact on their adult lives. Jamal and Salim engage in petty theft but while Jamal is able to stop the petty theft, Salim continues and becomes a dangerous criminal. The movie is very accurate in describing typical life in the slums. The slum situation in Slum Dog Millionaire can easily be replicated anywhere all over the world.
In the movie, Jamal is deeply in love with Latika but Latika does not show any love for Jamal until the end of the movie when she tells him is Hindi language that she is his. This declaration of love is very moving. Jamal uses his last lifeline – call a friend – to call his brother not expecting Latika to answer. Jamal just wants to know where she is, and if she is safe and he does not care about using his last lifeline to assist him answer the last question. Indeed, the only reason Jamal tries out for the popular game show is because he knows that Latika will be watching and he wishes to communicate with her.
The message here is that love is more important than a million dollar question. Emphasis is laid on being positive and believing in destiny. In the opening scene of the movie, a title card reads: “Jamal Malik is one question away from winning 20 million rupees. How did he do it?
A) He cheated
B) He’s lucky
C) He’s a genius
D) It is written.
At the end of the film, the answer is given and it is the last option which reads “it is written.”