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Summary and Characters Analysis of The Film Slumdog Millionaire

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Slumdog millionaire is a film by Danny Boyle, the main character, Jamal Malik answers questions on the Indian versions of “who wants to be a millionaire”. Throughout the film, we are shown flashbacks of how himself and his brother had to survive the slums of Bombay after the passing of their mother and how the flashbacks relate to the questions that he gets asked during the movie. We also see how their relationship is altered by a young orphan girl named Latika.

The first scene is a closeup shot of Jamal as a kid. In this scene, he’s favourite actor, Amitabh Bachan has come to Bombay and whilst in the toilet Salim blocks the door to stop him from seeing him because he lost a customer and most importantly for Salim, the customer took the money back. This is one of the first scenes in the film that characterise Salim and his thirst for money and how he is willing to do bad things for it.

Jamal has a picture of Bachan and jumps through the outhouse and into the remains just, so he can run and get Bachan’s autograph. Boyle is showing us the importance that society places on escapism and how much it means to people. They will do anything for it, even jump into a huge pile of feces. Later that night, Salim sells the autograph. This shows Salim’s desperation for money. He is willing to sell out his own family for it. Salim will have a battle throughout the entire film with this desire.

We now see Salim and Jamal trying to sleep in an old shed. It is raining out and Latika is out of the shed. Jamal and Salim argue over whether to let her in, further developing a conflict between the two boys. Jamal invites her in and they begin their adventure together. The rain behind both of them as they introduce themselves has the blue palate, which is foreshadowing the escapist nature their relationship will soon have. The rain is also a pathetic falsify of the distress that they are in after their mother is killed.

In the next scene, we have a closeup shot of Maman looking down onto Jamal and the rest of them looking up to him. This indicates his dominance over the kids. When Salim is asked to sing, he is laughed at by Maman and the other children, he then pushes Latika and is throws off her by one of Maman’s men. His reaction to that surprises Maman as he stands up and fights back. Maman then replies, “I think we found our dog”.

The next scene shows Salim telling latika and Jamal to start working and hand then a baby. She refuses to take it and Salim reply’s by saying “if you don’t take it I will drop it” and “baby’s get double the money”. This statement shows his disregard to other and how he would do anything for money. This scene fulfils Salim’s desire to be the alpha-male.

In this scene, Maman and his men are blinging kids that can sing because they get more money. The lighting in this scene suggests shady and inappropriate behaviour even though it is dark in this scene, Boyle keeps constant his colour motifs. When asked to bring Jamal over, he hesitates. This show a sigh of soul in Salim. Maman asks him if he want to live a life of a Slumdog of the life or a man a gunfighter. the next jump shot is of Jamal talking to Latika about how he wants Maman to like his singing, so he can become rich.

The yellow lighting in this scene or whenever Latika is shown, indicates in Indian culture, prosperity and opulence. This is a constant colour scheme throughout the film. Jamal is asked to sing by Maman but stops and asks for fifty rupees which shows how he hustles for his money. Salim is then asked to drug Jamal but instead throw the bottle at one of Maman’s men and runs with Jamal. The music in this scene is fast and upbeat as they run away.

Throughout the film we see how money motivates most of Salim’s life decisions. In this scene, we see Jamal working hard to get the money and Salim counting the money behind him. This shows how he uses people to get what he wants. The music in the background gives the viewer a sense that they are enjoying the criminal life and the rewards that come with it.

In this scene we see the colour yellow again and we cross cut between the memories of latika at the train station and the opera show where Jamal and other thieves are stealing purses from the audience and back to the game show where Jamal has to answer the next question on his way to one billion rupees. The story of Latika and Jamal is similar to the opera because of the similar story line of boy meets girl, boy loses girl, etc.

Jamal is now back on the show and the whole of India is watching, including Latika and Salim. Salim redeems himself by helping Latika escape the grasp of her husband, but it is not enough to escape his past. He fills a bathtub full of rupees and gets shot in it. This shows how even though Salim tried to redeem himself, his past and what he represented failed. The ending of the movie is very cliché, showing that we have switched to an escapist world.

The final question is about the three musketeers and Jamal calls Latika for help. He has no clue and guesses, and he answers correctly. Even though the plot is cliché, it is captured beautifully, and Boyle uses many editing techniques such as jump shots between latika, Salim and Jamal to keep you on the edge of your seat. It is an exciting, fun ending. Just what escapism aims to be. Fun and exciting, not life.

After the climax of Jamal winning the millions, we see him at the train station where he runs into Latika. The clear platform signifies the fact that they are the only people that matter in this moment. He kisses her scare to indicate that he accepts it and also accepts the fact that he had a role to play in her getting the scar and losing her beauty.

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Summary And Characters Analysis Of The Film Slumdog Millionaire. (2020, October 31). GradesFixer. Retrieved December 6, 2022, from
“Summary And Characters Analysis Of The Film Slumdog Millionaire.” GradesFixer, 31 Oct. 2020,
Summary And Characters Analysis Of The Film Slumdog Millionaire. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 6 Dec. 2022].
Summary And Characters Analysis Of The Film Slumdog Millionaire [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2020 Oct 31 [cited 2022 Dec 6]. Available from:
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