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Answer Man

Slumdog Millionaire (2008) on IMDb

Plot Overview

winnerEighteen-year-old Jamal Malik (Dev Patel) is poised to be the unlikely winner of the BIG jack­pot on Kaun Banega Crorepati? (2000,) the Indian version of the TV show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (1998.) When the show pauses to be continued the next day, a suspicious police Inspector (Irrfan Khan) with his brute Sergeant Srinivas (Saurabh Shukla) way­lay him to be sweated for his confession how he's cheating. To prove that he knows the answers, he recounts scene by scene his humble origins as a dirt poor street urchin hustling in Mumbai to his grinding poverty assisting the phone wallahs in a Bombay call center, serving them chai. A chance access to a tele­phone landed him on the show. As the quiz show deals with general knowledge, his fortuitous access to the answers from incidents in his life is credible. His deter­min­ation to take his gamine Latika (Freida Pinto) away with him to their “destiny” cements the story of his kismet constantly turning disaster into preparation.


play ballAs a wee tyke playing ball on an unused runway in Mumbai, little Jamal (Ayush Mahesh Khedekar) seized the opportunity to acquire the auto­graph of a just-landed celebrity and so remembered his name for the first answer later on. We also see here his early start at earning money as recommended in the scheme of, (Prov. 30:24) “There be four things which are little upon the earth, but they are exceeding wise:” starting with, (Prov. 30:25) “The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer.” Start earning income in your youth, i.e. the summer of life.

(Prov. 30:26) “The conies are but a feeble folk, yet make they their houses in the rocks.” The conies seem to follow the three guiding principles of real estate: location, location, location. A little older Jamal hops a train with his brother Salim—Latika got left behind—to end up in Bombay where they plied the lucrative tourist trade with various scams involving ad hoc tours of the Taj Mahal. Salim went over to the dark side working for a gangster while Jamal did scut work at a call center.

(Prov. 30:27) “The locusts have no king, yet go they forth all of them by bands.” Success involves having the right cohorts. Salim was often more an antagonist than an asset, and Latika was missing most of the time, but Jamal did well to count on them.

(Prov. 30:28) “The spider taketh hold with her hands, and is in kings' palaces.” Finally Jamal seized the opportunity for the quiz show where he seems to have found a sweet spot, fate dove­tailing his life learning experiences with the questions on the show. At least until the final one.

Production Values

” (2008) was directed by Danny Boyle and co-director Loveleen Tandan. Its screen­play was written by Simon Beaufoy based on the novel Q & A by Vikas Swarup. It stars Dev Patel, Freida Pinto, and Saurabh Shukla who with the rest of the cast delivered excellent performances all around.

MPAA rated it R for some violence, disturbing images and language. The violent scenes were in my opinion hokey limiting their traumatic effect. The bad language was some­what subdued. There was an uplifting Bolly­wood song and dance number played with the end credits.

Review Conclusion w/ Christian Recommendation

This was a gem of a movie. It starts with youthful exuberance and ends with adult drama. This British production was surprisingly good.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Edge of your seat action-packed fun. Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age. Special effects: Average special effects. Suspense: Keeps you on the edge of your seat. Video Occasion: Good Date Movie. Overall movie rating: Five stars out of five.