From nothing to everything


The movie chronicles the rise of Jamal Malik from living in a box to millionaire.

Sarah Thompson, Staff Writer

In the 2008 film Slumdog Millionaire, you meet Jamal Malik a young Indian Muslim and his brother Salim. The movie goes back and forth between flashbacks of Jamal’s childhood and present time, where each time in the present he answers a question on the hit show Who Wants to be a Millionaire. And with every answer that he gets correct (which is all of them), the screen goes to another flashback, explaining why he knew the right answer. The movie was inspired by the first Indian man to ever win on the show, as he went from being poor on the streets, to a millionaire.


The movie first starts with Jamal meeting his childhood idol with his brother, as the first question from Who Wants to be a Millionaire surrounds that celebrity. We see how Salim selfishly locked Jamal in the bathroom trying to prevent the two from meeting. But Jamal was strong willed and got out, where he managed to get his autograph. Unfortunately, due to his brother’s selfishness, Salim steals the autograph and sells it keeping the money for himself. Throughout the film this selfish behavior is shown over and over.


Later on, their mother passes away, and the two are left to fend for themselves digging through trash to find food, while living in a cardboard box. Soon enough the two kids meet a young girl named Latika around their age who is also alone, and she moves into the box with them. Jamal quickly falls in love, but his brother tries to steal her away too. After a while, a man named Maman, a gangster who trains children to be beggars, takes them all in, but soon enough they realize that he’s not what he seems, and when certain children don’t bring in enough money, he finds a way to make sure they do, such as permanently blinding one such child to make him more pitiable.


Jamal and Salim soon managed to escape, but Latika got caught in the escape and they couldn’t save her in time. Years go by and Salim chooses the life of crime, where he and Jamal soon separate. As the movie comes to an end we learn what happened to Latika, and she reunites with Jamal, It is also revealed why Jamal had gone on the game show to begin with. The game show host tries to trick Jamal into losing his money as he is on one of the last questions to win millions, but when Jamal gets the question correct he is sure that he cheated, which leads to Jamal having to explain why he knew each answer.


Overall, it’s a great movie, and I loved it, I would have to rate it a 9/10. The movie is a bit on the longer side going over two hours, but each minute is worth it. It doesn’t have any comedy so if that’s what you’re looking for this isn’t the one. But the plot is just amazing as well and the character development that goes on through the movie. Although there were some parts that were confusing, or some of the ‘how did you know’ moments that were never explained like when the blind teen knew exactly who Jamal was after years of not seeing each other. But despite those few moments, it was still a great movie to watch, and while it may be a bit too much for younger children, as there are a few graphic scenes, I would definitely recommend people to watch it, since it’s a work of art that stays in my mind.