Jamal is the ultimate contestant on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire”. All over India audiences watch the television with baited breath. They believe in him. He has come so far. As he sits onstage facing life-changing questions he can only rely on his street smarts. Memories from his past – his life, his love – may give him the answers he needs in the contest.
As a child, Jamal and his brother Samir survived the streets together, along with the innocent Latika. Jamal was always in love with Latika and the three believed themselves to be the Three Musketeers – all for one and one for all. But through the years they became separated by fate, greed and power.
When they meet again after a long separation, Jamal finds Latika under the control of a powerful gangster who Samir is working for. Jamal’s destiny is to be forever reunited with Latika but can the fate of the contest bring them together? Will he be the “Slumdog Millionaire”?
Dave Patel (Jamal) stars in this vividly directed Slumdog Millionaire (Danny Boyle and Loveleen Tandan). The directors have proclaimed their love for the setting and show it; the settings are characterized by vivid colors and panoramic views of India. We are taken on a whirlwind emotional journey through the character’s life in the slums and encounters with crime. As he grows from an orphaned child into a strong young man, the adventure spans from the slums of Mumbai to the majestic Taj Mahal and back; the change in the city shown with the aging of the characters. At one point in the story when the teenaged Jamal and Samir are stealing and leaping from trains, the picturesque countryside whizzes past as MIA’s song “Paper Planes” resonates perfectly. When Jamal stares out at the new Mumbai, skyscrapers panning the city – the entire landscape under construction, we are as awestruck as he is by his changing world. When we are introduced to the grown-up Latika (Freida Pinto), her beauty is captivating. This is a love story with an edge and style to it.
Slumdog Millionaire has been nominated for many British Independent Film Awards and opens in select theaters on November 12th in NY, LA, SF, DC, Chicago, and Toronto, and elsewhere in the weeks following. The film is based on the book Q & A by Vikas Swarup.