A Mumbai teen who grew up in the slums, is miraculously on the verge of winning the Indian version of "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" He is arrested under suspicion of cheating, and while being interrogated, events from his life history unfold, explaining why he knows the answers.
This is the evocative tale of Jamal Malik, an 18 year-old orphan from the slums of Mumbai, who is about to experience the biggest day of his life. With the whole nation watching, he is just one question away from winning a staggering 20 million rupees on India's Kaun Banega Crorepati? (Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?) But when the show breaks for the night, police arrest him on suspicion of cheating; how could a street kid know so much?
Desperate to prove his innocence, Jamal tells the story of his life in the slum where he and his brother grew up, of their adventures together on the road, of vicious encounters with local gangs, and of Latika, the girl he loved and lost.
Each chapter of his story reveals the key to the answer to one of the game show's questions. Each chapter of Jamal's increasingly layered story reveals where he learned the answers to the show's seemingly impossible quizzes. But one question remains a mystery: what is this young man with no apparent desire for riches really doing on the show in the first place?
Continuity As Jamal asks Latika to leave with him from the gangster's house, she has a visible bruise under her left eye which appears and disappears between shots.
Continuity As Jamal is shuttled directed to the studio from the police station where he was beaten and tortured, his swolen eye clears up entirely by the time he gets to the show.
Continuity Jamal's skin as a kid was brown and was much whiter as an adult.
Miscellaneous In the scene where Salim and Jamal are working the crowds at the Taj Mahal in 2002, Jamal has a 2006 $10 bill in his hand.
When Salim and Jamal are working the crowds at the Taj Mahal in 2002, Jamal is seen having a 2006 $10 bill in his hand.
Miscellaneous The plot says that it takes place in 2006 and shows news reports from Live India, but Live India was not launched until 2007.
Danny Boyle originally wanted Indian actor Shah Rukh Khan -- who had hosted the final season of Kaun Banega Crorepati? (the Indian version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire) -- to play the game show host, but the actor was not available. The actor who plays the host, Anil Kapoor, was a guest on the show and won 5,000,000 Rupees.
In all of the character Latikas' scenes, she is seen wearing something yellow.
Frederick W. Stevens' name is on a pillar in the railway station that Jamal sits next to towards the end of the movie. Stevens worked for the British colonial government in Bombay as an architectural engineer and designed the station, known as Victoria Terminus.
The first customer who speaks to Jamal when he works on the phones at the call center is an Irate Scottish Woman who lives in Kingussie, Inverness.
Towards the end of the film when Salim is killed, his death re-enacts the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi as both were shot in the chest at point-blank range, and Salim's last words - "God is great" - were the same as Gandhi's according to a number of eye-witnesses.
Mercedes-Benz had asked Danny Boyle to remove its logos in scenes taking place in the slums and also did not want to be associated with the poverty-stricken area, fearing it might taint its image.
The excreta in which the young Jamal jumps into was made from a comnbination of peanut butter and chocolate.
This movie used a prototype Digital Cinema Camera from Silicon Imaging. While shooting in Mumbai, there were a number of SI technicians on set constantly to deal with any problems that arise from the prototype, and there were many.
Director Danny Boyle placed the money to be paid to the 3 lead child actors in a trust that is to be released to them upon their completion of grade school at 16 years of age. The production company has set up for an auto-rikshaw driver to take the kids to school everyday until they are 16 years old.
The film was intended to receive a PG-13 rating but it received an R rating because of its intense tone. With no time or money for appeals, the film was released with its given rating.
An approximate of 20% of the movie's dialogues are in Hindi with English subtitles.
It took just 20 days for A.R. Rahman to compose the entire soundtrack.
Slumdog Millionaire and Schindler's List were the only two films as of 2010 to win Best Picture, Director, and Screenplay at the Golden Globes, BAFTAs and the Oscars.
After the movie, Indian authorities decided to step in to move the children and their families from slums to new houses.
Portraits of Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, Indira Gandhi, and Mohandas K. Gandhi can be seen on the wall inside the police station.
This is the first movie to win the Best Cinematography Oscar which was predominantly shot in digital and also the first Best Picture Oscar winner since 1928 which was not shot on Kodak film.
One of the two Best Picture Oscar winners which showed a child jumping into a waste pool under a toilet. The other is Schindler's List.
Simon Beaufoy who wrote the screenplay for the film visited India thrice while writing.
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