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Slumdog Millionaire is a tale of sufferings, deprivation, motivation, hope and destiny. It brings into spotlight the horrible realities of the lower social class in India, living the life below human level. It focuses the role of black powers, corruption, profit, greed, police and sectarian riots in shaping the destinies of those millions of poverty stricken people. Based on a novel from an Indian writer Vikaas Swarup and directed by Danny Boyle the movie is one of the most acclaimed and controversial of the year 2009, particularly for its public message.
                                     ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ is the story of young Jamal K Malik from the slums of Mumbai who is one question away from earning twenty million rupees on the Biggest Indian game show “ Who wants to be the millionaire”. He is arrested under the charges of cheating on the show. As the interrogator asks him about how he answered every question, Jamal tells a story of his life, his brother Saleem and Latika the girl he loved and lost. He tells about their dangerous adventures, encounters with the local gangs and how each question is related to one of his past experiences.
                        The way dwellers of slums are presented seems like a mockery of the human flesh. The movie presents a corrupt, dirty, inhumanly, demoralizing, unsophisticated and unhygienic view of slums residents that aroused the anger of many in India. The comics are offensive and seem like mocking the helplessness of the slums residents. Poverty has been shown in many Indian films but the way it was presented here was deplorable. One can find in slums many poor people coming out of their homes who are model of cleanliness, decency, self respect and dignity going to work as  cooks, servants, guards, drivers, nurses, dog walkers and vegetable vendors. The stealing of shoes and deceiving the Visitors by telling lies to them as guides defames the innocent, simple children of the slums. The entire film, direction and the script is full of scenes which managed to show India in low esteem of foreigners as a work of fiction, fantasy and imagination.  The image of the slums has been manipulated to suit western audience.
                             The element of violence has been shown to a very unsuitable extent. The violence shown is unlike other Bollywood and Hollywood movies and is shown to bring in an emotional appeal to the audience. The movie shows a man damaging the eyes of children to make them efficient beggars. Salim the brother of Jamal kills a man in his childhood. The Hindu Muslims riots, rape of a girl and the brutal ways of interrogation when they give electricity shocks to Jamal are scenes that leaves a strong negative impact on the audience and makes it unsuitable watch for the children.
              The name “Slumdog” is in itself a controversial name, forcing one to think that, is it justified to compare the lower social and economical class of our society with something far below then human level, a Dog. (Seabrook 34) Why the movie was not named as ‘slum boy?’Is it not an offense calling a poor young innocent child a dog who is the future of India?
                             Jamal get selected for ‘Who wants to be the Millionaire’ and ends up winning the most just because he was destined for this.  It’s not the story of an ordinary man who works hard with honor, struggle, and on the basis of merit achieve success in his life, and not by winning twenty million in a game show just because of sheer luck. The message takes the away the importance of hard work and contributing to the society and is misleading for the youth. It’s not the luck but the man who is the architect of his own fate. 
                                      The movie lacked logic and was unable to answer a lot of technical questions.  How the children born and raised in slums started speaking in English as they never read, why did his brother died in a tub full of money rather than escaping, and also what happened to all the questions in between fifteen thousand to ten million. How a blind beggar boy would know the photo of Benjamin Franklin on a US hundred dollar bill. Moreover the pattern of questions was same as the chronological order of his life. Also the reality shows like this are never live. The way Prem Kapoor ( Show Host) along with the contestant got up and went to the bathroom and told him the answers seems far away than reality.  
    The heart of the movie is the love story between Latika and Saleem. Latika went from his life when she failed to catch a moving train while running from a man who uses them for begging.  Love was driving force behind Saleem struggle for survival, search for Latika, and bringing him to the quiz show. For Jamal 20 million was not the achievement, It was his Latika. The love story brought a traditional Bollywood touch in the film.
                         The movie was the first one focusing on slums and its inhabitants. It centre stage the most neglected area of the society and draws the attention of Government and NGOs to take steps in order to ensure a better life of slums’ inhabitants. The movie is unlike other Bollywood movies and comes up with a message to the develop countries and the elite class of our society who live a luxurious life that there is someone in another part of the world, who deserves their attention, affection and help. It brings into notice the miserable life of slums people and appeals to its audience for taking pragmatic steps in alleviating their sufferings.
                             The good thing about the movie is it depicts the message that Knowledge cannot be only obtained through expensive books and elite institutions but also through the sufferings, observations and experience of one’s daily life. As Jamal K Malik succeeds in earning one million dollars in the game show, by answering questions on the basis of his own observations and experience. He succeeds to win all by answering all of the questions which even many of the doctors, lawyers, social scientists fail to answer. 
                              ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ successfully addresses many social problems of the lower class in India. It unmasks the dirty police culture and the inhuman torture they use against the helpless poor’s.  it tells how each child that we see on the bus stops, railway stations, traffic signals has a dark story attached to him and how internal riots, lack of education and poverty turn millions of innocent children to slum dogs.
The movie does well in most of the departments of film making. Cinematography, editing, acting, and music were all up to the mark and were masterfully blended.  The plot of the movie goes in a unified direction. The variegated screenplay and the imaginative direction bring energy to the flashbacks. The music of the film was a great success for which the music Director received two Oscar awards. The movie received nine Oscar awards including best director and best film, eleven BAFTA film awards, six British Independent Film Award another hundred wins and fifty one nominations. The movie got a user rating of 8.4 from the IMDB site (Internet Movie Database), which is the unofficial but the most reliable source of user ratings.

Written By: Waqas Sikandari

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