The film Slumdog Millionaire, showcased in previous class lessons, revolves around Jamal Malik and his life story. It depicts him as an orphan from Mumbai’s slums who participates in the Indian version of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?”. However, his exceptional knowledge leads to accusations of cheating since it is hard for the police to believe that a boy from the slums could excel in such a competition. In order to prove his innocence and showcase his intelligence, Jamal reflects on memories from his childhood. Each question he faces triggers flashbacks that provide insight into his past experiences. The movie seamlessly transitions between these flashback scenes, enhancing their significance by allowing viewers to delve into Jamal’s early life before returning to the present timeline.
Slumdog Millionaire takes audiences on Jamal Malik’s life journey, starting with his childhood and progressing into adulthood. It also sheds light on the harsh realities faced by children in India, particularly those like Jamal and his brother Salim who lack family support. These children often become victims of kidnappings and are coerced into participating in illicit activities involving drugs and alcohol. Such jobs are both common for children and extremely perilous due to the prevalent violence associated with them.
Although I couldn’t find any movies or books exactly like Slumdog Millionaire, I did come across some that share similarities. When I watched Slumdog Millionaire, it reminded me of a cherished book from my past titled The Kite Runner, which has also been made into a film. The Kite Runner tells the story of two childhood friends who are separated by an ongoing war in their homeland and lose touch with each other. However, one of them eventually returns home to search for the other. What leads me to draw comparisons between these two films is their shared theme of characters embarking on journeys to reunite with loved ones. Just as Jamal sought Latika, Amir went back to find Hassan in The Kite Runner. Additionally, both films left a deep impact on me as they were thought-provoking and profound unlike many superficial movies available today. They convey meaningful messages filled with significant depth.
The main theme conveyed in the movie Slumdog Millionaire is that love can drive individuals to accomplish extraordinary feats. The protagonist, Jamal, participates in the game show “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” solely because he wants to reconnect with his beloved, Latika. Although he is unable to directly communicate or meet with her, he decides to appear on the show so that she can see him from wherever she may be. Another key message in the film is that intelligence exists among those living in impoverished slums, despite society underestimating their knowledge due to their living conditions. People often possess a negative tendency to prejudge others based on appearance or origin. Instead of offering support or assistance to the less fortunate, we either look down upon them or purposely ignore their struggles. The film’s title, which merges two opposing terms, represents the possibility that some individuals from impoverished backgrounds have the potential to become wealthy. It teaches us not to judge individuals based on outer appearances or past experiences because they might surprise us if given an opportunity. Lastly, the movie emphasizes the importance of maintaining hope and patience in difficult times.
Jamal’s unwavering belief led him to relentlessly search for Latika, as he was convinced that their reunion was inevitable. In contrast to his brother, Jamal exhibited a composed and rational demeanor, making him a significant character in the film. Equally important, Latika was an enchanting individual who remained deeply in love with Jamal ever since their childhood encounter. While their paths diverged during a train journey, their love endured despite the physical separation. Eventually, fate brought them together again, and they were determined to hold on to each other despite facing drastically different circumstances. The credibility of both characters in Slumdog Millionaire is rooted in their profound love, which often drives individuals to act selflessly without consideration for the consequences. Love has the power to render one blind to everything but the beloved.
Sometimes, it’s comforting to believe in the existence of a higher power or some form of overseeing presence. Personally, I don’t perceive life and love as mere coincidences. Despite not being religious, I have faith in a grander scheme for each individual. We all possess a predestined journey, yet we hold the power to determine its course. If we make unwise choices, we must embrace the ensuing consequences. While I believe in fate, I acknowledge that waiting passively for events is insufficient – often, I must seize control and become my own savior.