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"SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE"
(2008) (Dev Patel, Madhur Mittal) (R)


Alcohol/Drugs Mild
Blood/Gross Stuff Moderate
Disrespectful/Bad Attitude Extreme
Frightening/Tense Scenes Heavy
Gun/Weapons Extreme
Imitative Behavior Moderate
Jump Scenes None
Music (Scary/Tense) Mild
Music (Inappropriate) Moderate
Profanity Heavy
Sex/Nudity Moderate
Smoking Moderate
Tense Family Scenes Heavy
Topics to Talk About Moderate
Violence Extreme


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: As a young man prepares to answer the last question on India's version of "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" he must answer allegations of him cheating by proving that his life experiences, including growing up in the slums as an orphan, have provided him with the knowledge necessary to answer the questions.
PLOT:
18-year-old Jamal Malik (DEV PATEL) is one question away from winning 20 million rupees on India's version of "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" a far cry from growing up as an orphan in Mumbai's slums. Yet, that very past has cast doubts on his ability to know the answers, resulting in him being interrogated by the Inspector (IRRFAN KHAN) and his brutal goon who want to beat a confession of cheating.

Jamal won't budge, however, and as the Inspector plays back questions posed by the show's host, Prem (ANIL KAPOOR), the young man recounts his past life experiences that ultimately lead to his knowledge of the answers. We then flashback to when young Jamal (AYUSH MAHESH KHEDEKAR) and his slightly older brother, Salim (AZHARUDDIN MOHAMMED ISMAIL), end up orphaned during a massacre of Muslims, including the murder of their mother.

They eventually befriend another orphan, Latika (RUBINA ALI), and then end up in an orphanage run by Maman (ANKUR VIKAL), a brutal man who employs various kids as panhandlers. The brothers manage to escape, ending up at the Taj Mahal where they grow up into young teenagers, Jamal (TANAY HEMANT CHHEDA) and Salim (ASHUTOSH LOBO GAJIWALA), living off the streets and hustling tourists. Feeling badly that Latika didn't escape with them, Jamal convinces his brother to return to Mumbai to rescue Latika (TANVI GANESH LONKAR), but even that eventually goes amiss.

Years later, Jamal works at a call center and wonders whatever happened to Latika (FREIDA PINTO) and Salim (MADHUR MITTAL), discovering that they're now involved in different ways with Javed (MAHESH MANJREKAR), a local, powerful crime boss. As Jamal tries once more to rescue her, the story goes back and forth between the past and present where the 18-year-old tries to prove his innocence to get back to the show and its last question.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Those who are fans of the director, anyone in the film, or stories about India and/or Indian characters, just might.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For some violence, disturbing images and language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • DEV PATEL plays 18-year-old Jamal, a customer support call center assistant who's become an unlikely contestant and near champion on the game show. He must contend with allegations that he's cheating (including being tortured for a confession of guilt), and tries once again to rescue Latika.
  • FREIDA PINTO plays Latika as a young woman, world weary due to all that she's experienced, including now being abused by Javed. No longer optimistic, she thinks it's too late for her and Jamal.
  • MADHUR MITTAL plays Jamal's older brother, a young man who now works for Javed. He smokes, uses profanity, and once again behaves incongruously toward Jamal.
  • ANIL KAPOOR plays the slick host of the TV show who briefly uses strong profanity and whose motives toward Jamal are dubious.
  • IRRFAN KHAN plays the inspector who interrogates Jamal regarding his alleged cheating, including having him tortured. He smokes a few times.
  • TANAY HEMANT CHHEDA plays Jamal as a young teenager who hustles tourists at the Taj Mahal, but wants to rescue Latika.
  • TANVI GANESH LONKAR plays that young teenager who's enslaved by Maman as a tempting virgin for others.
  • ASHUTOSH LOBO GAJIWALA plays Salim as a young teenager who uses profanity, kills an abusive man, drinks, and is suggested to have forced sex with Latika despite knowing his brother likes her. At this age, he's already started to go over to the dark side.
  • AYUSH MAHESH KHEDEKAR plays Jamal as a young boy who must contend with being orphaned with his brother and then ending up in an abusive orphanage. Even so, he tries to protect young Latika.
  • RUBINA ALI plays that young girl who befriends him and similarly ends up in the same orphanage.
  • AZHARUDDIN MOHAMMED ISMAIL plays Jamal's young brother who takes charge once their mother is killed, and ends up saving Jamal, but not Latika.
  • ANKUR VIKAL plays a man who runs a so-called orphanage that's really a front for a panhandling operation. He also enslaves young teenager Latika later in the story.
  • MAHESH MANJREKAR plays a powerful crime boss who smokes, uses strong profanity, and abuses Latika.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this R-rated drama. Profanity consists of at least 3 "f" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also used. Some sexually related dialogue is present, and off-screen, coerced sex is implied, while a boy's bare butt is briefly see as he rushes to a shower to rinse hot peppers off his crotch.

    Violence involves shooting deaths, a large-scale ethnic attack resulting in deaths (including a person on fire), torture, and the striking of others, and those scenes and some moments of potential peril might be unsettling and/or suspenseful for some viewers. Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, there's some drinking and smoking, and some tense family material.

    There's brief alcohol content, some characters smoke, and a song contains drug-related lyrics. Some behavior might be enticing for some kids to imitate, and some scatological material is also present.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those concerned with bright flashes of light on the screen, there's some of that from camera flashes.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, there are varying amounts and types of camera movement (including some bouncy handheld) in the film.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • A song ("Paper Planes") has the lyrics "I fly like paper, get high like planes," and mentions "weed."
  • Young teen Salim appears to be pouring liquor together and has a beer. Later, and in exchange for rescuing young teen Latika, young teen Salim wants to have sex with her, but Jamal protests, saying Salim has had too much to drink.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • After being tortured, some drool runs from Jamal's somewhat bloody mouth.
  • We see young Jamal squatting over a hole in the floor of an elevated outhouse, and a man needs to use that (and farts), but Jamal isn't done yet. When a famous actor suddenly flies in, young Salim locks his brother in the outhouse. Desperate to see the actor, Jamal jumps down into the sewage below him, coming out completed covered in that foul sludge.
  • Young Salim vomits from seeing a boy purposefully blinded.
  • Young teen Jamal has a little blood on his face after being struck by a guard or cop, and then a partially swollen eye.
  • One of Maman's goons has scars on his face from where young Salim previously threw hot liquid on his face (years ago).
  • Latika has an old and somewhat faded black eye (presumably from the crime boss who she now lives with).
  • We see Prem at a urinal and hear related sounds, but don't see the act (while Jamal is in a nearby stall, but we similarly don't see or hear anything related).
  • We see a bad looking scar on Latika's face from where she was previously cut.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • The Inspector has his goon beat up and torture Jamal, trying to get a confession of cheating out of him (despite there being no evidence the teen has done so).
  • For the brothers being late to class, their teacher throws a book at them and hits Jamal on the head with that same book.
  • Young Salim locks his younger bother in an outhouse, forcing him to exit by jumping into the pit of sewage below it.
  • Young Salim sells his brother's autograph from a famous actor without his permission.
  • Some cops or soldiers don't do anything when a horde of people attack and kills various Muslims in the slum.
  • Young Jamal shoves another kid for laughing at his singing abilities (or lack thereof), with an adult then throwing Jamal to the ground.
  • Young Salim slaps another kid to make him pull his weight, and takes an infant and threatens to drop it if young Latika doesn't take it.
  • The adults who run an orphanage, including boss Maman, are really running a panhandling ring using the kids for money (and blind at least one of them in order to make him seem more pitiful to potential donors), and Maman later enslaves young teenager Latika.
  • At the Taj Mahal, the young teen brothers steal tourists' shoes first for themselves, and then to sell to others. They also end up giving unauthorized (and filled with false information) tours to tourists. They also take tourists off on foot so that others can strip their car when it's left behind.
  • The young teen brothers steal purses from beneath bleachers while the owners watch an opera.
  • When young teen Jamal indicates he wants to find out whatever happened to Latika, Salim says he doesn't "give a sh*t" about her and that there's plenty of other "p*ssy" to be had.
  • Young teen Salim pulls a gun on Maman and others, making them kneel so that he and Jamal can rescue Latika. Salim puts a rug or something similar over the end of his handgun and uses that to muffle the sound as he shoots Maman dead (no blood).
  • In exchange for rescuing young teen Latika, young teen Salim wants to have sex with her, but Jamal protests. The brothers struggle, with Salim throwing him outside and then holding a gun on him. Jamal then gives up, and coerced sex is implied.
  • After the Inspector's goon refers to Latika as the "bitch of the slums," Jamal attacks him and must be restrained.
  • We learn that Salim now works for Javed, a crime boss.
  • Spoiler Alert: Prem gives Jamal the answer to a big question in the show, but we then learn that it was the wrong one, and thus he purposefully tried to make him loose (so that Prem would be the only big winner in the show's history).
  • Jamal is grabbed, a hood is placed over his head, and he's escorted away (by order of Prem, to be sent to the Inspector to prove he's cheating).
  • Javed treats Latika (and others) badly, including verbally and apparently physically abusing her.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" may also be unsettling and/or suspenseful to younger viewers and/or those with low tolerance levels for such material.
  • The Inspector's goon blows smoke in Jamal's face that he then smacks, all as part of the Inspector's interrogation of Jamal. He then smacks Jamal twice more, quite hard each time. We then see Jamal's head being held down in a bucket of water twice (seen from inside and outside the bucket). Later, we see Jamal strung up by his wrists, with electric lines attached to his feet that then shock him, causing him to twitch in pain.
  • A horde of men attack Muslims in the slum with clubs, including young Jamal and Salim's mother who's twice hit on the face/head and killed. Others are struck as well (and one is stomped on), while a Molotov cocktail is thrown, catching a building and a person on fire, while we then see that or another person running down the street on fire. The young siblings flee and then see parts of their slum burning (from a distance).
  • An adult at the orphanage puts a cloth soaked in a knock-out agent over a boy's mouth, rendering him unconscious. Something boiling hot is then spooned into the boy's eyes to blind him. The adult in charge then orders that young Salim bring his brother in for the same treatment. It initially appears the boy is going to do that, but then throws that hot liquid into the face of one adult goon, burning him there. Salim, Jamal and Latika then flee, chased by the adults. The boys manage to jump onto a moving train, but Salim purposefully lets go of Latika's hand, meaning she's left behind and then captured by the adults.
  • The brothers end up traveling on a train, stealing food and what they need. That includes young Salim lowering his brother down to the side of the moving train via a rope. Jamal hangs upside down and steals food, but is spotted, with an adult grabbing him through a window. Both end up falling from the moving train and land hard, tumbling as they go.
  • Young teen Salim pulls a gun on Maman and others, making them kneel so that he and Jamal can rescue Latika. Salim puts a rug or something similar over the end of his handgun and uses that to muffle the sound as he shoots Maman dead (no blood).
  • Jamal waits for Latika to meet him in a train station. He finally sees her from a distance, but then also sees his brother and other goons coming after her. He tries to race to her rescue, but they get to her first, grab her by the hair, drag her into their car, and one slices her cheek with his knife (no blood at the time, but we later see a very bad scar on her cheek).
  • Realizing he's doomed, a man holes up in a bathroom, pours money into the bathtub, and then gets into it with his handgun at the ready, all while others bang on the door to be let in. When they burst in, the man shoots the big boss dead, while others shoot the first man dead in that bathtub.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Handguns/Knife/Molotov cocktail: Used to threaten, wound or kill others and/or cause property damage. See "Violence" for details.
  • We see footage of a famous actor holding a crossbow (from one of his films).
  • A song ("Paper Planes") includes repeated sounds of gunshots as part of the arrangement.
  • Young teen Salim holds a gun on some men in order to introduce himself to Javed, a crime boss.
  • Salim preps his handgun after getting an assignment call.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Due to the occasionally thick accents, the following should be considered a minimum: Phrases: "Colt f*cking 45," "My f*cking show," "Oh sh*t," "Sh*t-hole," "I don't give a sh*t about her," "What is this sh*t?" "That little sh*t," "Chilies on his willie," "Runt," "Bloody (idiot)," "My wife is giving me hell," "What the hell /can a slum dog possibly know/happened here?" "Piss (off)," "Cheeky little buggar," "Have you gone mad?" "Shut up," "Bastard," "How the hell do you know that?" and "This is bizarrely plausible."
  • Guards chase young Jamal and Salim (along with other kids, all of whom were playing on an airport runway). The chase goes through the slums and up on the roofs where the kids throw stuff at their adult pursuers.
  • For something mean young Salim did to her, Latika puts hot peppers down into the front of his pants while he sleeps. He then wakes up from the burning sensation and runs into the shower where he rinses himself off.
  • The brothers end up traveling on a train, stealing food and what they need. That includes young Salim lowering his brother down to the side of the moving train via a rope. Jamal hangs upside down and steals food.
  • The young teen brothers steal tourists' shoes, and later purses from beneath bleachers while the owners watch an opera.
  • A miscellaneous person has a pierced nostril.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A mild amount of suspenseful and some heavily dramatic music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • A song ("Paper Planes") has the lyrics "I fly like paper, get high like planes," the mention of "weed," and the repeated sounds of gunshots as part of the arrangement about what's presumably criminal endeavors.
  • PROFANITY
  • Due to the occasionally thick accents, the following should be considered a minimum: At least 3 "f" words, 9 "s" words, 1 slang term each of female and male genitals ("p*ssy" and "willie"), 4 hells, 1 crap, 1 damn, 3 uses of "For God's sake" and 1 use of "Good God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • For something mean young Salim did to her, Latika puts hot peppers down into the front of his pants while he sleeps. He then wakes up from the burning sensation and runs into the shower where he rinses himself off. We see his bare butt and a possible fleeting glimpse of full frontal, while Latika jokes that he had "chilies on his willie."
  • When young teen Jamal indicates he wants to find out whatever happened to Latika, Salim says he doesn't "give a sh*t" about her and that there's plenty of other "p*ssy" to be had.
  • Seeing young teen Latika doing belly dancing (bare midriff, standard garb, a little cleavage), Salim is surprised and states she's sexy now. Maman then rhetorically asks, "Do you know how much this little virgin is worth?"
  • In exchange for rescuing young teen Latika, young teen Salim wants to have sex with her, but Jamal protests. The brothers struggle, with Salim throwing him outside and then holding a gun on him. Jamal then gives up, and coerced sex is implied.
  • We see miscellaneous cleavage.
  • We see some clothed women doing some sexy dancing for Salim, Javed, and other men.
  • SMOKING
  • Salim smokes several times, while Prem, the Inspector, his goon, a crime boss, and a number of miscellaneous characters each smoke at least once.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Throughout the film and at various ages, Salim does various things to Jamal that make the latter mad at his brother.
  • A horde of men attack Muslims in the slum with clubs, including young Jamal and Salim's mother who's twice hit on the face/head and killed, leaving them orphaned.
  • Meeting his brother years after last seeing him (when Salim coerced Latika into having sex with him in exchange for saving her from Maman), Jamal imagines rushing forward and driving Salim out of a building under construction, resulting in both plummeting many stories. In reality, Jamal punches Salim in the face, flooring him.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Kids who grow up in the slums.
  • Kids who are orphaned.
  • Game shows and why people participate on them.
  • How siblings can grow up so differently.
  • We see some limbless kids in an orphanage.
  • The Inspector stating that money and women are the roots of most bad choices for men.
  • VIOLENCE
  • The Inspector's goon blows smoke in Jamal's face that he then smacks, all as part of the Inspector's interrogation of Jamal. He then smacks Jamal twice more, quite hard each time. We then see Jamal's head being held down in a bucket of water twice (seen from inside and outside the bucket). Later, we see Jamal strung up by his wrists, with electric lines attached to his feet that then shock him, causing him to twitch in pain.
  • Guards chase young Jamal and Salim (along with other kids, all of whom were playing on an airport runway). The chase goes through the slums and up on the roofs where the kids throw stuff at their adult pursuers.
  • For the brothers being late to class, their teacher throws a book at them and hits Jamal on the head with that same book.
  • The Inspector's goon slaps Jamal on the back of the head.
  • The Inspector's goon grabs Jamal by the arm and bends it, causing him pain.
  • A horde of men attack Muslims in the slum with clubs, including young Jamal and Salim's mother who's twice hit on the face/head and killed. Others are struck as well (and one is stomped on), while a Molotov cocktail is thrown, catching a building and a person on fire, while we then see that or another person running down the street on fire. The young siblings flee and then see parts of their slum burning (from a distance).
  • Young Jamal shoves another kid for laughing at his singing abilities (or lack thereof), with an adult then throwing Jamal to the ground.
  • Young Salim slaps another kid to make him pull his weight, and takes an infant and threatens to drop it if young Latika doesn't take it.
  • An adult at the orphanage puts a cloth soaked in a knock-out agent over a boy's mouth, rendering him unconscious. Something boiling hot is then spooned into the boy's eyes to blind him. The adult in charge then orders that young Salim bring his brother in for the same treatment. It initially appears the boy is going to do that, but then throws that hot liquid into the face of one adult goon, burning him there. Salim, Jamal and Latika then flee, chased by the adults.
  • The brothers end up traveling on a train, stealing food and what they need. That includes young Salim lowering his brother down to the side of the moving train via a rope. Jamal hangs upside down and steals food, but is spotted, with an adult grabbing him through a window. Both end up falling from the moving train and land hard, tumbling as they go.
  • After finding that he led tourists away from their car so that it could be stripped, a guard or cop kicks young teen Jamal and knocks him to the ground.
  • Young teen Salim pulls a gun on Maman and others, making them kneel so that he and Jamal can rescue Latika. Salim puts a rug or something similar over the end of his handgun and uses that to muffle the sound as he shoots Maman dead (no blood).
  • In exchange for rescuing young teen Latika, young teen Salim wants to have sex with her, but Jamal protests. The brothers struggle, with Salim throwing him outside and then holding a gun on him. Jamal then gives up, and coerced sex is implied.
  • After the Inspector's goon refers to Latika as the "bitch of the slums," Jamal attacks him and must be restrained.
  • Meeting his brother years after last seeing him (when Salim coerced Latika into having sex with him in exchange for saving her from Maman), Jamal imagines rushing forward and driving Salim out of a building under construction, resulting in both plummeting many stories. In reality, Jamal punches Salim in the face, flooring him.
  • Jamal waits for Latika to meet him in a train station. He finally sees her from a distance, but then also sees his brother and other goons coming after her. He tries to race to her rescue, but they get to her first, grab her by the hair, drag her into their car, and one slices her cheek with his knife (no blood at the time, but we later see a very bad scar on her cheek).
  • Jamal is grabbed, a hood is placed over his head, and he's escorted away (by order of Prem, to be sent to the Inspector to prove he's cheating).
  • Realizing he's doomed, a man holes up in a bathroom, pours money into the bathtub, and then gets into it with his handgun at the ready, all while others bang on the door to be let in. When they burst in, the man shoots the big boss dead, while others shoot the first man dead in that bathtub.



  • Reviewed November 3, 2008 / Posted November 14, 2008

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