The film Slumdog Millionaire is an inspiring story about a young boy from the slums who exceeds expectations. Despite all odds he manages to win a substantial amount of money on a TV game show ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire’. We see his many challenges as he grows up and seeks for his love, Latika. The director has used multiple film techniques to show us how persistence and will when faced with adversity can lead you to great success.
Jamal’s perseverance and courage is highlighted in the first scene. Jamal is two questions away from winning two million rupees, which he accomplished with the help of his past experiences. Despite this, he is accused of cheating. The first scene opens with a policeman interrogating Jamal. During which he is beaten, slapped, drowned and electrocuted. A dutch angle is used from Jamal’s perspective. Capturing the policeman and inspector. The use of dutch angle shows us his distress and confusion of why he is here when he is innocent. It also shows the tension in the torture room. After all the trouble, the policeman is still unable to claim Jamal was guilty. The inspector suggest “a little electricity will loosen his tongue” this shows how tough Jamal is. Even after all the beatings and drowning he was still able to proclaim his innocence. Diegetic sound is used to expose the horrors of his interrogation experience. Boyle uses diegetic sound to amplify the electrocution sounds during Jamal’s torturing. Forcing the viewer to focus more closely, giving them the gruesome detailed image of the pain inflicted on Jamal. Allowing them to understand his pain and sympathise. The combination of these techniques in this scene has clearly portrayed Jamal’s strong will and perseverance. Society is always too quick to judge. Just because Jamal is a tea server and from the slums they expect nothing from him. Immediately assuming the only way for him to win is through cheating. Judging people is part of our human nature. Walking down the streets we immediately analyze and make our own assumptions about the people around us. Though this being our human nature, it does not make it right. Jamal faces these difficulties head on. Helping us learn no matter what obstacles we are faced with, staying true to oneself and persevering is always important.
We are shown Jamal’s persistence from a young age. After continuously proclaiming his innocence and beatings, the inspector finally lets Jamal tell his side of the story. We are taken back to Jamal’s childhood with his flashback. Jamal is seen crouching over a hole in an outhouse while Salim sits on a chair outside. An aerial shot is used, capturing the edge of the slums with four raised platforms reached by raised platform over the reefs. This allows the audience to immediately understand his unprivileged situation. He is unable to afford to live in any better condition. Jamal took too long in the outhouse, causing Salim to lose him customer. A shout is heard announcing the arrival of Indian movie star Amitabh. A close up is used showing us Jamal’s face after he stands immediately upon hearing the name. With the close we can see the facial expressions clearly. He is excited and eager to meet his favourite actor. To take revenge Salim lock Jamal in forcing him to listen to the excitement of others meeting his favourite actor without him. A point of view shot is used from Jamal’s perspective. He stares back and forth between his photo of Amitabh and the pile of feces. He is contemplating whether he is willing to jump into the piles of feces for his favourite actor. A low angle the captures Jamal holding his nose in one hand and the photo in the other. The low angle emphasizes how strong he is. He is willing to go through any obstacle until he reaches his goal. The combination of techniques used has clearly shown Jamal’s perseverance. Even from such a young age, his strong will is something we can learn from. Instead of avoiding challenges and finding the easy way out, Jamal has shown us persevering through can lead to great success.
We are shown how Jamal’s persistence is driven by love. Throughout the film the only reason he fights back is for Latika. The brothers are now older and work in a hotel kitchen. Instead of carrying on with their lives Jamal decides to go back and search for Latika. After many troubles they reunite. During a late night talk Jamal mentions “I never once forget. Not for a day. I knew I would find you in the end. It is our destiny” Even after many years Jamal has not forgotten about Latika. The fact that he may never see her again, or the fact that she might have been killed has not once crossed his mind. This shows that his strong will has allowed him to believe in anything he wishes. He believes in destiny and is willing to fight for it. Salim’s need for authority gets the best of he. He demands Latika for himself and kicks Jamal out after a fight. An over the shoulder shot is used. Capturing Jamal with a gun pointed at his face. We are shown Jamal’s facial expressions clearly. Despite having a gun to his face he does not falter. He keeps a stern confident face and stands tall showing us he is not scared, he is determined to be with his love. Fear is present, even though his life could be lost at any moment. Jamal’s unwavering love for Latika is portrayed when the policeman insults her, “he means bitch of the slums”. This leads to Jamal to fight back immediately, attacking the policeman for saying such rude words. Jamal has always been the one beaten up. Only for Latika, he fights back. Boyle has a combination of film techniques to show how Jamal is driven by love. Describing his challenges clearly helping the audience to further understand his determined character. Despite what many of us may believe success is not just a one way path. Jamal has shown us that it is a muddled path with numerous ups and downs. Failing and getting lost is part of the process but persevering and staying optimistic will eventually lead you to your desired goal.
Boyle has used multiple film techniques to describe the many challenges Jamal is faced with. We are able to understand his determined, strong willed character. Leaving viewers feeling encouraged to persevere through their own challenges in life and accomplish their goals.