Eric and I got advance screening tickets to Slumdog Millionaire, Danny Boyle’s new movie about a former Indian street kid who wins round after round on Who Wants to be a Millionaire?. The show can’t believe that he’s not cheating, he’s arrested, and the police beat the truth out of him. As Jamal tells his tale, we learn how an 18-year-old chai wallah in a call center came to know the answers.
Although there’s little doubt about the ending, the journey is unpredictable. Jamal and his older brother Salim are orphaned at a young age. Latika, a girl, joins them, and they form the three musketeers. A Fagin takes them in thrall; the boys escape, Latika does not. They spend years scamming their way across India, before returning to Mumbai so that Jamal can look for her.
The teeming millions of the slums of India provide the backdrop for this movie. The brothers may be poor nobodies, but they have spirit and energy and a fierce camaraderie until they fall out.