"Slumdog Millionaire" is a romantic comedy-drama set in the slums of Mumbai, as a destitute young man tries to reunite with his lost love by appearing on national television, as a contestant on the Indian version of "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire." The British-Indian production released by Fox Searchlight was nominated for 10 Oscars including Best Picture.
By CBSNews.com producer David Morgan
Dev Patel stars as Jamal, whose search for Latika (Freida Pinto) is told through flashbacks of Jamal's early life, their meeting and separation as children, and his reentry into her life in their teens. At each point the tragedy of their lives among India's underclass makes true happiness seemingly impossible.
As children, Jamal and his older brother Salim (Ayush Mahesh Khedekar and Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail) witness the death of their mother during a religious purge of their Mumbai slum. Orphaned, they must use their resourcefulness, their wits and sometimes thievery to survive their Dickensian travails. The traumas of Jamal's early life (as in the vision on right) scar the boy -- and play important plot points later on.
As Jamal and Salim grow older, they also grow apart, with Salim (Madhur Mittal) running with the criminal underworld as well as becoming Jamal's rival for Latika. While persistence, technology and luck all play into Jamal's quest to be reunited with Latika, Salim will ultimately play the biggest role.
Mumbai, The Phoenix
When Jamal returns to Mumbai, he finds a city transformed -- a garden of high rises growing from where his slum once stood.
The Hot Seat
Jamal makes it to the contestant's chair on a TV game show, fielding questions that his superiors believe the uneducated tea boy could not possibly answer. His appearance makes him a national sensation -- and a target of suspicion.
Is That Your Final Answer?
Taken for interrogation, Jamal must convince a police inspector (Irrfan Khan) that he does legitimately know the answers he has given.
The film's happy ending -- soulmates reunited, foes vanquished, all questions answered, and (in a nod to Bollywood) a dance number.
British director Danny Boyle had an international hit with (top right) "Trainspotting," about a heroin addict trying to go cold turkey. His other films include the zombie film "28 Days Later" (middle) and "Sunshine" (bottom).
Editor Chris Dickens, nominated for an Oscar for "Slumdog Millionaire," brought a vibrant drive to the film's chase scenes, whether of rambunctious children evading police, or of orphans trying to flee by train the cruel caretakers who would maim them as easily as feed them.
A view of Dharavi, Asia's largest slum, in Mumbai, India, Jan. 21, 2009. This and other shanty towns served as locations for much of "Slumdog Millionaire." In fact, two of the film's lead actors -- Rubiana Ali (pictured), who plays the youngest Latika, and Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail, who plays the youngest Salim -- still live in the Bandra slums.
Red Carpet: Dev and Freida
"Slumdog Millionaire" stars Dev Patel and Freida Pinto on the press line at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts Los Angeles annual awards season tea party at the Beverly Hills Hotel, Jan. 10, 2009.
Red Carpet: Dev and Freida
The Red Carpet: Dev Patel and Freida Pinto of "Slumdog Millionaire" at the 34th Annual Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards in Los Angeles, Jan. 12, 2009. Their movie won four Golden Globe awards the previous night, including Best Drama.
From left: Screenwriter Simon Beaufoy, director Boyle and producer Christian Colson, pose together at the 2008 National Board of Review of Motion Pictures awards gala on Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2009, in New York.
Danny Boyle at a press conference in Mumbai marking "Slumdog Millionaire"'s Indian premiere, Jan. 22, 2009. Earlier that day the Academy Award nominations were announced, with "Slumdog" receiving 10 nods, including Best Picture and Best Director.
Anil Kapoor (who plays the game show host) dances as he arrives for the premiere of the film in Mumbai, India, Jan. 22, 2009.
Freida Pinto embraces Rubiana Ali as she arrives onstage before the film's premiere in Mumbai, India, Jan. 22, 2009.
Success Doesn't Translate Well
In Mumbai, residents of Dharvi said they were insulted and degraded by the film's negative portrayal of slumdwellers, as well as the word "dog" in the title. Protest organizers demanded the film be banned, and issued threats against cinemas planning to show the film, known here as "Slumdog Crorepati."