Slumdog millionaire is a movie that is made in the current times but which focuses on flashbacks that show the life of the individuals in the movie. The movie is based on the lives of three youngsters, Jamal Malik and his brothers and Latika, the young lady who was a childhood friend of Jamal. The boy is about to win 20 million rupees because he has all the answers to the questions in the “who wants to be a millionaire” show (Ebert par 2). The essence of this essay is to determine the traditional aspects in the movie and therefore certify the statement of Robert Ebert, stating the movie has so much traditional features hidden under the dazzling aspect of the movie (Patel, Pinto and Kapoor). These words were written by Robert in his review of the movie. This essay will include step by step analysis of the movie to give a clear picture of the traditions.
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As has been indicated, the story is told through reliving the life of Jamal Malik. This means that everything that is told in this movie is done in flashbacks. The police interrogating Jamal because of the doubts from the show hosts who suspects that Jamal must be lying discover that he also does not believe he has come that far. He also tells the story in answering every question that he gets right to show how his thoughts took him to make the decisions he made to answer the questions.
Some of the most notable traditional aspects of the Indian culture that are seen in the movie include eating habits and cultural behaviors during eating time. This can be seen well when Latika serves food to her boss. She goes to the boss with a show of respect and even shows that there is a certain order that is followed by the traditional Indians in meals and serving. Note that she does not also take her meal at the same time that the boss does. This could either be used to show the traditional perception of the position of a woman in the Indian society. Additionally, it can be used to show the roles that women in the society were bestowed on in the society (Patel, Pinto and Kapoor).
There is an Indian traditional dance that is also seen in the movie with so much effectiveness that it takes one back to the ancient Indian community. The slumdog dance shows Jamal and Latika, and other Indians dancing in the streets. The costumes that they use are not dressings that can be used in the contemporary India. This means that they show part of what is the history of India. The dances by its own standing tell a story in the life of Indians. The dance is not just moves but also has expressions that have a meaning beneath. This dance is used like a mode of communications. As can be seen, Jamal had befriended Latika but could not just tell her his feelings for her. However, in the Indian cultural practices, a dance such as this given by Jamal in the subway station, one can use his emotions and expressions in passing this message across. The response by the lady towards the emotions of a boy is passed in the same way in the dance. It is a communication that does not involve words but attains its goals.
Respect seems to take a major position in the ancient India as can be seen in the movie. The two Indian brothers cause mayhem in the airport and are chased across the runway by the guards. However, unlike it would happen in the contemporary world in India or even in other parts of the world, the children are very respectful to their mother (Ebert par 6). When they get to her, they stop running and keep still. The guard also has faith in the mother in discipline her children. This is seen because when he realizes that she is the mother of the two children, he leaves her to take care of them knowing that she will employ the best measure. When Jamal is questioned by the police in connection with the suspicion in cheating in the TV game, he does not get frustrated into lying. This is an indication that the individuals in India followed a certain principle that could not be bent, even by torture. This argument follows the fact that Jamal could have easily given up to end the torture and claim that he was lying.
Caste system is seen in the movie. The host of the show does not believe that a slumdog could know so much and therefore could win the million rupees. The fear that he has is based on the fact that if the slumdog knows the answer to the last question, he may become a millionaire and share the same status with the host. This is not easy for the host because a slumdog is from a highly different class from that of the host and they are not even supposed to share some things. It is even noted that the previous life of Jamal as he relives it with the police is only composed of other slumdogs. There are no people from other social classes. The difference between the rich and the poor that was the tradition in India is brought out by Prem Kumar the show host who is so much bent on frustrating and discouraging Jamal because of the social class while Latika is full of support and encouragement to Jamal to continue. This two show mixed feelings with each revealing the social class and the caste as a major contributor to each person’s decision (Patel, Pinto and Kapoor).
Elders are always the leaders in the traditional Indian society as can be seen in the movie regardless of the age difference. It is seen that a younger person cannot refute the decision of the older person even when it is quite clear that the decision is flawed or should be challenged. In the scene when it is raining and the two boys run to find shelter in a warehouse, with Latika following, Salim decides that Latika could not come into the warehouse for shelter. Although Jamal feels that this is not right, he does not defy his brother and take the girl into the warehouse and neither does he confront or challenge Salim. This is because tradition prohibits such a confrontation and indicates that the elders have to be respected no matter what. In the same scene, it is seen that Latika does not defy Salim and come into the warehouse. Rather, she remains outside with rain pounding on her and drenching her. This is because she was a woman, and further still, a junior to Salim. Perhaps the reason that Salim said she could not come to the warehouse is that it was not appropriate for her being female to come to the warehouse. This could probably be the reason that both she and Jamal did not defy.
Salim is older than Jamal and this shows that he controlled Jamal at to many incidences by this virtue. He even states it at one point in the movie that Jamal could not go against his wishes because he was the elder among the two. This is a traditional cultural practice that renders the young to be susceptible to manipulation by the older people with the argument that they were more knowledgeable, wise or other factors. This is not the case in the real life although tradition states so (Patel, Pinto and Kapoor). According to this discussion, it is easy to concur with Robert. There are too much traditional aspects hidden by all the glamorous scenes in the movie.