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Slumdog Millionaire | 2008 | R | - 5.8.5

A young man who's lived all his life in the slums of Mumbai is on the verge of winning millions in India's version of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire." With Dev Patel, Anil Kapoor, Irrfan Khan, Madhur Mittal, Freida Pinto, Saurabh Shukla, Tanay Chheda, Tanvi Ganesh Lonkar, Ashutosh Lobo Gajiwala, Ayush Mahesh Khedekar, Rubina Ali, Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail. Directed by Danny Boyle. [2:00]

SEX/NUDITY 5 - A man kisses a woman seated on his lap and gropes her briefly (her bare abdomen and cleavage are visible). A young man and a young woman kiss. A young man kisses a young woman on the cheek.
 A teenage boy tells another teenage boy to leave him with a teenage girl (it is implied that he plans to have sex with her, even if he has to force her), the two boys fight and we see the teenage girl (reluctant, but apparently acquiescing) taken by the hand by one boy and a door is closed (it is implied that hey have sex).
 A teenage girl dances while wearing a short top that reveals her bare abdomen. A man watches a TV show with women dancing and several women in the room with him begin to dance seductively.
 Two boys walk down a street where they talk to several prostitutes, we see a bare-chested man kissing a woman's neck, and we see a man (he is not wearing a shirt and his pants are unfastened) and a woman lying on the ground (sex is implied); one older prostitute touches one boy's cheek seductively.
 A young man asks a young woman to come away with him. A young man and a young woman hug.
 A teenage boy talks about getting plenty of sex, using a crude anatomical term. An orphaned girl is taken from the slums and groomed to be sold as a "virgin." A teenage boy and a teenage girl lie on a mattress together talking (nothing sexual is implied). A teenage girl comes out of the shower (we see her bare shoulders) and a boy holds a towel for her (nothing is implied).
 Two girls put hot chili peppers in a boy's pants while he is sleeping; he wakes up screaming and rushes to the shower to rinse himself off (the boy's bare back, legs and buttocks are visible and there's a very quick side glimpse of genitals). A woman scrubs a nude boy (bare chest, hip and thighs are visible, and his genitals are in heavy shadow). A boy goes to the bathroom (his bare thighs and knees are seen). A young man sleeps bare-chested. Boys sleep bare-chested in a few scenes.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 8 - A boy falls unconscious when a man puts a chemical-soaked cloth over his nose, the boy is placed on a table and a man holds a smoldering metal spoon with a liquid over the boy's eye, we hear a sizzle and see the man place a handkerchief over the boy's eyes; we see the boy later and he's blind, with burn scars on his face.
 During several police torture and interrogation scenes a policeman attaches battery cables to a young man's toes and shocks him (the young man is shown hanging from his hands, he twitches and groans, then hangs unconscious and drools, and when he regains consciousness he spits blood); the young man's head is also shoved into a bucket of bloody water a few times, a policeman slaps him hard in the back of the head a couple of times and a policeman slaps him in the face several times.
 Many men with sticks and metal rods rush into an area where women and children are washing clothes and bathing, many of the women and children are struck and beaten, and one women is struck directly in the face and falls into a pool of water where we see her floating dead later; shacks are set on fire and a man is ignited (we see him running and flailing while in flames) and we hear the attackers saying "They're Muslims, get them!"
 A young man stands in a bathtub, shoots a man who enters the room, and the young man is then shot repeatedly by other men who come into the room (a bit of blood is seen and we see holes open in clothing). A teenage boy holds a gun on a man, threatens him and several other men in the room, and then shoots the man in the face (we see the man struck and he falls back onto the floor).
 A boy throws a chemical in a man's face and the man screams (we see him later with scars on his face). A young woman is chased by several young men through a train station, she is grabbed, forced into a car and we see one young man cut her face with a knife (no blood is visible but we see her scarred face later).
 Two teenage boys fight, one shoves the other against a wall, one pushes the other out the door and slams it shut, and then opens it again and threatens him with a gun.
 A man punches and kicks a boy several times (we see blood on the boy's face and a very bruised eye). A young man punches another young man in the face and he falls to the floor. A young man attacks a policeman who makes an insulting remark about a young woman, and the young man is pulled away and handcuffed into a chair by two other policemen. A man yells at a young woman and a young man. A teacher strikes a young boy on the head with a book. A man twists a young man's arm behind his back. A boy strikes another boy, then takes an infant away from a girl and pretends to drop it. A boy shoves a girl, and then hits a man and struggles when the man picks him up. Two girls put hot chili peppers in a boy's pants while he is sleeping; he wakes up screaming and rushes to the shower to rinse himself. A man kicks a young man in the leg. A man throws water in a young man's face to wake him up. A young man loads a pistol.
 Two boys and a girl run away from several men, the two boys jump onto a moving train and the girl is left behind (we see the men grab her and carry her away). Several policemen throw a blanket over a young man's head and take him away to be interrogated. Many children are chased by two policemen on motorcycles, two boys and separated from the crowd, they run through narrow streets in a slum and through a garbage dump, and people in the slums throw garbage at the two policemen chasing the boys. A woman grabs two boys and pushes them to the floor in a schoolroom. A boy puts a chair against the handle of an outhouse door, preventing a boy who's inside from leaving. A man sprays a chemical fog in a tunnel where two boys are talking (it's not clear what the chemical is). We see a bruise on a young woman's eye and understand that a man has beaten her.
 Two boys sit on top of a moving train, we see them walking along the top later, they try to steal food, and fall off, rolling on the ground (they are OK).
 A boy purposefully jumps through the hole in the floor of a primitive outhouse and lands in a large pool of waste; he comes out covered from head to toe with feces and other waste, and runs through a crowd of people who recoil as he passes.
 A boy uses an outhouse (his bare thighs and knees are visible) and we see feces through the hole in the floor; a man stands outside complaining that he needs to use the bathroom (he flatulates). A man urinates in a urinal (we see him assume the position but do not hear anything). We see several scenes that depict how people live in the slums of Mumbai among extreme filth, garbage dumps and overcrowded conditions. We see people washing clothes in dirty water. People gather around a garbage truck as it dumps its load, and they rummage through the mounds of garbage. A man spits.
 A young man imagines pushing another young man off a tall building and we see the two of them falling.
 A boy tells another boy "He was going to take your eyes out with a spoon." A boy makes up a story about a woman dying in a traffic accident. A woman asks two boys if they'd like her to "wallop them to death." A policeman talks about the criminal types that he has to deal with, listing "rapists and bomb bandits." We are told that a young man works for a gangster. A young man prays for forgiveness for his sins. A young woman tells a young man "I thought we'd only be together in death."
 A man lures children out of a garbage dump with bottles of cola and takes them to a place where there are other children being trained to beg on streets.
 A car is stripped by a group of young people (we see it sitting on a pile of bricks, missing its tires). Children steal purses and other belongings from people watching a play. Boys steal shoes from a tourist attraction and sell them.


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LANGUAGE 5 - About 2 F-words, 2 sexual references, 10 scatological terms, 11 mild obscenities, several anatomical terms, name-calling (slumdog, idiot, dog, fat), 3 religious exclamations.


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SUBSTANCE USE - A boy drinks a beer, and a young man pours what may be alcoholic drinks in a bucket. A man smokes and blows smoke in a young man's face, a man smokes a cigarette in a few scenes, a young man smokes cigarettes in a few scenes, and a boy smokes from a pipe.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Slums, Mumbai, India, orphans, prostitution, torture, contests, human rights, winning, hope, dreams, trust, love, betrayal, destiny, survival, begging, buying and selling people, religious violence.

MESSAGE - There is always hope even in the most desperate circumstances. The Indian police force is corrupt and uses torture. India is a country of extreme economic disparity, and its slums are places where people live under dreadfully primitive and foul conditions.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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