Study Guide

Slumdog Millionaire Point of View

Point of View

Many times when a movie is adapted from a novel, a lot of the original structure gets left out. Dangerous Liaisons (and the '90s kitschy classic Cruel Intentions) omitted the epistolary awesomeness of the novel Les Liaisons Dangereuses. Jumanji takes huge liberties adapting the book Jumanji… including adding color (the kid's book was in creepy black and white).

But when Danny Boyle & Co. adapted Vikas Swarup's novel Q&A into Slumdog Millionaire, they maintained the ambitious narrative style of the original text. As in Q&A, the film focuses on protagonist Jamal's appearance on Who Wants to be a Millionaire, using the questions he receives in the present to explore the story of his past. Like Swarup, screenwriter Simon Beaufoy and D. Boyle weave together these two separate timelines into one seamless plot.

Given this complex, non-linear chronology, the game show serves as something of a frame story, anchoring the narrative with a creative and compelling backbone, enabling us to explore these pivotal moments in Jamal's past.

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