Study Guide

Slumdog Millionaire Scene 5

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Scene 5

Scene 5

  • "Blind singers earn double, you know that," Jamal explains to the inspector in the station.
  • "What happened to the girl? They blinded her too?" the inspector asks Jamal. "They had other plans," Jamal responds softly.
  • Once again in flashback, young Salim and Jamal sit on top of the train. Salim urges Jamal to forget about Latika.
  • What follows is an action-packed montage set to "Paper Planes" by M.I.A. aboard the train, as the boys do whatever they can to survive.
  • We see them selling various items as they go, getting kicked off, sneaking back aboard, stealing food Mission Impossible style, getting caught, getting tossed off, and finally winding up at the foot of the Taj Mahal.
  • "Is this heaven?" Jamal wonders aloud. They conclude it must be a hotel.
  • The two wander through the grounds of the Taj, peering up at the architecture and listening to the tours.
  • Jamal gives a European couple a tour, giving them some questionable information. ("The guidebook was written by a bunch of lazy, good-for-nothing Indian beggars," he notes.) Jamal is awesome, hilarious, and a total shyster.
  • When we cut back to the boys they've grown a bit older.
  • What follows is another montage, as the brothers establish a racket stealing shoes, which they later sell, as well as taking pictures for tourists and leading tours. Of course they have more than a few run-ins with security.
  • Jamal takes a couple of tourists to see the locals as they do their clothes washing in the river; meanwhile other boys emerge, led by Salim, to take the tires off the car which they left parked.
  • Jamal's beat up by the Indian driver when they return. "You wanted to see a bit of the real India? Here it is?" grimaces Jamal. The tourists end up giving him $100.
  • Washing up and cleaning his wounds later, Jamal hears music. He follows it to the Taj, where he climbs up the scaffolding to look upon an opera performance. (Of course he steals the wallets of some unsuspecting tourists along the way.)
  • Watching the dramatic performance and listening to the stirring singing, all he can think of is Latika.
  • Back in the studio, Jamal is asked another question: "On an American One Hundred Dollar Bill, there is a portrait of which American statesman?"
  • We watch as even the producers become invested in Jamal's performance.
  • Jamal knows the answer, and answers correctly.
  • In the police station, the inspector asks Jamal who's on the 1,000 rupee note. Jamal has no clue.
  • "It's funny, you don't seem that interested in money," the inspector remarks. "Explain the 100 dollar bill," he later asks.
  • "Bombay had turned into Mumbai," Jamal begins. (Bombay got a name change.) (Source)

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