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“Slumdog Millionaire” Reflecting Issues in Today’s World

 You have probably seen the 2009 film “Slumdog Millionaire.” The film tells the story of Jamal Malik, a Mumbai teen who grew up in the slums, becomes a contestant on the Indian version of “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?” and exceeds people’s expectations, thereby arousing the suspicions of the game show host and of law enforcement officials. Written by an Indian diplomat and directed by Danny Boyle, the film dominated the Oscars by taking the Best Picture Academy Award, along with seven others including Adapted Screenplay.

 At my professor’s suggestion, I watched “Slumdog Millionaire.” After watching the film, as a citizen of Korea, where social structures such as health, education, social equality and infrastructure such as communications are well ensured, many thoughts arose in my mind. While watching Jamal’s childhood, I was shocked because he scampers across the roof, washes in all the puddles and lives beside a trash heap. He is even forced to beg for coins by gangs after his mother was killed by Muslims. Without a doubt, he lived in poverty. In that sense, I was able to see India suffering from the problem of child labor and poverty.

 The movie raises questions why people in India have to live such miserable and poor quality lives. There are several reasons such as geography, culture and religion, but I think the basic factor is globalization. The world has more developing countries than developed countries. However, the world’s major issues related with financial benefits are in the hands of a few developed countries like the US. It means that developing countries’ economic profits have been made at the expense of developing countries. So, we cannot deny the fact that globalization in most countries tends to penalize the poor. Of course, globalization has added to global economic growth and made people from many countries in the world to interact, share culture, and form bonds with each other. However, all things considered, globalization has many problems such as the widening gap among the countries. As the movie goes on, Jamal does many things that surprised me. During the Who Wants to Be a Millionaire TV game show, he answers the questions based on his life experience. I was touched by looking at Jamal being truly calm and was surprised by the fact that he finally got 20 million rupees. I was also moved by his courage of going after his love, Latika to save her from gangs. Although he might have felt scared because the gangs had killed his brother, he was very brave and in love.

 Although this movie’s backdrop is in India, the problems that are shown in this movie still occur in many countries. That is, many developing countries like Cambodia and Afghanistan suffer from poverty, infectious diseases, high crime rates and the food problems. Apart from poverty, the movie also focuses on women’s problems. Women in developing countries suffer from gender discrimination and inequality. In the movie, men objectify them, rape them, and sell and buy them. Guaranteeing women’s rights is one of the principal challenges of developing countries. All in all, “Slumdong Millionaire” is a thought-provoking movie which reflects issues in our world today.

Kim Yu-yeong  tbfor700@dongguk.edu

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