Slumdog Millionaire by Danny Boyle
There seems to be en everlasting conflict between science, and between faith. Man has always chosen between the two, giving the world great leaders of science, and great leaders of faith. In Slumdog Millionaire, directed by Danny Boyle, the viewer is thrusted into an ultimate tale of destiny versus coincidence. A young man who has made it onto the popular game show, “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” is shown being questioned by the authorities, who refuse to believe that this young man, who has been brought up from the slums and forced into a world of poverty and violence, can simply know all the answers. They accuse him of being a cheat, and a liar. Throughout the story the viewers are shown, through flashbacks of his life, that he does indeed know all the answers, simply because of all those experiences. The heavy usage of symbolism, the constant awareness of the direction, and the wide spectrum of colours demonstrate that the director wants the audience to choose between science or faith. The young man, for example, proves to be a man of faith; one who believes ardently in the idea of destiny. An individual, such as this young man, may choose to be a man of science or a man of faith, and in that decision, decide between the concept of coincidence, or the ideology of destiny.
To begin, the usage of symbolism in Slumdog Millionaire varies from simple archetypal symbols, such as water, to more complex symbols, like feet, and blood money.
Water is one of the key necessities for humans to survive. They must drink it, and they must dispose of it. Humans themselves are composed primarily of water, and to live without it would prove to be impossible. So why does the usage of water seem to be an archetypal symbol, brought up in key moments in the main characters lives? Their mother dies in water, and Jamal is shown repeatedly throughout the film with water being thrown in his face. When Latika is introduced to Jamal and Salim, the audience is shown an image of her, standing in the rain, all alone. The use of water in that scene seems to be a symbolic reawakening of sorts, and in that reawakening, the viewer is shown the harshness and severeness of these children’s situation. There’s no pity, or a simple discarding of their issues. Jamal, Latika, and Salim all have to fight for their lives, for their freedom, and more importantly to achieve their one true destiny, which in the end, varies vastly in the final act of the film.
Throughout the story, the viewers are shown an abundance of shots of bare feet. For instance, in the opening scene, where Jamal is being tortured by the police, the viewer is shown a quick shot of Jamal’s feet, as he dangles helplessly from the ceiling, his arms tied above his head. Another shot involving characters feet is when Salim is shown stealing shoes for the first time. The viewer is momentarily shown Salim’s feet as they slip into the pair of sneakers. One last usage of feet is...