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Saturday, April 18, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire Trivia

  • Mercedes-Benz asked that its logos be removed in scenes taking place in the slums. The company, according to Danny Boyle, did not want to be associated with the poverty-stricken area, fearing that that might taint its image.

  • The actor whose autograph young Jamal gets is Amitabh Bachchan, who is a very famous Indian actor, the original host of the Indian version of "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire"
  • The cricket match being shown on television in Javed's house is the 1st one day international of the Future Cup between India and South Africa played at Civil Service Cricket Club, Stormont, Belfast on June 26 2007. As shown in the movie, Sachin Tendulkar, the Indian batsman, was run out on 99. India went on to score 242 and South Africa won the match by 4 wickets with 3 balls remaining.
  • The film used a prototype Digital Cinema Camera from Silicon Imaging. When used in Mumbai, there were SI technicians on set constantly to deal with any problems the prototype had, of which there were many.
  • Director Danny Boyle placed the money to be paid to the 3 lead child actors in a trust that is to be released to them upon their completion of grade school at 16 years of age. The production company has set up for an auto-rikshaw driver to take the kids to school everyday until they are 16 years old.
  • Chris Tarrant, the host of the UK version of 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire' featured in Danny Boyle's debut film Shallow Grave (1994). He appears as the host of another TV quiz show 'Lose A Million' but only on a TV screen.
  • In the opening chase scene where Jamal and Salim jump down from a building to the ground is an reference to Danny Boyle's Trainspotting (1996) in which the main character Renton jumps down into the frame at a drug dealers to eventually overdose on heroin.
  • In the scene where the adult Salim's phone rings soon after the adult Jamal finds him, the ringtone is part of the theme music from A.R. Rahman's work on the Indian movie Swades: We, the People (2004).
  • The current exchange rate for 20,000,000 Rupees (the grand prize on "Who Wants to be a Millionaire") is USD$411,600.
  • The film was originally intended to receive a PG-13 rating. In the end, it received an R rating because of its intense tone. With no time or money for appeals, the film was released with its given rating.
  • Approximately 20% of the movie's dialog is in Hindi (with English subtitles).
  • The pile of excreta that the young Jamal jumps into and was made from a combination of peanut butter and chocolate.
  • When Salim goes to Javed's den to announce that he has killed Maman, the movie playing in the theatre nearby is the Sunil Shetty starrer Maseeha (2002). Mahesh Manjrekar, who plays Javed, made his acting debut in Kaante (2002), which was released exactly a week after Maseeha (2002).
  • This movie almost was released straight to DVD instead of getting a theatrical release.
  • A.R. Rahman took just 20 days to compose the entire soundtrack.
  • The song "Jai Ho" was originally made for movie Yuvvraaj (2008), composed by A.R. Rahman and lyrics written by Gulzar, but the producer Subhash Ghai did not find it fitting in the movie for the actor Zayed Khan, so he let the song be used for this production.
  • In the scene early in the film where Maman approaches Jamal and Salim to give them a cool drink, the "Thumbs Up" branding (the Indian version of Coca Cola) had to be removed on the request of the manufacturers who did not want to be associated with the film.
  • The song "Darshan Do Ghanshyam" which is used by the "selecters" to select and train child beggars before blinding them was composed and sung by Surdas, a blind Indian legendary medieval singer.
  • Longiness Fernandes was the choreographer of the dance sequence set to the song "Jai Ho", which is played during the end credits. But his name was inadvertently left out in the credits of the film. Upset with this, Longinus skipped the preview parties. Danny Boyle was also upset over this mistake and promised Longinus that he would make it up to him, and made he up in style. While accepting the Oscar for the Best Director, he admitted his mistake before the audience and thanked Longinus. The song "Jai Ho" also won the Oscar for Best Song for A.R. Rahman and Gulzar.
  • When young Salim goes to sell the autograph of Amitabh Bachchan to the projectionist of the theatre, the movie being played is Ram Balram (1980/I). The film can be seen running out-of-focus. The voices heard belong to Dharmendra, Amitabh Bachchan and Ajit. The film also had Ajit beating up and terrorizing kids Ram and Balram, the characters played by Dharmendra and Amitabh - a possible allusion to the treatment meted out to the slum children.
  • The children on the film were only paid a little above local wages for 30 days of work. One child's father said, "We have barely got any money from the film-makers. In fact, whatever came, has already been spent."
  • Local Indian authorities decided to step in and move the children and their families from slums to new houses.
  • Inside the police station, photographic portraits of Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, Indira Gandhi and Mahatma Gandhi can be seen on the wall.
  • The first Best Cinematography Oscar winner to be predominantly shot in digital. This is also the first Best Picture Oscar winner since 1928 not to be shot on Kodak film (35mm segments were filmed on Fuji stocks).
  • Throughout the film, particularly in the scenes where Jamal lives as a child in the slums, the word "chaiwala" can be seen. Jamal's is a chaiwala, or tea server at the time he appears on the TV show.

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