November 4th, 2007
© SLUMDOG FILMS LIMITED
39 LONG ACRE
LONDON WC2E 9LG
1 INT. JAVED'S SAFE-HOUSE. BATHROOM. NIGHT. 1
An expensive bathroom suite. Excess of marble and gold
taps. Into the bath, a hand is scattering rupee notes.
Hundreds and hundreds of notes, worth hundreds of
thousands of rupees. The sound of a fist thumping on
the bathroom door, furious shouting from the other
2 INT. STUDIO. BACKSTAGE. DAY. 2
Darkness. Then, glimpses of faces. In the half-light,
shadowy figures move with purpose. An implacable voice
Ten to white-out, nine, eight,
Are you ready?
Silence. A hand shakes a shoulder a little too roughly.
I said are you ready?
3 INT. JAVED'S SAFE-HOUSE. BATHROOM. NIGHT. 3
The thumping at the door continues. The sound of
mumbled Indian prayer. Dull gleam of a pistol. A hand
cracks the chamber open. Loads a single bullet into the
chamber, snaps the chamber shut.
...three, two, one, zero. Cue
Prem, cue applause...
Suddenly, the door splinters as it is smashed through.
A burst of gun-fire and white light as suddenly...
4 INT. STUDIO. NIGHT. 4
...we are back in the studio, the gun-fire morphing
into rapturous applause.
4 CONTINUED: 4
A wall of light and noise as the two walk on stage.
Cheering, music, banks of searing studio lights. On
stage, Jamal, an eighteen year-old Indian boy-man
stares, petrified. He would surely turn and run but for
the iron grip on his shoulder of the smiling host, Prem
Welcome to Who Wants To Be A
Please give a warm welcome to
our first contestant of the
night- a local from our very own
Under cover of the wild applause, Prem ushers Jamal
towards the guest's chair, leaning in and hissing.
The lights seem to bore into him but Jamal manages a
tentative smile. Out of nowhere, a hand slaps him
ferociously across the face. Then again and again.
Blood trickles from his mouth.
5 INT. POLICE INTERVIEW ROOM. NIGHT. 5
The studio lights have seamlessly transformed into the
harsh bulb of an interrogation light. Jamal is strung
from the ceiling by his arms.
Your name, bhen chod.
Constable Srinivas's hand pulls back Jamal's head by
the hair, forcing him to stare directly into the
CONSTABLE SRINIVAS (CONT'D)
And seamlessly we are back....
6 INT. STUDIO. NIGHT. 6
...on the set of Who Wants to be a Millionaire. Prem
leans back in his chair, a man at home in his
surroundings. Jamal sits opposite, frozen.
So, Jamal, tell us a bit about
Close on Jamal's face. Without warning, it is shoved
7 INT. BUCKET. NIGHT. 7
We look up from the bottom of the bucket at the
screaming face of a drowning man. His head shakes
desperately, pointlessly. Then Jamal's face is dragged
up again, roaring for breath. Close on his eyes.
I work in a call centre. In
8 INT. STUDIO. NIGHT. 8
A Phone-basher! And what type of
call centre would this be?
XL 5. Mobile phones.
Aha! So, you're the man who
rings me up every single day of
my life with Special Offers,
No, actually, I'm an assistant.
An Assistant Phone-basher?
A raised eye-brow at the audience. Amusement ruffles
And what does an Assistant Phone-
basher do, exactly?
I- I get tea for people and-
8 CONTINUED: 8
- a chi-wallah! Why didn't you
Laughter in the audience.
So, ladies and gentlemen, Jamal
Malik from Mumbai, let's play
Who Wants To Be A
9 OMITTED 9
10 INT. POLICE INTERVIEW ROOM. DAY. 10
Jamal's body dangles motionless from the ceiling. His
head is bowed and he is moaning to himself. The ceiling
fan thumps round slowly. In the corner, Constable
Srinivas mops his brow and lights a cigarette. Hot
work. The door opens and the Inspector of Police walks
in. A rumpled man in his late forties who has seen
pretty much everything. He eyes Jamal, surprised.
Has he confessed, yet?
Apart from his name, I can't get
a word out of the runt.
You've been here all bloody
night, Srinivas. What have you
A little electricity will loosen
Constable Srinivas brings a box and a tangle of wires
out of a cupboard and proceeds to put crocodile clips
on Jamal's fingers. The Inspector stares, deep in
thought. Sweat trickles down his face. He wipes it away
with a handkerchief, seems to be talking to himself.
Every night I get home, "why
can't we have a/c like Bajan
10 CONTINUED: 10
Why don't you care about your
poor family, dying in this
heat." Twenty-four years a
policeman and I can't afford
Turns on Jamal.
But you. You've got ten million
rupees ek dum guaranteed, yaar?
And who knows how much further?
Fancy the twenty million, do
Jamal just stares.
I think you probably do.
The Inspector nods absently to Constable Srinivas who
turns a handle. Jamal's body pulsates and jerks. He
screams. His body goes limp again. The Inspector goes
over to Jamal.
So. Were you wired up? A mobile
or a pager, correct? Some little
hidden gadget? No? A coughing
accomplice in the audience?
Microchip under the skin, huh?
Constable Srinivas hadn't thought of that. Grabs
Jamal's arms and starts squeezing them all over until
the Inspector has had enough.
Srinivas! Look, it's hot, my
wife is giving me hell, I've got
a desk full of murderers,
rapists, extortionists, assorted
bum-bandits...and you. Why don't
you save us both a lot of time?
Jamal doesn't answer. The Inspector sighs and sits
down. Looks at his watch, nods at Constable Srinivas
again. Jamal's body jerks with electric current. When
the shudders and screams have subsided, the Inspector
goes over to Jamal's collapsed form. Clicks his fingers
in front of Jamal's face to check for a response.
INSPECTOR OF POLICE
He's unconscious, chutiya. What
good is that? How many times
have I told you-?
10 CONTINUED: (2) 10
An excited Young Police Constable sticks his head
around the door.
He's coming! Sir.
Aré wa, Srinivas, we'll have
Amnesty International in here
next, peeing their pants about
human rights. Get him down, tidy
him up, for God's sake.
Constable Srinivas goes over to Jamal and starts to
undo the crocodile clips.
Maybe he did know the answers.
Have you gone soft, Srinivas?
Professors, lawyers, doctors,
General Knowledge Wallahs never
get beyond sixteen thousand
rupees. And he's on ten million?
What the hell can a slum dog
Jamal lifts his head.
He lifts his head, spits blood out of his mouth and
says again, straight into the Inspector's face.
I know the answers.
Titles. Slum Dog Millionaire.
11 EXT. CRICKET GROUND. DAY. 11
Bright sunlight filtered through the ever-present
Mumbai dust. A group of children are playing cricket on
a tarmac cricket ground. They are bare-foot, dressed in
little more than rags, wiry-skinny and fast on their
feet. Salim, a nine-year old, polishes the ball on his
almost non-existent shorts, comes in with surprising
speed and bowls. The batsman hooks it high in the air.
The bowler screams at a boy in the outfield.
Jamal! Catch it! Catch it!
The seven-year old Jamal stares up at the ball, jinks
around trying to get into position.
11 CONTINUED: 11
He pays no heed to the rest of the children who are
scattering fast to the edges of the tarmac. The ball
seems suspended in the blue sky. Shouts from the other
children seem very far away. He doesn't notice that
they are screaming for him to get out of the way. Jamal
adjusts his feet for the perfect catch. Then out of
nowhere, a light aircraft almost takes his head off as
it comes in to land on the tarmac runway. Jamal is
knocked to his feet by the down-draft of the plane. The
ball bounces away. Also flattened, Salim gets to his
How could you drop that? It was
Then Salim's face turns to one of alarm.
12 EXT. AIRPORT PERIMETER. DAY. 12
At the back of a pack of children, carrying a piece of
wood crudely fashioned into a sword, Jamal is running
for his life, pursued by an ancient but surprisingly
nimble Security Guard from the airport who is screaming
abuse and wielding a long stick. The kids dash across a
rubbish dump and disappear down dozens of tiny lanes
that run in between the shacks of the slum.
Private-ka land! Private-ka
land! The planes won't kill you,
mader chod, I will!
Jamal and Salim- also with a wooden sword- break off,
head down a separate lane. The Guard pursues them.
13 INT. JUHU SLUM. DAY. 13
The lanes in between the corrugated iron shacks are
three feet wide, with an open drain running down the
middle. Many of the precarious upper floors of the
shacks have been built right over the paths, turning
them into black tunnels. Tunnels shot through with
slivers of light. If you didn't live here, you would be
lost and frightened in minutes.
But these children are natives and with the practice of
many years, Jamal and Salim zig-zag down the warren of
They dodge past people cooking in the doorways,
sleeping, washing clothes or in the case of Vinod, a
naked four year-old, pissing into the drain. Salim
shouts a warning.
13 CONTINUED: 13
Vinod! Musketeers coming
Without breaking step, they both jump expertly over the
stream of piss. Not so the Security Guard who gets it
all over his trousers, but doesn't stop the pursuit.
The two children charge past a shack filled to the roof
with chickens in cages who all start squawking. They
break out into the sunlight of the `main road' of the
slum lined with shops. It is packed: with people,
stalls, bicycles and cows. All modern India is here,
drinking tea, shouting at each other, selling food,
playing carom, video games. Leaving a trail of shouting
and wreckage behind them, the pair approach a brand new
Mercedes almost blocking the lane. Beside it stands
Javed, an impressive man in a beautiful suit and his
two Minders. Jamal and Salim skid to a stop, put their
hands together in respectful greeting and edge ever so
carefully past the immaculate paintwork of the car.
Still in pursuit, the Security Guard also slides
carefully past the car with deprecating bows and
smiles. On past the chi stall where a crowd has
gathered to watch a hindi film blaring from the tv
rigged up overhead. The irate Security Guard gets
tangled up in a bicycle. Jamal and Salim stop to give
him a taunting, hip-gyrating parody of the dance on the
tv before scooting down another tunnel. They break out
into sunlight again.
Jamal skids to a halt, bumping into Salim who is
Don't you move a muscle.
The Security Guard arrives and he too skids to a halt
at the sight of Jamal's mother.
JAMAL'S MOTHER (CONT'D)
Thank you, Mister Gupta. I will
deal with these two.
The Guard puts his hands together in grudging respect
as Jamal's Mother lifts each skinny kid off the floor
by their t-shirt and marches them down the road.
14 INT. SCHOOL. DAY. 14
The two renegades are dumped by Jamal's Mother into
their desks as Mister Nandha hands out ancient school
So, the musketeers return. We
are honoured. Salim. Or Porthos,
He crashes the heavy book down on his head. Salim opens
the book. Jamal glances over and turns the book the
right way round for Salim.
Mister Nandha hovers over Jamal's head. He winces in
The book comes down like thunder. Jamal blinks from the
impact and suddenly we are back....
15 INT. INSPECTOR'S OFFICE. DAY. 15
... in the Inspector's office. Jamal watches Srinivas
fiddling with the video recorder, trying to get a
picture. Through the pebbled glass, Jamal sees shapes
moving along the corridor.
16 INT. CORRIDOR. POLICE STATION. DAY. 16
The Commissioner of Police is fawning along beside Prem
as they walk. The Young Constable hurries behind.
COMMISSIONER OF POLICE
It is so kind of you to visit
our station, Sir. A great
Not at all, not at all. I hope
you will visit us, Commissioner.
Out of his jacket pocket comes a couple of tickets.
Bring the family. It's a lot of
COMMISSIONER OF POLICE
Oh! A thousand thanks, Sir.
Missus Janda will be overcome.
16 CONTINUED: 16
He turns to the Young Constable.
COMMISSIONER OF POLICE
chi, you lazy chutiyé, chi!
The Inspector joins them in the corridor.
COMMISSIONER OF POLICE
Ah, Inspector! Cracked it?
The Inspector moves his head. Maybe yes, maybe no.
The Commissioner is just able to contain his apoplexy.
COMMISSIONER OF POLICE
Nearly? Nearly? When Prem Kumar
Prem holds up a tolerant hand to the Commissioner who
falls silent. Turns his laser-like charm onto the
Inspector. How good to meet you.
Clearly the kid cheated.
So, it is just a question of
Indeed, Sir. The proof. That is
all we need.
We are lucky to have a man of
your obvious experience on the
case. This kid might run rings
around us filmi types, but he
won't make fools out of the
Mumbai Police Force, I can see
Forced laughter from the Commissioner.
In front of sixty million
More laughter. And fear.
16 CONTINUED: (2) 16
Which is what will happen if we
don't get a result, Gentlemen.
He goes back on the show to rob
us all with the whole of India
watching. But. I can rely on
Prem walks away down the corridor. Stops and turns,
Has he- has he made any
He's a cunning one. A convincing
liar. Don't be taken in,
Inspector, don't be taken in.
Walks off. The Inspector stares after him. Goes back
into his office.
17 INT. INSPECTOR'S OFFICE. 17
Srinivas has finally got the recorder to work. We get
snatches of filmi dancing- heroines singing on
mountainsides surrounded by implausible numbers of
flags- cricket and finally after some shouting by the
Inspector, Who Wants to Be A Millionaire?.
So, Mister Malik, the man who
knows the answers. Talk.
We close in on the tv screen where Prem is smiling his
crocodile smile and find ourselves....
18 INT. STUDIO. NIGHT. 18
...as Prem asks the first question.
So, are you ready for your first
question for one thousand
Not bad money to sit in a chair
and answer a question. Better
than making the tea, no?
18 CONTINUED: 18
No. Yes. No.
No. Yes. No. Apka final answer?
Laughter from the audience. Jamal looks confused. Prem
waves it away, switches on his serious face.
Remember, you have three
lifelines if you're not sure of
your answer- Ask the Audience,
50/50 and Phone a Friend. So,
The lights go down, the portentous music rolls.
Who was the star of the 1973 hit
film Zanjeer. Was it A-
Close on Jamal's eyes.
19 INT. SHACK. NIGHT. 19
A tiny shack. A garland of dirty plastic flowers
surrounds a torn flyer for one of Amitabh Bacchan's
20 EXT. JUHU SLUM. RUBBISH DUMP. NIGHT. 20
Salim is sitting on a chair at the end of a rickety
wooden pier, though it is not water, but a sea of
rubbish and sewage that lies below them. There are
dozens of these piers protruding from the slum onto
airport land, each with a toilet shack perched right at
the end. Another man hurries up the pier and hands
Salim a coin.
Turns to the toilet door.
Bhai, get out of there. Prakash
wants a shit.
Stop your time-pass. This is
20 CONTINUED: 20
It's a shy one. Since when was
there a time limit on a crap?
Since there was a customer
waiting, that's when.
He flashes another placatory smile at Prakash.
Come on out, you beauty, unveil
yourself, my darling-warling....
Look, kid, I got a bad stomach.
A disturbing combination of heaving and snake-charmer
noises come from the toilet shack. Finally Prakash can
stand it no longer.
I'm off to Devi's bog. Give me
He snatches the coin back from Salim and hurries off.
Salim bangs on the toilet door.
You just lost me good money, you
Salim stops. In the distance, there is the faint sound
of shouting, a crowd coming closer. Then the crowd
bursts through the outer shacks of the slum, pour onto
the rubbish dump and make for the airfield.
It's Amitabh! That's his
Amitabh? Amitabh Bacchan?
21 INT/EXT. TOILET. NIGHT. 21
Jamal peers through one of the many cracks in the
shack. He sees crowds surging around the pier, charging
towards a landing helicopter. Salim shoves the chair
under the door handle- effectively locking it- and runs
down the pier to join the chase. Jamal pulls up his
No! Wait! Salim, sala! Salim!
21 CONTINUED: 21
Rattles the locked door. Pulls a torn flyer from his
pocket advertising an Amitabh movie.
He looks down the toilet hole at the sewage beneath
him, the landing helicopter, the disappearing crowd. A
final rattle of the door. There is only one way out. He
jumps down the hole, sprawling headlong into a year's
worth of human waste, managing to keep the flyer out
the mire. He runs for the helicopter.
Salim is at the back of the crowd, trying to force a
way through, but the adults shove him back. Not so for
Jamal. The down-draft from the helicopter flicks bits
of sewage from his clothes. Disgusted fans curse him
and get out of his way. Suddenly, the red sea parts and
there is nobody between Jamal and Amitabh Bacchan
getting out of the helicopter.
Jamal holds out his flyer. Used to signing autographs,
the movie star barely looks at Jamal. He takes the
flyer and scribbles his autograph on it.
A thousand thanks, Amitabh-ji.
He hands the flyer back to Jamal as his bodyguards
surround him and hustle him into a car. Jamal chases
the flyer across the tarmac, grabs it. Kisses it.
22 EXT. JUHU SLUM. NIGHT. 22
From high up, the rickety tin roof-tops of the slum
seem to stretch to the horizon. There is a distant
shout, a figure waving an arm.
Then another shout and another, a chain of voices
coming closer. People come out of their doorways with
pails and buckets. The shouts come closer until we see
a naked figure entirely encased in bubbles dancing and
singing in the lane. Jamal is the happiest boy in the
Amitabh, Amitabh, oh Amitabh!
22 CONTINUED: 22
I have your autograph, oh, holy
Here it comes!
Water comes bubbling through a hose and Jamal's mother
hoses down her ecstatic son.
23 EXT. JUHU SLUM. NIGHT. 23
Not far away, Salim wanders to Mister Chi's stall. He
glances around to make sure everybody is glued to the
hindi film on Mister Chi's tv and surreptitiously slips
Mister Chi the signed flyer. Mister Chi takes a look
and gives Salim a small wad of rupees. He sticks the
money in his pocket, slinks away.
24 EXT. JUHU SLUM. NIGHT. 24
A tear-stained Jamal is furiously trying to batter
Salim, but Salim's extra strength and height means that
he can keep Jamal at bay with one hand, Jamal's
flailing fists punching thin air.
Salim's laughter only makes Jamal cry harder.
25 INT. INSPECTOR'S OFFICE. NIGHT. 25
Close on the tv screen in the Inspector's office. Prem
ponders Jamal's choice. Presses a button on his
You chose A- Amitabh Bacchan.
Guess what? You just won one
Applause on screen. The Inspector looks at Jamal. Jamal
You don't have to be a genius.
I knew it was Amitabh.
Like I said.
Constable Srinivas twists Jamal's arm behind his back,
evincing a squeal of pain from Jamal.
25 CONTINUED: 25
He's the most famous man in
The Inspector stares at Jamal, turns back to the tv
where Prem is asking the next question.
For four thousand rupees....the
national emblem of India is a
picture of three lions. What is
written underneath? Is it...
26 INT. STUDIO. NIGHT. 26
...A) The truth alone triumphs.
B) Lies alone triumph. C)
Fashion alone triumphs. D) Money
Prem shoots a mock puzzled look out to the audience
eliciting giggles from them.
What do we think, Jamal? The
most famous phrase in our
country's history. Maybe you
want to phone a friend?
Laughter from the audience. The studio lights bear down
on Jamal. a drop of sweat trickles down his forehead.
Prem is loving his discomfort.
Or Ask the Audience? I have a
hunch they might just know the
answer. What do we think?
He gestures expansively at his audience. Oh, they love
Ask the audience.
Prem whistles. Raises his eyes at the audience.
Well, you're the contestant,
26 CONTINUED: 26
Put the poor man out of his
misery, Ladies and Gentlemen.
Press your key-pad now.
The lights dim. Portentous music.
27 INT. INSPECTOR'S OFFICE. DAY. 27
The Inspector presses pause. Sighs.
So, Jamal. My five-year-old
daughter knows the answer to
that, but you don't. Strange for
a millionaire genius. What
happened? Your accomplice nip
out for a piss, did he? Or did
he just not cough loud enough?
Silence. Constable Srinivas kicks Jamal's chair.
The Inspector asked you a
How much is bhelpuri at Jeevan's
stall on Chowpatty Beach?
One bhelpuri. How much?
Wrong. Fifteen since Divali. Who
stole Constable Varma's bicycle
outside Dadar Station last
You know who that was?
Everyone in Juhu knows that.
Even five year-olds.
Despite himself, the Inspector laughs. Then leans in.
27 CONTINUED: 27
I'll give you five hundred
rupees if you just admit it. You
go home, I go home. Everybody
Jamal just stares back.
No, you want to go back on the
programme and win twenty million
rupees, don't you?
28 INT. STUDIO. NIGHT. 28
The audience has chosen. And,
whaddya know? Ninety-nine
percent of them think the answer
is A). The truth alone triumphs.
What do we think, Jamal? A
hundred percent would have made
me a little more reassured,
Prem shrugs, makes a show of examining his computer.
Suddenly fixes him with his eyes.
Are you married, Jamal?
Well, don't despair, there's
someone out there who thinks our
national motto is "Fashion alone
triumphs". You two could be very
29 INT. GALLERY. NIGHT. 29
The Director is shaking his head.
What the bloody hell is he
playing at? He's way off
Split up with his girl-friend.
29 CONTINUED: 29
All three, I heard. Nita as
well. Back with the wife. She's
Oh, God, that's all we need....
Oh, for Sharukh Khan...Stand by
30 INT. STUDIO. NIGHT. 30
...won four thousand rupees!
Music, lights, applause.
One more question before the
commercial break. What will our
Call Centre Assistant do next?
The lights dim. Prem presses his computer.
Religion! Interesting. For
sixteen thousand rupees,
in depictions of the God Ram, he
is famously holding what in his
right hand? Is it A) a flower.
B) a scimitar. C) a child or D)
a bow and arrow?
31 EXT. DHOBI. JUHU SLUM. DAY. 31
Right next to the railway lines is a pond of dirty
water surrounded by shacks in which dozens of women are
washing clothes. Trains flash past only feet away from
them. Down the other end of the pond, nine-year old
Jamal and Salim are splashing noisily with some other
children. Jamal's mother pauses in her scrubbing, wipes
sweat from her forehead and gazes up at the leaden sky.
JAMAL AND SALIM'S MOTHER
It's going to come. Today. I can
The woman next to her nods.
Hope so. My head is exploding.
31 CONTINUED: 31
Yes. We need rain.
Jamal is trying to intercept the ball that Salim and
Krishna are throwing to each other. He's not having
much success. The ball flies overhead again from Salim
to Krishna. Jamal dives for it, misses and goes
underwater. When he comes up for air, he shakes his
head, clearing his ears of water. Then he stops,
listens. Shakes his head again. Definitely something
strange. Thunder? Salim and Krishna are trading
catches, unaware that anything has changed. But Jamal's
mother has heard it too. The faintest sound of
shouting, roaring. The wave of noise is still faint but
getting louder. A frozen moment broken by:
Run! Jamal, Salim, run!
Everybody stares at her. A train speeds through as she
continues to shout, her words lost beneath the
The train goes through, the last carriage flying past
suddenly opening up the sight of a wall of rioting men
wielding clubs, scythes, metal bars. They come
screaming across the railway tracks.
Salim holds out his hand to Krishna who is wading with
difficulty through the water.
No way! You're a bloody Muslim.
Get away from me!
The rioters leap the tracks and are upon them.
They're Muslims! Him and him!
Salim and Jamal scramble out and retreat into the
lanes. Salim turns to see his Mother felled by a
rioter. She is surrounded by screaming, chanting men
who rain blows down on her. Jamal runs back and drags
Salim down an alley. As they head down the alley, they
get glimpses of burning houses, fleeing women, a three-
year old boy in a doorway, painted entirely in garish
blue. He stares at them. In his hand, he is carrying a
bow and arrow. An eleven-year old girl dressed only in
a pair of pants runs after them.
31 CONTINUED: (2) 31
She has two bleeding red gashes on her back. They turn
a corner and head towards some vans full of police.
Jamal sees Mister Nandha, the school teacher, stops.
Then Mister Nandha starts walking towards him. An oasis
of calm in the chaos. Jamal looks at him with relief.
Mister Nandha smiles, walks towards them.
Ram nam satya hai, Babri Masjid
We have destroyed your mosque.
Now, the followers of Ram will
drive you dogs out of our city.
From behind his back he produces a knife and runs
towards Jamal, screaming.
MISTER NANDHA (CONT'D)
Ram has returned to his temple!
Ram has returned!
They flee, but Jamal turns, sees the girl, frozen. He
chases back a few steps, hauls her arm. The spell
broken, and they are off.
32 INT. STREET. EVENING. 32
They reach the safety of the police vans. But inside
the vans, the police are smoking, laughing, playing
cards. Down the street, a man comes whirling out of a
doorway, his hair on fire. He falls into the middle of
the street and is engulfed by rioters. Unperturbed, the
police continue to chat. Salim and Jamal look on,
horrified. Then one of the police men turns, looks at
them. Is interested. Motions to a colleague. Puts out
his cigarette with purpose.
Let's go, bhai.
Salim and Jamal run. The girl follows.
33 EXT. MUMBAI. EVENING. 33
Salim and Jamal stand on a hill overlooking the city.
Black smoke billows from a large area that is clearly
the Juhu slum. Standing a little way off is the girl.
We should go back.
See if Ama-
Salim shakes his head fiercely, silencing Jamal for a
moment. But only a moment.
What about Jeevan Chacha?
Salim shakes his head.
Salim shakes his head again.
- I saw him. He was with them.
But he wouldn't hurt-
- he was with them!
- shut up, Jamal, can't you?
Just shut up!
Salim turns away and sees the girl. Picks up a rock and
hurls it at her. She dodges, takes a couple of steps
back but makes no real attempt to get away. He finds
another rock and hurls this in her direction too.
Then a flash of lightning and thunder rumbles across
the city. Rain begins to come down.
What shall we do?
33 CONTINUED: 33
No answer. Jamal sits down. Salim sits down. At a
distance, the girl sits down. Rain pours down their
34 INT. BUILDER'S YARD. NIGHT. 34
Rain as you've never seen. A pile of huge water pipes
in a sprawling builder's yard. Jamal is in one pipe,
Salim above him in another. They are both soaked,
shivering, but have found some plastic sheet to wrap
themselves in. Outside, thirty feet away, stands the
girl. Staring. Salim hisses angrily at the girl.
Go away. Ja, ja!
The girl might not even have heard.
She'll have the Security Guard
onto us, standing there.
Not if we let her in.
She could be the third
I am the head of this family,
now. And I say no. Piss off,
Salim huddles down in the pipe. After a while, Jamal
We don't even know what the
third musketeer's called.
35 EXT. JUHU SLUM. DAY 35
A flash of Jamal's mother being clubbed to the ground.
36 INT. BUILDER'S YARD. LATER. 36
Jamal wakes with a jolt and a scream half-swallowed in
his mouth. He shuts his eyes tight, trying to force the
image out. His breathing slows and he sees the girl
staring at him. Salim, too, is staring into nothing.
The rain is still falling.
36 CONTINUED: 36
The girl goes back to drawing shapes in the mud with
her finger. Jamal climbs out of the pipe. Looks at
Salim for permission or refusal, but he just continues
to stare. So, Jamal walks across to her. She looks up,
Where's your Mother?
The girl shakes her head slightly. Jamal takes the
plastic sheet from around his shoulders. Gives it to
I'm Jamal. He's Salim.
Jamal goes back to his water pipe, climbs in. Watches
her huddled under the sheet. Sighs, motions for her to
join him. She darts across, jumps into the water pipe
and huddles up next to Jamal.
37 INT. INSPECTOR'S OFFICE. DAY. 37
Jamal looks at the Inspector.
I wake up every morning wishing
I didn't know the answer to that
question? If it wasn't for Ram
and Allah, I would still have a
38 INT. STUDIO. NIGHT 38
D) A bow and arrow.
Prem stares at him for dramatic effect. Presses his
Computer-ji, D lock kiya-jaye.
38 CONTINUED: 38
The lights dim, the music swells.
Jamal Malik, you answered D? Ram
is depicted with a bow and arrow
in his hand. And guess what?
You've just won sixteen thousand
rupees! Well done, my friend.
Time for a commercial break-
don't go away, now.
Music, applause. Prem switches off his professional
smile. Gets up.
Got lucky, huh? I'd take the
money. You'll never get the next
You're from the Juhu slum,
Hmm? Sure. Know where I live
now, kid? Pali Hill. Twelve
bedrooms, a/c in every room, two
kitchens, a gym and a screening
room. Steel balls is what it
takes, my friend, steel balls.
The Floor Manager comes over and gives his head-phones
set to Prem. Prem listens.
Prem? Tone it down, for goodness
sake. You're making him a
Prem glances up at the gallery with contempt.
We're having fun here. They love
it...Where the hell do you get
He makes no attempt to hide the conversation from
It's supposed to be a quiz show,
not a blood sport.
38 CONTINUED: (2) 38
Stop wetting your pants. I'll be
a good little boy with the next
He chucks the head-phones back at the Floor Manager.
Glances in the wings. Sees Nita, the make-up woman.
Gets up and goes over.
39 INT. STUDIO. BACKSTAGE. NIGHT. 39
In the half-light, backstage, Nita dabs his face with
Meet me after the show. Please.
Nita, I can explain.
No need. I read it in bloody
Stardust. Didn't even have the
balls to tell me. "Prem's
happiness with another baby on
the way". After everything you
Baby, it all happened before I
met you. I swear to you.
She's got the gestation period
of an elephant, then.
Prem is about to object. But instead, he laughs.
You see? Amidst all this misery,
only you can make me laugh.
Scornful but hints of melting.
All this misery...
Her and I- nothing. You have to
believe me, baby...
Nita turns away. The Floor Manager comes over.
39 CONTINUED: 39
Prem slings himself in a chair.
No. I'm not going on.
I can't. Without you, it's all
Clicks his fingers at the Floor Manager.
You. Tell the Director.
Nita shakes her head at the Floor Manager who by now is
looking very worried.
Prem shrugs and folds his arms. Sees her weaken.
Calypso Bar, private room, just
you and me?
He grins, jumps up, blows her a kiss, and stalks back
40 INT. STUDIO. NIGHT. 40
He sits back down, says almost to himself.
Turns to Jamal.
Okay, Juhu boy, you've had a
good run. Take your Mother to
Khandala and eat some chiki.
My Mother's dead.
40 CONTINUED: 40
Well, your girlfriend then. Even
I don't have a girl-friend.
Live wire like you? You surprise
The warm-up man starts the applause.
....three, two, one...
Cheering and music. Prem switches on his charm.
Welcome back to Who Wants to be
a Millionaire! Our contestant,
Jamal Malik, Call Centre
Assistant- from Mumbai, is on
sixteen thousand rupees and has
already used one lifeline: Ask
the Audience. So, my friend: are
you ready for the next question?
Then, let's play.
Portentous music. The lights dim.
For sixty-four thousand rupees.
The British architect Frederick
Stevens designed which famous
building in India? Is it: A) The
Taj Mahal. B) Chhatrapati
Shivaji Terminus. C) India Gate.
D) Howrah Bridge. What do you
think, Jamal? Are you one of
those tea-boys with a penchant
41 INT. CHHATRAPATI SHIVAJI TERMINUS. DAY. 41
Known to everyone as VT station, this monument to
Victorian railway architecture is a dangerous place to
be at rush hour.
41 CONTINUED: 41
Even before the train has stopped, men are jumping from
the open doors, or vaulting out of the windows or from
the roof of the train to join the tens of thousands of
Mumbaites streaming to and from work. A seventeen-year
old Jamal squeezes himself out of a train and shoves
through the crowds. He checks the time. The digital
numerals flick to five O'clock. Looks around the tide
42 INT. STUDIO. NIGHT. 42
So, what's it to be? Walk away
and this cheque for sixteen
thousand rupees is yours. Look,
it's even got your name on it.
He produces a cheque and waves it at Jamal.
I don't have a bank account.
Laughter from the audience. Prem is momentarily wrong-
But I'll take cash.
More laughter, this time with Jamal, rather than at
him. Prem gets up and starts rummaging theatrically
through his jacket pockets and trousers.
Nope. Looks like the Producer's
stolen my wallet again-
- I'll play.
Nobody was expecting this. Least of all Prem who has to
rearrange his features into one of surprised delight.
He sits down.
Well, well, well. We've got a
wild one, here.
Prem tears up the cheque with theatrical slowness.
42 CONTINUED: 42
For sixty-four thousand rupees,
Ladies and Gentlemen, the
question once again....
43 INT. CHHATRAPATI SHIVAJI TERMINUS. DAY. 43
The digital clocks show five fifteen. Shoving the
descending river of people out of his way, the eighteen
year-old Jamal is forging a path up steps that cross
the platforms. He pushes to the middle of the
footbridge and leans out on the side railings. He scans
the sea of people, desperately. Then he sees her: the
eighteen year-old Latika, heart-stoppingly beautiful,
over the other side of the station. A world away. She
is scanning the crowd, as wired as he is.
But though he is screaming her name, his voice is
swallowed by the noise around him. Then he sees two
thuggish-looking men also fighting a way towards her.
Frightened now, he fights his way down the steps, one
figure against an army of white-robed people.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus.
I think so.
You think so. A brave man,
Ladies and Gentlemen, a brave
44 INT. CHHATRAPATI SHIVAJI TERMINUS. DAY. 44
The commuters have mostly gone. Jamal is pacing the
platform desperately. He stops, stares blankly at the
statue in front of him- a proud, rather pompous figure
in a Victorian frock coat. The plaque reads: Frederick
45 INT. INSPECTOR'S OFFICE. NIGHT. 45
The Inspector, Srinivas and Jamal are staring at the
Yes. Final answer. Chhatrapati
Is the right answer! Sixty-four
thousand rupees to you, Sir!
Applause and music. The Inspector presses pause. Stares
And did she come back?
Jamal smiles sadly.
I wouldn't be here if she had.
Pretty was she?
Jamal stares down at his feet.
Right in the eyes.
The most beautiful woman in the
Constable Srinivas snorts. Suddenly, Jamal is out of
his chair and at Srinivas' throat. The combined force
of the Inspector and Srinivas force him roughly back
down. He is again handcuffed to the chair.
INSPECTOR OF POLICE
Well, well. The slum dog barks.
Money or women. The reason for
most mistakes in life. Looks
like you got mixed up with both.
Srinivas, you need the exercise:
a trip to VT Station to check on
the statue. And lock your bloody
Constable Srinivas swears under his breath but bumbles
45 CONTINUED: 45
That's the chutiyé out the way.
Now, man to man. How did you
know all the answers?
If I knew, I'd tell you.
46 OMITTED 46
47 OMITTED 47
48 INT. STUDIO. NIGHT. 48
Now we're into the serious
money. For two hundred and fifty
thousand rupees, ladies and
gentlemen, a quarter of a
million rupees...the song Chalo
Ri Murali was written by which
famous Indian poet. Was it A)
Surdas. B) Tulsidas. C) Mira
Bai. D) Kabir. Remember you
still have two lifelines- fifty-
fifty and Phone A Friend.
Tempted to use one?
I know this one.
Oh. I see. An expert on the
The lights dim, the music swells and Prem presses his
49 EXT. MUMBAI STREET. NIGHT. 49
Jamal is studying a piece of paper and reading out
numbers from it. There is something not quite right
about Jamal- perhaps the fact that there are two feet
by his ears. Salim is standing on his shoulders and
spraying the numbers on a wall with an aerosol and a
certain lack of confidence.
49 CONTINUED: 49
Four, nine, zero, nine- the one
with the stick going down, Salim-
six- stick going up-
Latika's head appears from around the corner.
But they don't hear. Then she is running for her life
past the pair of them.
Six, one, shit, let's go-
Salim collapses off Jamal's shoulders and all three run
off down an alley past a dozen of the gang's sprayed-on
adverts all reading: "Beanbags- 989 4909661". A fat
Security Guard with a long stick huffs round the
corner. Chases them up an alley. Nowhere to go except
through an imposing gate that clearly leads to a
Got you now, little shits.
50 EXT. GARDEN. NIGHT. 50
They charge across the lawn, down one side of the house
where all the washing is hanging. The Guard gets caught
up in drying sheets, towels. He fights his way through
to see Salim, Latika and Jamal leaping over the wall to
safety. But Jamal turns, jumps back and grabs a girl's
dress from the line.
Aha! Little thief!
The Security Guard lands a couple of blows on Jamal's
back as he dodges around him and back across the lawn,
dress in hand. The Security Guard gives up.
SECURITY GUARD (CONT'D)
51 INT. ALLEY. NIGHT. 51
Jamal is examing the bruises on his legs.
Useless bloody look-out. What
good is she, huh?
51 CONTINUED: 51
I tried to warn you.
It's okay, Salim.
Latika slips on the dress. Spins. Both of them look up.
Stare. She pulls her hair back, smiles, is transformed
into a beautiful girl.
52 EXT. GORAI BEACH DUMPING GROUND. DAY. 52
Blazing sun. Diggers and trucks are shifting mounds of
rubble on a rubbish dump that seems to stretch for
ever. Oblivious to the dust kicked up by the trucks,
Latika is picking up old plastic bags, examining each
one and putting the less worn in a big sack. The dress
is recognisable but dusty and torn. She stoops to dig
another bag out of the dirt, but stops and stares.
Shimmering in the heat, a rickety pick-up truck comes
through the rubbish dump gates. Toots at the Guard who
waves, pulls up in the dump. "Hope Orphanage is written
on the side of the van. A man gets out. Looks around.
53 INT. `TENT'. DAY. 53
Under sheets of plastic propped up on sticks, Jamal and
Salim are sleeping out the hottest part of the day.
Jamal wakes to see a figure standing over him- a
silhouette with a halo of sun behind him. Out of his
bag, the man produces a bottle of Thumbs Up. He uncaps
it with an alluring hiss. It is almost an advert for
thirst-quenching affluence. Almost instinctively, Salim
and Jamal stir.
He hands the bottle to Salim, gets another from his bag
and waves it questioningly at Jamal.
Hot, huh? My name is Maman.
54 EXT. ORPHANAGE. EVENING. 54
The hills on the edge of Bombay. Greenery and space,
for the first time in the film. The pick-up truck pulls
up outside a building with Jamal, Salim and Latika
sitting on a bench in the back. Maman gets out. Drops
the gate on the back of the pick-up.
Anyone hungry? Come on in.
55 INT. ORPHANAGE COURTYARD. EVENING. 55
Twenty children are eating at long benches in a
ramshackle courtyard. Maman, ushers Jamal, Salim and
Latika in and sits them down at one of the benches. He
waves a hand and a giant man, Punnoose, comes over with
a big bowl of food. The three tear into it. Cleaning
every last morsel of rice from his plate, Jamal looks
up and notices a table peopled entirely with blind or
crippled children. Some of the legless are eating on
the floor next to the table. Jamal leans over to Salim.
He must be a very good man to
look after these people.
(glancing at them)
Arvind, a boy smaller than either Jamal or Salim
We're not allowed to talk to
Arvind shrugs. Latika licks her plate, glances at Maman
who is looking right at them.
Well, if there are seconds,
Maman is definitely a Saint.
As if telepathic, Maman signals to Punnoose and he
brings a large bowl of rice and dhal over to them.
Latika looks at Jamal and Salim. They burst out
I tell you, Lord Siva is with
56 INT. ORPHANAGE. EVENING. 56
Salim, Latika, Jamal and a group of children are
standing in a line singing a doha- ancient lyrics set
to music. Maman is leading the singing, walking up and
down the line listening to each one individually. He
stops at one small boy, Arvind, and listens. Nods his
head, pleased, and continues down the line until he
stops in front of Jamal. Holds up his hand.
Stop! You. Again.
56 CONTINUED: 56
Jamal starts singing again. He has the sweetest of
voices. Untrained but pure. Maman smiles, ruffles
Jamal's hair, impressed.
They all join in. Maman continues down the line. He
stops at Salim whose octave-slipping singing is lusty
and appallingly out of tune. Maman winces and moves on.
Standing next to Salim, Latika giggles. Immediately,
Salim is on her. Before a fight breaks out, Punnoose
pulls Salim off Latika and hurls him across the room.
Salim gets up and charges at Punnoose. For a second,
Punnoose is back-footed, but then pins Salim's arms to
his side. Maman laughs. Approaches Salim.
You sing like one, and you fight
like one. I think you've found
your dog, Punnoose.
57 EXT. CENTRAL MUMBAI TRAFFIC. DAY. 57
A group of children are sitting in the jumble of
concrete under a motorway flyover. Cars surround them,
bumper to bumper. Latika and Jamal are playing an
improvised hopscotch on concrete slabs. They are
giggling, bumping into each other, tickling, laughing.
Salim and Punnoose are sitting together, smoking. Salim
is staring hard at Jamal and Latika until Punnoose
grunts, a sign for Salim to clap his hands.
Okay, let's go, let's go! It's
not a bloody holiday!
The children get to their feet. Latika sighs, puts a
patch over her eye and grabs a pair of crutches.
Suddenly, the lame beggar. Salim goes over to one of
the girls, who is carrying a sleeping baby. Puts out
Give me that.
The girl shakes her head. Salim grabs her by the hair
in one hand and takes the baby with the other. He
shoves her to the ground. The other children stare.
He challenges Jamal.
What, choté bhai? You got a
57 CONTINUED: 57
He laughs and walks over to Latika.
Here. For you.
I don't want it.
You'll earn double. I'm doing
you a favour, Latika.
She doesn't want it.
Latika turns away and begins to walk towards the cars.
I'll drop it.
He holds the baby up. Latika grabs the baby with a cry
just as Salim releases it from his hands. Salim pinches
Triple if it's crying.
Latika snatches it away. Salim laughs, goes back to
sitting with Punnoose. The children scatter to the cars
trapped at the lights, tapping plaintively on the
windows and making the universal begging gesture.
58 INT. ORPHANAGE. KITCHEN. NIGHT. 58
Surrounded by beer bottles, Punnoose is slumped asleep
by the kitchen door. Latika edges past, avoids the cook
sleeping under the table and goes to a shelf laden with
vegetables. She pulls down a bunch of chillies still on
the vine, strips a few off and tip-toes out with them.
59 INT. ORPHANAGE. DORMITORY. NIGHT. 59
Sleeping children, three or four to a mattress on the
floor. Latika tip-toes around the mattresses. She
pauses over one in particular where we see Salim,
asleep. She carefully pulls up the sheet, delves
underneath. Pleasant dreams cross Salim's sleeping face
for a second. Then suddenly, he is bolt upright and
screaming. He charges around the room clutching his
genitals in agony.
59 CONTINUED: 59
He sprints out of the room, wailing.
60 INT. ORPHANAGE. SHOWERS. NIGHT. 60
The lights are on and two dozen children are screaming
with laughter as Salim stands under the make-shift
shower directing the water down his pants to his
burning genitals, his face a picture of agony. Latika
wipes crushed chillies from her hands.
You're dead, sala.
She smiles and walks past Jamal with a shrug. Then
Punnoose comes stalking in and the children scatter
Get back to bed, dogs! What the
They taught me every song in the
history of Indian music.
And why would they do that, I
61 INT. SHACK. NIGHT. 61
In a shack, Arvind is singing one of Surdas' bhajans in
front of Maman and an old man who by his ragged
appearance must be a villager. Punnoose and Salim sit
Very good, very good. I am
pleased, Arvind. He is ready.
Maman nods to Punnoose. Before Arvind can turn round,
Punnoose has covered his mouth with a cloth and after
the briefest of struggles, Arvind's body goes limp. The
villager puts an old tin box on the table. Taking the
lid from the tin, he brings out a cloth and unwraps it.
Inside is a spoon. He checks the edge with his thumb.
Sharp. Douses it with a clear liquid from a bottle and
passes it over a candle flame. The spoon whooshes with
a high flame for a moment. The villager wipes it with
the cloth nods to Punnoose.
61 CONTINUED: 61
Utterly bemused, Salim nevertheless helps Punnoose lay
Arvind on the table. The villager takes hold of
Arvind's eyelid and pulls it open. He brings the spoon
close. Suddenly, Salim is being sick in the corner of
the shack. By the time he has turned back, the villager
is wiping the spoon on a blood-soaked rag.
Okay. Take him out the back.
Punnoose picks up Arvind and carries him out.
Now the other one. Salim, go get
A frozen moment.
Gunfighter Number One, isn't
that right, Salim? The money,
the women, the cars...you want
them bad, huh? And why not?
Maman gets out of his chair. Approaches Salim.
The time has come to choose,
yaar. The life of a slum dog or
the life of a man. A real man. A
Maman holds Salim's head in his hands.
Your destiny is in your hands,
bhai. You can be me. Or nobody.
So, brother, go get Jamal.
Salim is frozen for another few seconds, then turns and
walks out of the door. Punnoose appears at the door.
Maman nods to him and he slips off after Salim.
62 INT. DORMITORY, ORPHANAGE. NIGHT. 62
All the children are asleep apart from Jamal who is
crouched underneath a couple of wash-basins.
62 CONTINUED: 62
He is talking through a plate-sized hole in the
crumbling masonry. Latika's eyes can be seen.
...weddings, government things,
big parties. If Maman says my
voice is ready. Big money.
Enough for a room?
Easily. Maybe an apartment.
That's what Arvind said. On
Harbour Road. You, me and Salim.
The three musketeers.
Harbour Road! We can have ice
cream from Babanji's.
Every day if we want.
Salim appears at the door. Nods his head at Jamal.
It's my turn.
Good luck, Jamal.
Latika's hand comes through the gap. Jamal takes it for
a moment. Salim hisses at Jamal. He lets go of the hand
and heads out.
63 EXT. PATH. NIGHT. 63
Salim and Jamal walk along the path, Jamal humming
happily. Salim checks behind him, sees Punnoose
So, this is it, hey, bhai? The
good life, here we come....
Jamal is suddenly alert. Slows
63 CONTINUED: 63
Salim nods. Big smile. Puts a hand on Jamal's shoulder.
When I say.
64 INT. SHACK. NIGHT. 64
Salim guides Jamal into the shack where Maman and the
Villager are waiting. Maman smiles. Punnoose slips in
Jamal, hello. You have done
well. It's time for you to- turn
Sing me a song, yaar. How about
Chalo Ri Murali, huh? My
Jamal opens his mouth, then closes it again. Holds out
I've turned professional. What
can I do?
He throws some notes at him.
65 EXT. SHACK. NIGHT. 65
Outside, a giggle. Latika is peering through a gap in
66 INT. SHACK. NIGHT. 66
Jamal begins to sing. Maman waits a while, then nods to
Punnoose. Behind Jamal, Punnoose hands Salim the bottle
of chloroform and the rag. Salim approaches the back of
Jamal. Salim waits until he has finished the song.
Raises his hand with the rag in it. Maman smiles, nods.
Salim flings the contents of the bottle in Punnoose's
face. Punnoose screams and stumbles back clutching his
eyes, knocking over the table.
Salim and Jamal scramble for the door. The knocked-over
candle catches the spilled chloroform and a curtain
which whooshes up in flame.
66A EXT. SHACK. NIGHT. 66A
They charge past the prone Arvind- a flash of bloodied
bandages covering his eyes.
67 EXT. HILLSIDE. NIGHT. 67
Heavy, desperate breathing. Feet stumble on roots. Fall
into holes. The three children are running. Branches
smack into their faces. But they are so scared, nothing
will stop them. Behind them, torches scour the
undergrowth. Men shouting. They break out of the woods
and are confronted with a train goods yard.
68 EXT. GOODS YARD. NIGHT. 68
They run over the tracks, between the trains, but the
shouts are getting louder, the torches closer. A diesel
engine is moving out of the station. Jamal, Latika and
Salim sprint for the Guard's Van at the very back of
the moving train. Punnoose is closest to them. Salim is
fastest and first to jump the train. He holds out his
hand. Jamal grabs it and is hauled in. Jamal holds his
hand out to Latika.
Come on! Faster!
She reaches out to him. Their hands almost touch.
68 CONTINUED: 68
Take it! Take it! I can't
Salim barges Jamal out of the way. Jamal stumbles back
as Salim reaches his hand out to Latika, so he doesn't
see Latika's hand grasp Salim's, nor see their eyes
lock onto each other, nor see Salim very deliberately
let go of her hand. Latika stumbles.
Jamal scrambles to the rail. The train gains more
speed. Jamal climbs on to the top rung, makes to jump,
but Salim flings him backward. Jamal tries to scramble
to his feet again, but Salim restrains him.
Got to go back. We've got to go
He'll kill us if we go back.
Jamal! He was going to take your
eyes out- with a bloody spoon!
The train is speeding along. Jamal breaks free and
stares back at Latika.
She'll be alright. She always
Latika stumbles again and stops running. They watch as
Punnoose catches up with her and stops running. He
smashes Latika to the ground.
69 INT. STUDIO. NIGHT. 69
The question was, for two
hundred and fifty thousand
rupees: who wrote the famous
song Chalo Ri Murali. I should
warn you, Jamal: from this
question on, if you get the
answer wrong you lose
everything. So. Are you sure?
The life-lines are there....
Surdas. Apka final jawab?
69 CONTINUED: 69
Computer-ji, A lock kiya-jaye.
The lights dim, the music swells. Prem presses a button
on his computer: looks him straight in the eyes for an
Guess what? You're right.
Applause, music, lights.
70 INT. INSPECTOR'S OFFICE. DAY. 70
The Inspector is eying Jamal, weighing it all up.
Blind singers earn double. You
And what happened to the girl?
They blinded her too?
(shakes his head)
They had other plans. Though it
took me a long, long time to
71 EXT. TRAIN. MORNING. 71
Salim and Jamal are sitting on top of the train. Jamal
is staring blankly down the track.
Salim puts an arm around Jamal's shoulder. Jamal wipes
the tears from his eyes, shakes his head furiously.
Salim gets up. Holds out his hand.
Where you going?
First class, bhai. Where else?
72 INT/ EXT. FIRST CLASS CARRIAGE. MORNING. 72
The ancient train is huffing slowly up an incline. A
middle class Indian couple with their three children
are sitting at a table, their breakfast spread before
them. Into this domestic scene, unseen by them comes
Jamal. Upside down and still outside the train, he is
clearly being dangled by his ankles from the train
roof. He gives a few, silent directional signs to Salim
who manoeuvres him across, dips his hand into the open
window, snatches a chapatti and signals franticly to be
hoisted up. The family continue to eat, unperturbed.
Then Jamal appears again. This time one of the children
spots him. Despite Jamal giving her a friendly wave,
she yelps. The father of the group grabs Jamal's hand
which has just snatched a samosa. There is a tussle,
Salim holding onto Jamal's legs, the father holding
onto Jamal's arms and Jamal in the middle, shouting.
Salim is losing the battle and his footing. He stumbles
and the pair of them fall from the train, rolling and
tumbling down an embankment in slow-motion.
Interspersed with the seemingly endless tumble are
images of Jamal and Salim on top of different trains-
- huddled together against the freezing rain...
- surfing the wind at the front of the train...
- admiring the distant Himalaya....
We criss-crossed the country
from Rajasthan to Calcutta.
Every time we were thrown off we
got back on again. This was our
home for years. A home with
wheels and a whistle.
The final tumble as they crash onto flat ground.
73 EXT. RAILWAY EMBANKMENT. DAY. 73
Groggily, Jamal sits up and groans. Somehow in the
tumble, he has been transformed into a twelve year-old.
And Salim a strong fourteen year-old. Through the haze
of pain and dust, Jamal sees something glinting in the
distance- something impossibly beautiful.
Salim? Is this heaven?
You're not dead, Jamal.
Jamal clears his head. Sees Salim picking himself up
from the ground. But the apparition is still there.
73 CONTINUED: 73
So what's that?
They stare at the apparition. The unmistakable outline
of the Taj Mahal rises from the horizon, pink in the
morning sun. Nothing could be more beautiful.
Some hotel, huh?
74 EXT. TAJ MAHAL. DAY. 74
Jamal and Salim wander under the great dome of the Taj
Mahal. Two tiny slum kids dwarfed by this massive
monument to love. It is a moment of genuine wonderment
for them. Then a tour guide bustles nearby, tourists
flowing behind him.
...there are five main elements
to the Taj. The Darwaza, the
main gateway, the Bageecha or
garden, the Masjid or mosque,
the Naqqar Khana, the rest house
and the Rauza or mausoleum. If
you would like to follow me, I
will show you the ninety-nine
names of Allah on Mumtaz's tomb.
As before, please remove your
Jamal follows the Guide and his entourage into the
mausoleum. Salim meanwhile is studying the line of
shoes. Tries a smart pair of women's court shoes,
before slipping a foot into a nice, white sneaker. A
smile crosses his face. His other foot quickly follows
and he saunters away, all mock-innocence.
75 EXT. TAJ MAHAL. DAY 75
Jamal comes out of the mausoleum into the bright
sunlight and looks around for Salim. No sign of him.
Suddenly, a German couple approach.
Please, what time is the next
- so much waiting around in this
75 CONTINUED: 75
Jamal notices that he is standing next to a sign
advertising guided tours of the Taj.
- we're on a very tight
schedule, you see, young man.
Have to see the Red Fort this
afternoon. Would it be possible
to show us around now? Obviously
we understand it would cost more
for just the two of us...
Peter waves a couple of thousand rupee notes at Jamal.
His eyes widen.
But of course, Madam. Please
Jamal stalks off. The Germans follow. Jamal stops
before the monument. Points a confident arm at it.
This is....the Taj Mahal.
A terrible pause as Peter and Ada stare at him. Clearly
more is expected. He moves off at a pace.
The Taj Mahal was built by the
Emperor Khurram for his wife
Mumtaz who was maximum beautiful
woman in the whole world. When
she died, the Emperor decided to
build this five star hotel for
everyone who wanted to visit her
tomb...but he died in- in
fifteen eighty-seven, before any
of the rooms were built. Or the
lifts. The swimming pool,
however, as you can see was
completed on schedule in top
He waves confidently in the direction of the fountains.
It says nothing of this in the
With respect, Madam, the guide
book is written by a bunch of
lazy, good-for-nothing, Indian
75 CONTINUED: (2) 75
And this, Lady and Gentleman, is
burial place of Mumtaz.
How did she die?
A road traffic accident.
I thought she died in child-
Exactly, Sir. She was on the way
to the hospital when it
Jamal moves on. Ada and Peter exchange a glance.
You've seen the way they drive
76 EXT. TAJ MAHAL. DAY. 76
Montage of Jamal authoritatively showing tourists
around the Taj Mahal.
It was the best-paid job I've
This is the Princess Diana seat,
Madam. Allow me.
Jamal shows the tourist a battered postcard of Princess
Diana, staring doe-eyed into the distance with the Taj
behind. The tourist sits. Jamal adjusts her legs so
that they match the postcard. Takes the photo....
76 CONTINUED: 76
...and abandons the woman with a polite bow, charging
for safety as two Police Officers race towards him.
77 EXT. TAJ MAHAL. DAY. 77
Jamal stands a Tourist on a wall and positions his
hands to create the optical illusion that he is
dangling the Taj from his fingers. Takes a photo for
the Tourist. Behind the Tourist, Salim and a boy called
Shankar pick up the Tourist's shoes and saunter
casually across the grass.
78 EXT. ROADSIDE MARKET. AGRA. DAY. 78
By the side of a busy market street Salim stands next
to a row of stolen shoes. Sneakers, court shoes,
sandals, high heels...he is busy bartering with a man
over a pair whilst Jamal tries to shout up business.
Top-class fashion, bottom-class
prices! Shoes for all! Shoes for
79 EXT. BOYS CAMP, YAMUNA RIVER. DAY. 79
Hectares of drying clothes by the side of the river.
Spectacular squares of red, saffron, white. Not far
away from the dhobi ghat, there is a makeshift slum-
camp where Salim and a gang of children are sitting,
smoking. Jamal joins them, hands over a wad of rupees
to Salim. Salim counts the cash, hands half to Shankar
and slaps Jamal so hard on the back that he nearly
And life was good.
80 EXT. SLUM. DAY. 80
Jamal gets out of a new Mercedes driven by an Indian
Man. A middle-aged American couple also get out. Jamal
points them down a lane which opens out on India's
largest dhobi where hundreds of women are beating
clothes on stone slabs.
This is the biggest dhobi ghat
in the whole of India, Mister
80 CONTINUED: 80
They say that every man in Uttar
Pradesh is wearing a kurta that
has been washed here at least
Is that so? That's amazing.
Let's get a look at this, Adele.
He gets out his video camera and wanders towards the
dhobi ghat. Behind them a motor rickshaw pulls up.
Salim, Shankar and a couple of the street kids from the
Taj leap out. Within seconds, the Mercedes is up on
bricks and the wheels are being removed. Salim takes a
hacksaw to the Mercedes badge on the bonnet, whilst
urging the others on.
Aré, sala! Formula One, Formula
One! Pit-stop ka speed,
Schumacher ka ishtyle
The crowds in the lane barely notice as the car is
stripped of all its parts.
A shout from the top of the lane and the boys scatter,
bouncing the four wheels at speed down the lane. Jamal,
the Indian driver and the two Americans return. They
stop in front of the denuded car.
Woah. What happened here?
Suddenly the Indian driver is slapping Jamal
ferociously around the head with one of his shoes.
I give you two tight slaps,
I don't know! I didn't do it,
did I...? Nothing to do with
But the beating continues, the driver kicking Jamal
down onto the floor. The two Americans stare, uncertain
what to do.
Do something, Clark.
Well, I- I dunno, I-
Finally Clark intervenes, pulling the driver off Jamal.
80 CONTINUED: (2) 80
Okay, okay, just cool it. You're
insured, aren't you? Jesus
Jamal sits up. He is bleeding from his nose and mouth.
You wanted to see the `real
India', Mister David. Here it
Well, here's a bit of the real
America, too, son.
Adele pulls out his wallet and rummages for dollars.
81 EXT. YAMUNA RIVER. NIGHT. 81
A battered Jamal limps along the river bank towards the
Taj. He stops, bathes his swollen face in the river.
Then looks up. Strange lights appear to emanate from
the base of the monument. And then strange sounds.
82 EXT. TAJ MAHAL. NIGHT. 82
Jamal climbs a crumbling wall and is confronted with an
opera taking place right under the dome. Gluck's Orfeo
ed Euridice. Hundreds of India's smartest professionals
are watching from banked seating on a scaffolding
83 EXT. STANDS. NIGHT. 83
Jamal and a couple of street kids slip under the
scaffolding supporting the banked seats. The street
kids are trying to reach the hand-bags of the women
Oi, Jamal! There's a woman with
no panties on over here.
Jamal reaches up and easily lifts a wallet from a man's
trouser pocket. On stage, the actors start singing.
Jamal seems to have forgotten the wallet and stares,
mesmerised, at the stage.
Why don't you put it back and
listen to the music?
83 CONTINUED: 83
Jamal starts, makes to run, but the woman who spoke
holds out a cigarette. A Canadian back-packer is
sitting, staring at the singers.
It's called Orfeo. Orpheus and
Eurydice. Orpheus- that one
there- is looking for his lover,
Eurydice. She died, but he can't
live without her.
She hands him a cigarette. He puts the wallet back. She
smiles at him and they both turn to the stage.
The pain is so bad that he goes
to the underworld- the place we
go when we die- to try to get
You can't do that. Can you?
You can in opera.
Does he find her?
Watch and see.
Jamal watches as Orpheus sings one of the most
beautiful pieces of music a human is likely to hear.
Tears are running down Jamal's cheeks.
84 EXT. YAMUNA RIVER. NIGHT. 84
Salim, Shankar, Jamal and the Taj Gang are gathered
around a campfire. All of them wear extraordinary foot-
wear of one form or another, from elaborate high heels
to walking boots five sizes too large. A home-made
hooka pipe is being passed around the fire. The eyes of
the children have long since stopped focussing. Salim
is sporting a Mercedes Benz badge on a chain around his
neck. Behind him, Jamal appears, his face swollen. He
takes off his fake Guide's Badge and throws it in the
Woah! What are you- Jamal?
We have to go, Salim.
Go? Go where?
84 CONTINUED: 84
Don't be stupid. We're making
good money here.
We should have gone a long time
Salim turns to Shankar with sudden understanding.
Oh, God. Baby brother's in love.
With a flat-chested hijra.
Latika was one of us. A
A musketeer...Grow up, Jamal.
Look, how was I to know they'd
beat you up. Here, you can have
some of the cash. Come on...
I've got cash.
He rips out a wad of dollar bills from his pocket.
Enough. I'm getting my stuff.
He walks off.
Wait! Jamal! Ah, shit!
He gets up, kicks the fire in rage and stomps after
85 INT. STUDIO. NIGHT. 85
Prem leans back in his chair.
So, my friend: ready for another
85 CONTINUED: 85
Prem presses his computer. The lights dim again, the
music comes up.
For a straight one million
rupees, Ladies and
Gentlemen...On an American One
Hundred Dollar Bill there is a
portrait of which American
statesman? Is it A), George
Washington, B) Franklin
Roosevelt, C) Benjamin Franklin,
D) Abraham Lincoln?
Silence from Jamal.
Pay or play, Jamal? All you have
to do is stop now and you walk
away with a cool quarter of a
million rupees. Decide to play,
get the answer wrong and you
walk away with absolutely
nothing. But, get the answer
right and you win a million
rupees. So. You decide. Pay or
A long pause.
86 INT. GALLERY. NIGHT. 86
Okay, he hasn't got a clue. This
is going to be a walk-away.
No, he's going to play with him,
87 INT. STUDIO. NIGHT. 87
Get a lot of hundred dollar
bills in your line of work,
The minimum tip for my services.
Laughter from the audience.
87 CONTINUED: 87
Now I know why my cell phone
bill is so high...they pay the
chi-wallah in hundred dollar
It's C. Benjamin Franklin.
A gasp from the audience. Prem is caught off-guard.
Woah! We haven't locked the
computer, man. You're going to
I think I just have. Haven't I?
You certainly have. C. Right?
Not confusing your Franklins?
Benjamin for Roosevelt?
I've never heard of Roosevelt
There's a million rupees at
stake and he's never heard of
Roosevelt Franklin...I can't
bear to look.
He gives this one to the audience who titter on cue.
Jamal looks confused.
No, no. Don't you worry, Jamal.
You were asked which statesman
is depicted on a hundred dollar
bill. You said C. Benjamin
Franklin. Ladies and
He presses the computer, pretends to ruminate for a
while with his finger pressed to his lips.
Jamal Malik- you chose to play
not pay. I'm afraid you no
longer have two hundred and
fifty thousand rupees....
87 CONTINUED: (2) 87
Prem leans over and tears up the cheque. There is a
sigh of disappointment from the audience, a look of
confusion on Jamal's face.
...you in fact have one million
Wild applause from the audience. Jamal allows himself a
88 INT. INSPECTOR'S OFFICE. DAY. 88
The Inspector pulls out a note from his wallet. Glances
Who's on the thousand rupee
I don't know.
He waves the note at him.
I've heard of him.
The Inspector kicks his chair.
Don't get clever or I'll get the
electricity out again.
They didn't ask me that
question. I don't know why. Ask
The Inspector stares hard at Jamal.
Funny, you don't seem that
interested in money.
Then, Constable Srinivas stomps back into the office,
sweat pouring from him.
Has to consult his notebook.
88 CONTINUED: 88
CONSTABLE SRINIVAS (CONT'D)
A statue of Frederick Stevens,
architect and builder of
Victoria Terminus in -
INSPECTOR OF POLICE
- yes, yes, Srinivas. The
hundred dollar bill.
89 EXT. BOMBAY. DAY. 89
From a thousand feet in the sky, looking down on the
limitless megatropolis of Mumbai. Half-built sky-
scrapers, slums, factories, roads, trains.
Bombay had turned into Mumbai.
We descend, down until the lines of ants become people.
JAMAL V/O (CONT'D)
The orphanage had gone, the slum
had gone, the people.... all
gone. And everywhere was
building, building, building.
Descending even further, we pick out a construction
site and then Jamal....
90 EXT. CONSTRUCTION SITE. DAY. 90
..who is staring through a wire fence at the
But I knew she was here.
Somewhere she was here.
He turns away, then something catches his eye.
Underneath all the scraps of flyers and posters on a
broken wall is a corner of something that Jamal
recognises. He tears back a poster. Underneath, faded
but recognisable is one of their beanbag graffiti
91 EXT. SLUM. NIGHT. 91
Jamal asks a group of stall-holders on the slum main
street. They shrug, aren't interested. The camera pulls
up and up until Jamal is nothing but a dot wandering
the maze of lanes, railways and highways, one among
endless millions of people.
Evenings, I searched. Days, I
92 EXT. HOTEL. DAY. 92
Jamal wanders up to the rickshaw drivers parked outside
the hotel. He stops and asks a question. The drivers
shake their heads. Jamal continues up the steps towards
a door, exhausted face and grubby clothes walking
straight towards camera. He goes through the door and
93 INT. HOTEL. FOYER. DAY. 93
....is, without breaking step in a slightly grubby
white uniform. He walks across the echoing, marble
floor of a struggling four-star hotel, goes through
94 INT. HOTEL CORRIDOR. DAY. 94
...into a corridor that is devoid of carpet, paint-
anything except a phone on the bare wall and a stool.
The phone is ringing. Jamal sits on the stool and
answers the phone.
Room service, good afternoon?...
Yes, sir. Two chicken burgers,
two fries, one cocoa-cola and
one mango lassi and a large
bottle of mineral
water...Bisleri or Himalayan
Spring, Sir?...Certainly, Sir.
That will be with you in fifteen
minutes, Sir. Thank you. Have a
He hangs up and goes through another set of doors...
95 INT. HOTEL KITCHENS. DAY. 95
...to a cramped kitchen with definite hygiene problems.
The cooks are playing carom on the table while under it
Salim is dozing.
Two chicken burgers, coke, mango
lassi and a bottle of Bisleri.
Dozily, Salim gets up and takes a look behind one of
the fridges. He chases out a chicken with a desultory
kick and sorts through some empty mineral water bottles
until he finds a Bisleri bottle. Salim fills the bottle
of mineral water from the tap and begins delicately re-
sealing the tamper-proof lid with super-glue. Jamal
collects cutlery and starts laying out a tray.
95 CONTINUED: 95
I'm going to Chowpatti again,
okay? Want to come?
For God's sake. You got some
disease? You force me back to
this shit-hole, we leave our
friends, a good life, loads of
money- for this. Isn't that
We came back to find her.
No, you did, Jamal, not me. Me,
I don't give a shit about her.
Plenty of pussy in Bombay for
Salim. Oh, yes, sir! You should
come down the Cages on Saturday
night instead of searching for
your lost love.
I'm going to Chowpatti.
"I'm going to Chowpatti". There
are nineteen million people in
this city, Jamal. Forget her.
But she wasn't.
96 EXT. BANDRA BANDSTAND. DAY. 96
Jamal is dodging the traffic at a busy junction. He
moves around the beggars who are working the cars. Then
he hears singing. He looks around, suddenly panicked.
It is a siren song drawing him across the road, not
even noticing that he is narrowly run down by a couple
of cars, to a traffic island underneath a flyover. He
turns a corner and there is the singer, leaning up
against one of the struts of the flyover. Arvind. Older
now, just like Jamal, a fourteen year-old boy. But eye-
less. Jamal freezes. He approaches Arvind and waits
until he has finished singing. Despite his eyeless
sockets, Arvind appears to know somebody is there. He
turns and bows low, putting his hands together.
Namaste, Sahib. Any kindness you
give will be repaid in heaven
96 CONTINUED: 96
Jamal gets a couple of notes out of his pocket and puts
them into Arvind's outstretched hand. He feels the
notes with his fingers.
A fifty. And a hundred!
Blessings upon you, Sahib.
How do you know?
There are many ways of seeing.
Arvind puts his hands together and bows deep again.
Then, Jamal takes his shoe off and gets out a hundred
Jamal crouches down and puts the bill into Arvind's
hand. His fingers feel it. He sniffs it.
Dollars. But how many?
Now you are playing with me,
No. I swear.
What is on it? The pictures.
A building. With a clock on it.
Trees behind it.
The other side. Turn it over.
A man- it doesn't say his name.
He is sort of bald, but has long
hair on the sides.
Benjamin Franklin. My God, my
God. Thank you, Sahib. You were
generous the first time. But
96 CONTINUED: (2) 96
He stops. Suspects.
And without even a song?
A long pause. Arvind keeps hold of Jamal's arm.
So you are rich, now, are you,
Jamal? I am happy for you.
I am so sorry, Arvind.
You got away. I didn't. That is
all. No, no tears. Tears mock me
all the more.
Arvind, I am looking for-
- how's your voice, Jamal?
I don't know. I haven't sung
since- since then. Arvind, I-
- and your eyes?
My eyes? My eyes are fine.
Then stay away, chutiyé, and
count your blessings every
morning you open them and see
the sun rising. You owe Maman.
He doesn't forget.
I owe Latika.
Arvind shakes his head angrily.
Please. Is she alive? Arvind, is
Alive? Oh, she's alive alright.
It's your life, Jamal. Pila
Street. They call her Cherry,
96 CONTINUED: (3) 96
Jamal heads off through the traffic. Arvind shouts
I will sing at your funeral,
97 EXT. PILA STREET. NIGHT. 97
Dark, crowded streets. Gangs of women stand outside the
doorways or lean out of upstairs windows. They are
garishly-dressed prostitutes varying in age from 13 to
60. Men wander past, eying the possibilities,
exchanging lewd comments with them. Among the hordes on
the pavement are Jamal and Salim. They pass doorway
after doorway of narrow rooms where prostitutes wait
for customers. Jamal and Salim stop at each group of
women, Salim taking the lead, clearly asking them
something, as the women either shrug or offer them
something lewd- judging by the laughter that follows.
But one woman in a narrow doorway points down the
street. Jamal has to drag a reluctant Salim away from
98 INT. BROTHEL. NIGHT. 98
They go into one of the tiny houses. Loud Filmi music
comes from upstairs. They are confronted by a woman in
her fifties watching tv. She is less than interested.
I'm looking for Cherry.
No, kid. Not available. Plenty
of others. Take a look.
She indicates curtained cubicles behind him.
I'm Latika's brother.
The Woman looks at him properly for the first time.
She's still not on the menu.
Choose someone else or piss off.
Then, Jamal pulls out some rupee notes.
Just two minutes to talk to her.
She takes the money, counts it.
98 CONTINUED: 98
She nods upwards. Salim and Jamal head up the dark,
tiny staircase. The Woman picks up the phone on her
99 INT. LANDING. NIGHT. 99
On the tiny landing, Salim and Jamal pull back a
curtain to reveal a humping couple. They move on, past
more women lying on their beds or blankly having sex,
not in the least perturbed to be interrupted. They
reach the end of the landing. From the other side of
the door comes the filmi music. Jamal puts his eye to
one of the gaps in the slatted door. Through it he can
see glimpses of a girl dancing to the music. Latika;
though not the rag-picker of before. Now fifteen, she
is a beautiful young woman and dressed in a revealing,
turquoise, silk sari.
Is it her or not?
He shoves Jamal out of the way and watches.
Shit, she's sexy, man....
Then the music stops, an effeminate man steps into the
limited frame Salim can see and snaps a stick down hard
on Latika's hand.
Smile! Flow, flow! You entice
with the hands not make
chapattis, you gawaar. Again.
The man starts the music again and Latika's hands flow
elegantly around her head.
DANCE TEACHER (CONT'D)
Lift your feet, you lump. Stop,
The stick is raised to hit her but Jamal opens the
100 INT. BROTHEL. NIGHT. 100
She can barely believe her eyes.
The Dance Teacher turns.
100 CONTINUED: 100
What the hell do you want?
He switches off the music.
But Latika remains fixed.
You silly little boys. Get out
now while you can.
Come with us.
Latika runs to Jamal. But she freezes as she looks at
the doorway. Maman, Punnoose and the Woman from
downstairs stand there. The skin around Punnoose's eye
bears the blisters from the chloroform burn years ago.
Look who we have here, Punnoose.
Hello again, Jamal. Salim. Never
forget a face. Especially one
that I own.
Shall I take them to the
Whatever you like. Have fun.
Just make sure that you dispose
of them properly afterwards. No
traces, thank you.
He turns to Jamal.
You really thought you could
just walk in and take my prize
away? Have you any idea how much
this little virgin is worth,
He fingers Latika's hair.
Get them out of here.
Punnoose and the Muscle walk towards Jamal. Maman turns
to the Dance Teacher as they grab his arms.
Please continue, Master-ji.
The Dance Teacher puts the music back on.
100 CONTINUED: (2) 100
Suddenly, Salim is holding a pistol.
Leave him. Get over there.
Punnoose and the Muscle slowly release Jamal and join
Let's not be foolish, Salim.
Heavy, aren't they?
Salim straightens up his gun arm.
You can have money. Here.
Maman gets out his wallet and throws all the money in
it on the floor.
Take it. Go. Disappear with your
friend and we'll forget all
about this. Okay?
Salim collects up the money.
Maman never forgets. Isn't that
Oh, Maman can make an exception.
Salim walks over to the music, turns it up. Picks up a
cushion from the bed and walks right up to Maman.
Can't take that risk, Maman.
He wraps the cushion around the gun and pulls the
trigger. Or tries to. Nothing happens. There is a
frozen moment as they watch him fail to shoot.
Everybody watches with surreal interest as Salim
fumbles with the pistol. Eventually he looks up,
Shrugs apologetically and shoots. Nobody is more
surprised than Maman who crumples onto the floor.
100 CONTINUED: (3) 100
Latika starts desperately gathering up the notes on the
floor, grabs Maman's wallet. Jamal just stands.
They run out of the room and down the stairs as Maman
dies on the floor in front of his frozen colleagues.
101 EXT. CHOWPATTY BEACH. DUSK. 101
Children are splashing in the sea, flying kites,
digging sand, laughing. Salim, Latika and Jamal are
crouched on the shore watching the sun sink into the
sea. Latika is going through Maman's wallet, Salim is
fingering the pistol, admiringly. Jamal is staring out
to sea. Each in their own world, yet sharing swigs from
a bottle of Johnny Walker.
Shit, there's thousands here.
We should be celebrating.
You just killed somebody.
He was going to kill us.
Where did you get the gun?
Bought it. Now, I'm going to
have to throw this beauty in the
You didn't need to kill him.
What? Typical. I save your life
and you're on at me. All you
ever do is mess us up. Whenever
- shut up, can't you? Just shut
Why can't you just be happy,
101 CONTINUED: 101
You got what you wanted, didn't
you? So, let's celebrate.
Yeah. Let's celebrate.
She takes a long swig from the bottle.
While we can.
She nudges Jamal and holds the bottle out to him.
Smiles at him. He smiles back, shakes the black dog
from his head and takes a long, long drink. Latika and
101A EXT. TULIP STAR. NIGHT. 101A
Latika, Salim and Jamal bend back a bit of the wire
mesh fence that protects the deserted hotel. Crawl in.
102 INT. TULIP STAR. LOBBY. NIGHT. 102
A very wobbly Latika, Salim and Jamal walk up the
frozen escalators of the empty hotel, lit only by
security lights. Kick through the odd pile of rubbish
and stacked-up chairs. Go to the dusty reception desk.
We want a room, boy. Executive
Class with smoking. Third floor
Have the bags brought up.
And they scoot off, giggling into the dark.
102A INT. TULIP STAR. KITCHENS. NIGHT. 102A
Jamal and Latika wander the vast, empty kitchens. Jamal
searches the empty chillers and cabinets. Then,
realises that he is alone.
102A CONTINUED: 102A
Where are they? Suddenly,
She comes shooting out of the darkness across the
kitchen floor riding a trolley with Salim pushing her
at top speed. Jamal has to skid out of the way. He
grabs another trolley and glides off in pursuit.
102B INT. TULIP STAR. CORRIDOR. NIGHT. 102B
The three stand by a mirror and play with their
102C INT. TULIP STAR. HOTEL LOBBY. LATER. 102C
On top of the metal preparation counters, Salim and
Jamal are fencing: Jamal with a fish slice and Salim
with a large spoon.
103 INT. HOTEL ROOM. NIGHT. 103
An empty, dusty hotel suite. Jamal is on the phone.
307 here. I want a bottle of
Johnny Walker Red Label, beer,
Jamal closes his eyes at the wonderful thought.
What kind of chicken?
Tikka Masala. With roti-
Naan, chutney, dal-
- aloo gobi, rice-
She stops. Change of mind.
103 CONTINUED: 103
Hold the line, chutiye.
On the tv. The commercial.
Everybody's happy when they have
Exactly! A bucket of Pop Tarts,
Jamal slams down the phone.
104 INT. HOTEL ROOM. LATER. 104
Latika is clearly in the shower. Jamal wanders in
carrying an old pair of lunghi. Shouts through the
Found some lunghi!
Stay there. Look away.
The shower stops.
I'll know if you're looking....
With a towel around her, Latika comes to the doorway
where Jamal is holding out a the lunghi with his eyes
She watches this innocent a second with true fondness.
You're a sweet boy, Jamal.
104 CONTINUED: 104
She takes the lunghi from his outstretched hand and
disappears into the bathroom, slamming the door with a
105 EXT. MUMBAI SLUM STREET. NIGHT. 105
Salim wanders the crowded streets of a slum. He stops
uncertainly at a doorway where a group of men are
lolling, smoking. Plucks up his courage.
I'm looking for Javed-bhai.
Ja, mada chod. He's not looking
for you. Ja!
I need to see him.
The group of men stir, irritated now. Salim begins to
back away, then stops. Pulls the gun from behind his
I killed Maman. I'll kill you
The group are frozen.
You killed him?
Javed is standing in the doorway.
My enemy's enemy is my friend,
no? So, come in, friend.
106 INT. HOTEL ROOM. LATER. 106
Jamal and Latika lie on the bed, drunk, though still
coherent. Latika is dressed in the Bell-Boy's jacket
and the old lunghi.
Maman's gang will hunt us. You
I don't care.
They burst into stupid laughter. The laughter subsides.
106 CONTINUED: 106
That dance you were doing. In
Pila Street. Show me.
Latika rolls over and switches off the light. Rolls
back. In the half light, her hands begin to move for
Jamal, the elegant, alluring hand movements of the bar-
girl dancers. Jamal stares, mesmerised.
You came back for me.
I thought you'd forgotten.
I never forgot. Not for one day.
I knew I'd find you in the end.
It's our destiny.
Latika stops her hands. They stare at each other, their
faces inches away from each other. Latika strokes
And face to face, they slowly fall asleep.
107 INT. HOTEL ROOM. LATER. 107
Jamal opens his eyes. Salim is standing over them,
swaying with alcohol.
He puts his hand out to Latika.
No. Salim....Bhai, you've had a
lot to drink...
Jamal tries to get up, but Salim's hand is round his
throat and pushes him down on the bed.
107 CONTINUED: 107
I am the elder. And I am the
boss. For once, you do as I say.
Salim pulls Latika to her feet.
I saved your bloody life, didn't
- chup, sali.
As he turns, pulling a protesting Latika, Jamal leaps
on him. The two brothers go down fighting, but of
course it is Salim who comes up on top. Latika launches
herself at Salim, but he smashes her away, almost
delighted that she has joined in. He drags Jamal to the
108 INT. HOTEL CORRIDOR. NIGHT. 108
Salim throws him out into the corridor, slams the door.
I am Number One now!
Salim, no, no....!
Get yourself a room, bhai.
Salim slams the door. Jamal gets up, bangs on the door,
keeps on banging until the door opens and Salim stands
there with the pistol pointing straight at Jamal's
The man with the Colt 45 says
He shoves Jamal hard down the corridor, the gun pointed
at him all the while.
Salim nods towards the fire escape door.
108 CONTINUED: 108
Now go. Or Gunmaster G-9 will
shoot you right between the
eyes. Boom. Don't think he
won't. You have five seconds.
One, two, three, four-
Salim cocks the pistol. Jamal screws up his eyes for
the inevitable. But Salim shoves him out with a roar
and slams the door. Jamal bangs on the door.
Salim walks slowly back down the corridor as Jamal
bangs and bangs on the door. Down the hall, Salim's
109 INT. INSPECTOR'S OFFICE. DAY. 109
The Inspector is staring hard at Jamal. Srinivas is
desperately trying to get his attention.
Enlighten us Constable.
Accessory to murder, Sir.
The Inspector puts his hands in the air, palms up.
Only the finest minds in the
Mumbai Police Force.
Untroubled by irony, Srinivas looks extremely pleased.
Go check the files, Constable.
Srinivas goes out.
You puzzle me, Slumdog.
Admitting murder to avoid a
charge of fraud is not exactly
clever thinking. Now, why would
you do that?
109 CONTINUED: 109
When somebody asks me a
question, I tell them the
110 EXT. TULIP STAR. MORNING. 110
At the gate, a Security Guard is sitting in his chair.
Where are they?
The Guard grunts.
Where did they go?
A more impatient grunt from the Guard. He stands up,
walks towards Jamal.
Please, Sir. Which way?
I don't know and I don't care.
The Guard raises his stick and gives him a roar. Jamal
backs away onto the street. The Guard slams the gate
shut. Jamal looks despairingly up and down the street
at the teeming traffic, the crowds.
Ready for another question.
Yes. I'm ready.
111 OMITTED 111
112 INT. STUDIO. NIGHT. 112
We are back in the Studio.
For two and a half million
rupees. Ladies and Gentlemen.
Cambridge Circus is in which UK
City. Is it A) Oxford, B) Leeds,
C) Cambridge, D) London.
He's smiling. Why does that
113 EXT. MUMBAI. DAY. 113
Leaden skies. Torrential rain is hammering on the tin
roofs of the slum.
114 INT. SHACK. DAY. 114
Eighteen year-old Jamal's eyes open. Now with the
beginnings of a beard and moustache, Jamal wakes in a
tiny shack just big enough for a mattress on the floor.
He pulls on a shirt, lifts the mattress and takes out
his trousers which have been pressing there all night,
puts them over his shoulder, picks up his shoes and
goes down a ladder.
115 INT. SHACK. DAY. 115
He descends into a room and two feet of water that is
eddying around the ground floor of the shack. Wades out
of the door into the narrow lane of the slum.
116 EXT. SLUM. DAY. 116
Jamal nods hello to a number of neighbours, also bare-
legged, also with their shoes in hand. Together, they
wade to higher ground, put on their trousers and shoes
and trudge up to the main road.
117 INT. CALL CENTRE. NIGHT. 117
Ultra-modern, glass-windowed office. The words Cultural
Studies are written on the white board. Jamal walks in
with a tray of glasses of chi. He puts a glass down on
the young, hip, Teacher's desk and heads out again.
Okay, guys, it's been a big week
in UK. Kat is back.
He holds up a copy of Radio Times showing Kat from East
Enders smiling at them. A collective groan from the
She's already back.
Oh. Well. She did come back,
then she went away when Alfie
split up with her and now she's
117 CONTINUED: 117
But it looks as if Alfie still
fancies Mo after all, so-
- thank you, Jamal. Keep up,
Bardi. The chi-wallah knows more
Bardi glares at Jamal. Jamal shrugs apologetically and
Okay, it's been super-duper hot
for UK this week, so there'll be
a lot of chat about that- they
love their weather- and there's
the festival in Edinburgh-
He points at a young woman Trainee.
Scotland. Kilts, castles, err,
haggis? Porridge, the Highlands,
mountains. Ben- Ben Nevis?
The Teacher points at another Trainee.
Detective Taggart. Whisky, Sean
And lochs. Their word for lakes.
Good. It's also double bonus
time for an upgrade to the
`friends and family' package
this week, so remember to push
for an upgrade...
Jamal walks out, turns a corner.
118 INT. CALL CENTRE. UK FLOOR. NIGHT. 118
We are confronted with a room you could swing a Boeing
in. Rows and rows of Operators in tiny booths stretch
into the distance. On the walls are pictures of London,
Tony Blair, red telephone boxes, the Yorkshire Dales,
the Highlands- a snapshot of tourist Britain. Huge
posters of soap stars and celebrities adorn the rest of
the walls. Slogans hang from the ceiling. "When the sun
comes up, you'd better be running", "you snooze, you
lose", "Upgrade for a better, faster life." "Every call
is a new opportunity".
118 CONTINUED: 118
Each section of the room has a banner with a British
city's name on it and various mock sign-posts for the
different aisles. A Manager under the banner
"Bradford", is standing over an Operator, listening in
on a call. The Manager leans over and presses a key.
If they want an upgrade, a new
tariff or we're stealing them
from the other networks, you
take the call. Anything else-
He mimes cutting his throat.
No time-wasters on Team
Bradford, kid. Leave that to the
homosexuals on Tunbridge Wells.
Jamal stops by him. The Manager takes a glass of tea
Where've you been? Dave on
Cornmarket's virtually lost his
voice, there's two on Ilkley
Moor who've had their hands up
for hours. Come on, move it!
Jamal hurries down the aisle signposted "Cornmarket",
gets to a male trainee and hands him a tea. Dave
glances around to check nobody's looking and slips off
Two minutes, Jamal. I'm on
It's my turn, Jamal. I've had my
pee breaks. Please. If he comes
just keep your head down and
pretend you're doing an upgrade
- `friends and family'. I know.
Jamal still looks unwilling.
118 CONTINUED: (2) 118
Dave heads off towards a Rest and Recreation room,
where a big plasma screen on the wall is showing "Who
Wants To Be A Millionaire."Jamal grabs the jacket from
the back of Dave's chair, puts the head-set on and
hunches over the booth, just another Operative at work.
We become aware that every operator down the Cornmarket
aisle- and quite a few other aisles besides- is staring
in the direction of the Rest and Recreation Room.
119 INT. REST AND RECREATION ROOM. NIGHT. 119
Dave is watching the screen.
...if you want a chance to be a
contestant on Who Wants To Be A
Millionaire, dial the number
Dave dives for the doorway and waves.
120 INT. CALL CENTRE. UK FLOOR. NIGHT. 120
Suddenly all the operators are dialling. Almost
simultaneously, twenty or so voices say.
I'd like to be a contestant on
Who Wants to be a Millionaire.
Most of the Operators- including the man next to Jamal-
suddenly lose their tension.
Bloody bastard. I never get it.
You have to dial when Prem says
"if". "If you want the chance to
be a contestant on Who Wants To
Be A Millionaire..." That's when
they open the lines.
The Operator looks at him. Jamal shrugs.
That's what Anjum in Technical
says. He put the system in.
So why don't you?
Hello? Hello? Have I been
transferred again, for God's
120 CONTINUED: 120
Jamal freezes with fear. The head-set speaks again with
its broad Scottish accent.
WOMAN V/O (CONT'D)
Hello? Jesus, God, will somebody
talk to me?
He stares at the computer.
...Mackintosh from King Gussie.
It's Kingussie, love. Pronounced
So where are you from? Abroad, I
bet. China or somewhere. What
- just down the road from your
house, Mrs Mackintosh. Next to
Oh aye? Which loch?
Jamal searches desperately around, spots a picture of
Loch Big- Loch Ben. Next door to
Detective Taggart's flat.
Loch Ben? Och, no, hen, that's
one of the wee ones up in the
Highlands. You're all the way up
there? But I bet it rains, eh,
Indeed yes, Mrs Mackintosh. I
have to wade through a metre of
water every morning.
120 CONTINUED: (2) 120
Yes, yes, Mrs Mackintosh. In my
Och, no, hen.
Jamal puts his feet on the desk.
It's alright once I've had my
porridge, my haggis and a few
Scotch whiskies- and the
monsoon's nearly over, so-
- and what monsoon would that
be? I'd like to speak to your
I don't think that's a good
idea. He is a very important
man, Mrs Mackintosh-
- get me the supervisor on this
- and he doesn't like bloody
Jamal panics, presses the button he saw the Manager
press earlier. The screen goes blank, then reboots
itself. Jamal looks around. Where the hell is Dave? On
the screen, Jamal is faced with the question: "what
name do you require?" He looks around again, and then
with one finger types in the word "Latika". He presses
enter. Hundred upon hundred of Latikas with their
surnames and phone numbers scroll down the page. He
erases her name and enters the name Salim K. Malik.
Presses enter. Fifteen numbers come up. He stares at
the numbers for a long time, then types it into his
computer and presses dial.
Who wants to know? Do you know
what bloody time it is?
Clearly not Jamal's brother. Jamal cuts the line. Dials
the next number.
120 CONTINUED: (3) 120
MAN V/O (CONT'D)
Clearly not his Salim. He cuts the line. Dials again.
Hello? Hello? Who is this?
But Jamal can't speak.
SALIM V/O (CONT'D)
Hey. Is someone screwing with
SALIM V/O (CONT'D)
Who is this?
I am calling from XL 5
Communications Sir. As a valued
customer, we are offering you a
free upgrade with our `friends
Jamal's voice peters out.
Jamal? Is that you? Brother?
Where are you, man?...I thought
you were dead or something...we
had to go, Jamal. Maman's guys.
They were searching the
hotel...Jamal, say something.
There is another long silence.
121 INT. STUDIO. NIGHT. 121
Ever been to Cambridge?
Ever been to the circus?
121 CONTINUED: 121
No. And I've never been to UK
before. But I'll still have a
Gasps and laughter from the audience. Jamal laughs and
Prem grips his heart theatrically.
Can someone call me an
122 INT. CALL CENTRE. NIGHT. 122
A flash of a sign post reading `Oxford Circus',
pointing down one of the aisles. The banner above that
section of the warehouse reads `London'.
Jamal hurrying down another `Kings Parade' carrying
glasses of tea. He glances up to see a large banner
that says `Cambridge'.
Jamal comes back up an aisle named `Broad Street'. An
Operator on the adjacent `The High' clicks his fingers
for another cup. Jamal hurries under the sign marked
The signposts of the aisles come faster and faster
`Pembroke Street', `Trafalgar Square', `East India
Dock' and finally `Cambridge Circus'.
123 INT. STUDIO. NIGHT. 123
Jamal is sweating, his face scrunched up in thought.
I can't remember.
You can't remember. Does that
mean you did know? Once?
123 CONTINUED: 123
I don't think it's Oxford.
Based on your extensive
(almost to himself)
Well, Oxford has Broad Street,
Saint Aldates, Turl Street,
Queen Street, The High and
Magdalene Bridge- which is
pronounced Maudlin, so-
He stops as he hears the surprised laughter of the
I thought you hadn't been to UK.
Oh, I haven't. And it's not
Leeds, because that's Elland
Road, Kirkgate Market,
Commercial Street, St Peter's-
- what might it be then, Jamal?
Well, I don't think it's
Cambridge Circus is not in
Cambridge? Dare I ask why?
Too obvious. There's definitely
an Oxford Circus in London, and
there's a rowing race between
Oxford and Cambridge so there's
probably a Cambridge Circus too.
I'll go for D) London.
That's the logic that's got him
this far, Ladies and Gentlemen.
Who are we to argue? So. Jamal.
D. Apka final jawab?
If the Gods are with me...Final
123 CONTINUED: (2) 123
The lights dim, the music swells as Prem pushes the
button on his computer.
Computer-ji, D lock kiya-jaye.
More portentous music.
It's been a rollercoaster ride
all the way, a pleasure to have
you on the show, my friend, but
I'm sorry to say that
Huge cheers and applause. Even Jamal laughs at this. He
cannot quite believe it himself.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Jamal
Malik, the man with two and a
half million rupees!
More applause. Prem hands him a cheque. Jamal looks at
it. Laughs again.
A few hours ago, you were
fetching tea for the phone-
wallahs. Now you are richer than
they ever will ever be. What a
player, Ladies and Gentleman!
What a player.
The lights dim, the music swells. Prem consults his
For five million rupees, my
friend: who invented the
revolver? Was it A) Samuel Colt,
B) Bruce Browning, C Dan Wesson
or D) James Revolver?
124 INT. HOTEL. NIGHT. 124
A flash of Salim shooting Maman. Another flash of Salim
in the doorway, holding the pistol up to Jamal's head.
125 INT. STUDIO. NIGHT. 125
A). Samuel Colt.
125 CONTINUED: 125
A). Samuel Colt. Are you sure?
The music swells again. Prem presses his computer.
You had two and a half million
rupees. If I may-?
He holds out his hand. Jamal hands him back the cheque.
He tears the cheque in two.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the chi-
wallah has done it again! D. Is
Cheers and applause from the audience.
125A INT. INSPECTOR'S OFFICE. NIGHT. 125A
Not that incredible. You'd just
murdered somebody with a Colt
45, after all.
It was self-defence.
Let's call it manslaughter,
then, shall we?
126 INT. STUDIO. NIGHT. 126
Getting hot in here, isn't it?
Are you nervous?
The audience laugh. Prem is momentarily flustered.
What? Am I nervous? You're the
one who's in the hot seat, my
126 CONTINUED: 126
Oh. Yes. Sorry.
127 INT. GALLERY. NIGHT. 127
Bloody hell. He's got Prem on
128 INT. STUDIO. NIGHT. 128
Music, lights. Prem presses his computer.
What sports do you play?
None. Oh, dear, oh dear, oh
dear. Not to worry, there's only
ten million rupees at stake...
Which cricketer has scored the
most first class centuries in
history. Was it A) Sachin
Tendulkar, B) Ricky Ponting, C)
Michael Slater, D) Jack Hobbs.
Prem allows the question to sink in.
You've got a cheque for five
million rupees in your hands.
You've still got two life-lines,
Phone A Friend and 50/50. For
ten million rupees: pay, play,
or bail out. It's still an
option. Remember, if you get the
answer wrong, you will lose
everything like that.
He clicks his fingers.
Are you sure you want to do
129 EXT. CRICKET GROUND. DAY. 129
An Indian batsman hits a nicely-timed stroke, heads
down the wicket for a single. Turns. The other batsman
is taking a second run.
129 CONTINUED: 129
The Indian tries to halt the other batsman with a
shout, then succumbs to the inevitable and charges down
the wicket. A fielder hurls the ball at the stumps. The
bails fly off.
130 INT. STUDIO. NIGHT. 130
Tense laughter from the audience. Prem holds up the
cheque. Jamal nods. Prem tears it up slowly. Allows the
pieces to fall to the floor.
The dreams of so many. On the
131 EXT. TOWER BLOCK. DAY. 131
Jamal is riding the construction lift to the top of a
high building, still just a shell but buzzing with
carpenters, bricklayers, cable-layers. The lift stops
at the top. Jamal gets out. Looks around. He is miles
Jamal looks around. There is Salim standing on the edge
of the building. He saunters over to Jamal, his arms
outstretched in theatrical greeting. He is groomed,
expensively dressed with the best mobile money can buy
dangling from a gold chain around his neck.
God is good, bhai. God is good.
He tries to embrace Jamal. With as much force as he can
muster, Jamal punches him in the face. Salim takes it.
Stands there. Wipes blood from his lip. Gets another
punch. Then another and another, not even defending
himself, until he is being beaten back by a raging
Jamal towards the edge of the building. Finally, he
tries to reason with Jamal
Maman's boys were after us. Had
Jamal keeps on beating him back.
131 CONTINUED: 131
Left a message at reception.
Waited weeks for you in Nagpur.
There was no message at
Bhai, I left a message.
Salim opens his arms, defenceless. It would take one,
small push to send him over the edge. There is a
moment, when Jamal might. He even has his hands on his
I will never forgive you.
The fury in Jamal subsides minutely. Finally, he turns
away with a roar of frustration. Salim hangs his head.
131A EXT. TOWER BLOCK. LATER. 131A
Jamal and Salim are sitting on the very edge of the
building. They can see for miles across the city. Salim
has rediscovered his attitude.
Can you believe it? This was our
slum. We lived just there, huh?
Now it is business, apartments,
call centres...Fuck USA, fuck
China. India is at the centre of
the world, now, bhai. And I am
at the centre of the centre,
Jamal. This is all Javed-bhai's.
Javed Mehta? The Gangster from
our slum? You work for him?
Who else would protect us from
Maman's gang, huh?
What do you do for him?
Anything he asks.
Salim's mobile rings. Salim is immediately subservient
on the phone. Rings off.
131A CONTINUED: 131A
He is coming. You must go. My
He hands Jamal a card.
You think I am going to let you
out of my sight again, little
brother? You stay with me now.
Salim, where's Latika?
Still? She's gone, Jamal. Long
gone. Now go. Quick.
Jamal gets up, hurries away, hidden behind piles of
building materials just as Javed appears in his flash
suit and jewelry. Three of his young henchmen walk
132 INT. SALIM'S APARTMENT. NIGHT. 132
Jamal is asleep on a mattress on the floor of a smart
apartment. A mobile phone rings. The muffled sound of
Salim talking quietly next door. Then, Salim creeps
into the room, checks to see Jamal is asleep, unlocks a
desk drawer and brings out his pistol. He puts it in a
hold-all and goes out the front door. Jamal's eyes snap
open. He has seen it all.
Slum dogs never sleep, only nap.
He would disappear for a couple
of days and come back changed.
133 INT. SALIM'S APARTMENT. NIGHT. 133
The door bangs open and a giggling-drunk, half-naked
Bar Girl drags the sleeping Jamal up and into the
He has flipped! I can't do
anything with him....
Salim is in the bath, bathing, literally, in money.
133 CONTINUED: 133
Look at it, bhai, look at it!
134 INT. SALIM'S APARTMENT. DAWN. 134
Sometimes the opposite.
Jamal creeps towards Salim's bedroom door. He pushes it
open a fraction to see Salim crouched on the floor in
prayer, sobbing quietly.
Aé khuda mujhé baksh dé mainé
bahut gunaah kiyé hain....
But younger brothers don't
135 EXT. SALIM'S APARTMENT. DAY. 135
Salim comes out of his apartment block. Gets into his
jeep. Drives off. Doesn't notice Jamal in the motor
rickshaw that pulls out and follows him.
136 EXT. JAVED'S BUNGALOW. DAY. 136
Salim approaches a gate-house to a large bungalow. The
Door-Keeper nods to him, rings a bell. From the
rickshaw, Jamal watches a woman come to the door.
Latika. Eighteen, completely beautiful and rich. She
hands Salim a package and goes back inside. Salim gets
in his jeep and drives away.
137 EXT. JAVED'S BUNGALOW. DAY. 137
Jamal approaches the Door-Keeper's gate-house.
Baba, I am the new cook from the
agency. A thousand apologies, I
am late for the Memsaab.
The Door-Keeper grunts and goes inside. After a brief
pause, he returns.
She doesn't know anything about
any cook. There's supposed to be
a dishwasher being delivered.
Know anything about that?
137 CONTINUED: 137
Baba, I am your dishwasher!
The Door-keeper grunts at this attempt at humour.
Latika appears at the gate.
Haven't I told you, don't
interrupt when I'm watching-
She looks at Jamal. Is silenced briefly.
- come inside. I'll show you the
138 INT. KITCHEN. DAY. 138
Latika and Jamal go into the kitchen. Who Wants To Be A
Millionaire plays on the tv in the background. She
turns and hugs him tight. They laugh with happiness.
Jamal, Jamal, look at you...!
Their heads are close, they might kiss. Then Latika
turns away, stares out of the window.
Aré wa, Jamal....
Jamal smiles hopefully at her. But there is sadness in
her now. She takes her sunglasses off, rubs her eyes.
There is a bruise there.
You've hurt your eye.
Why are you here?
To see you.
Well. You see me.
She stands there, challenging. On the tv, somebody is
Why does everyone love this
138 CONTINUED: 138
It's the chance to escape, isn't
it? Walk into another life.
Doesn't everyone want that?
You have another life. A rich
Who'd have thought it possible?
A slum dog, with all this.
Are you happy?
I have five star food, five star
clothes. I sleep in a bed, not
on the street. From where we
come from, Jamal, that is
You don't look so happy with a
You turn up here out of nowhere,
telling me I'm not happy: how
Voices at the gate-house.
God, Javed will kill you. Here.
Javed? You are with him?
She throws him an apron. He gets it on just in time for
Javed to walk in. Jamal turns away.
First you want a dishwasher, now
a bloody cook-
-I just thought-
- chup. The cricket's on.
Javed changes channel and dials on his mobile.
Why do you always watch that
shit? Huh? I'm already a
138 CONTINUED: (2) 138
He laughs at his own joke. Turns to Jamal.
Well, come on then, Cook. I'm
hungry. Get me a sandwich.
Javed stares at Jamal a moment, trying to place a face
he vaguely recognises. Then the Bookie comes on the
line and he turns back to the television.
Latika hurries around the kitchen getting out bread and
condiments, whispering while Javed talks on the phone.
Come away with me.
Chutiyé. Away where? And live on
what? What can you provide? What
have you got, Jamal?
(on the mobile)
..yeah. He's on eighty-five. I
want four lakh on him making a
century. What are you
giving?...Okay, make it five
Javed pours himself a glass of whisky, never taking his
eyes from the television.
We are watching history unfold
today at the Wankhedé Stadium as
Sachin Tendulkar carves his way
towards another magnificent
century and the record books.
His thirty-eighth century- the
most by any Indian cricketer
Love. That will feed us, will
It won't buy you a new
dishwasher, but it might make
138 CONTINUED: (3) 138
Where have you been? Get in the
real world, Jamal.
You and me. That is the real
world. Come away with me.
Latika snatches the sandwich from him and gives it to
Javed. Goes back to Jamal, whispers under cover of
putting condiments away.
Salim will help us.
Salim? You still believe in
Salim? Jamal...I'll be gone
soon, anyway. Bombay's got too
She indicates Javed.
You think he'd tell me?
Straight bat, straight bat,
Then the batsman at the other end calls to take a
No! A single!
Tendulkar seems to agree, tries to halt the other
batsman with a shout, then succumbs to the inevitable
and charges down the wicket. A fielder hurls the ball
at the stumps. The bails fly off.
No, no, no! stupid ben chod
He flings his glass of whisky at the television.
Suddenly tastes what he has been eating.
And what is this shit supposed
to be, mader chod? Get out. Get
138 CONTINUED: (4) 138
Javed throws the sandwich at him and slams out of the
room. His footsteps can be heard stomping into another
Now go, before he kills us both.
She leads Jamal to the door.
Latika, where's my bloody shirt?
Latika shouts over her shoulder.
Back to Jamal.
You want to do something for me?
Then forget me.
I'll wait at VT station. Five
o'clock every day until you
She shakes her head.
I love you.
So what, Jamal? So what?
Now, get out and tell your no-
good agency not to send anybody
else until they've learnt to
cook. You hear?
She slams the door. Hurries back into the kitchen,
throws Javed's plate into the sink. The Door-keeper
Madam, your dishwasher has
Leaning over the sink, Latika weeps silently.
139 INT. SALIM'S APARTMENT. NIGHT. 139
Salim has his hand around Jamal's throat.
Why can't you let it alone? You
want money, I'll give you money.
Girls? I can get you girls.
You know what I want.
You're like some crazy man-
She is my destiny, Salim.
Know what your destiny is, crazy
boy? A bullet between the eyes.
And after that, he'll kill her.
Is that what you want? Huh?
Me, I don't care. Latika? She's
already half dead.
Salim takes his hand away from Jamal's neck.
Yes. About that, you are right.
You sold her.
I didn't sell her. Javed wanted
her. He gets what he wants.
He turns away bitterly.
She's doing alright. Get it into
your thick head, Jamal. She's
not yours and she never will be.
140 INT. STUDIO. NIGHT. 140
Time for a commercial break,
Ladies and Gentlemen. I know, I
know, I can't stand the tension
either. Don't even think about
leaving your seat. We'll be
140 CONTINUED: 140
The lights flick back on. Prem slumps back in his
You've got the luck of the
devil, yaar, I'll give you that.
I- I need to-
Oh, the toilet. Sure. Naveed,
Jamal wants the bog.
The Floor Manager and a Security Guard usher Jamal off-
stage. Prem looks up at the gallery, raises his eyes at
the Director. Some show. Then he gathers himself and
141 INT. CHHATRAPATI SHIVAJI TERMINUS. DAY. 141
The clock reads five oh three. Jamal stands on the
footbridge. Humanity washes around him. His eyes dart
around, frightened to miss her. Checks the clock again.
Six. The platform is almost deserted. He wanders away.
142 INT. CORRIDOR. NIGHT. 142
Prem wanders down the corridor followed by a Security
Guard. Another Security Guard is waiting at the
entrance to the toilet. Prem goes in, leaving the two
Guards in the corridor.
143 INT. CHHATRAPATI SHIVAJI TERMINUS. DAY. 143
Jamal stands on the footbridge gazing down at the
hordes of commuters. Five o'clock, five fifteen, five
thirty. Six. Jamal rests his head against the railings.
144 INT. TOILET. NIGHT. 144
Jamal is in one of the cubicles. Prem goes to the
A guy from the slums becomes a
millionaire overnight. You know
the only other person who's done
that? Me. I know what it's like.
I know what you've been through.
I'm not going to become a
milionaire. I don't know the
144 CONTINUED: 144
You've said that before, yaar.
Prem finishes pissing. Goes over to the washbasins,
runs the taps and washes his hands.
No, I really don't.
What? You can't take the money
and run now. You're on the edge
of history, kid!
I don't see what else I can do.
Maybe it is written, my friend.
You're going to win this. Trust
me, you're going to win.
Prem leaves. Jamal flushes and comes out of the
cubicle. Goes to the washbasins. In the mist on the
mirror above the taps is written the letter "B". Jamal
stares at it. Gradually it fades, leaving only the
growing fury on his face staring back at him.
145 INT. STUDIO. NIGHT. 145
Jamal stalks back onto the set. Sits down in his chair.
Stares at Prem who looks unconcernedly back.
145A INT. CHHATRAPATI SHIVAJI TERMINUS. DAY. 145A
The digital clocks show five fifteen. Shoving the
descending river of people out of his way, the
seventeen year-old Jamal is forging a path up steps
that cross the platforms. He pushes to the middle of
the footbridge and leans out on the side railings. He
scans the sea of people, desperately. Then he sees her:
the eighteen year-old Latika, heart-stoppingly
beautiful, over the other side of the station. A world
away. She is scanning the crowd, as wired as he is.
But though he is screaming her name, his voice is
swallowed by the noise around him. Then he sees two
thuggish-looking men also fighting a way towards her.
145A CONTINUED: 145A
Frightened now, he fights his way down the steps, one
figure against an army of white-robed people. He gets
to the bottom of the steps, is making progress against
the tide. But so are the two men. Jamal is now on the
same platform. Shouts her name again. She turns with a
smile. But the two Thugs leap through a train onto her
platform. She sees them, starts running, is lost in the
crowd. Jamal runs off along the platform after Latika.
By the time Jamal has fought himself to where Latika
was- she is gone. He whirls around, mad with
146 OMITTED 146
147 EXT. CHHATRAPATI SHIVAJI TERMINUS. DAY. 147
Latika is jumping the tracks, crossing in front of
trains. But the Thugs are gaining on her. He brings her
down and drags her across to Javed's waiting Mercedes.
Salim is standing by the car. Jamal pushes through the
crowds just in time to see Salim bundling her into the
Salim spits disgustedly on the ground. Gets in. Latika
twists her head to see Jamal as the car skids off.
Jamal screams with hopeless fury.
148 INT. STUDIO. NIGHT. 148
Jamal and Prem stare at each other. Prem smiles.
Do the right thing and in
approximately three minutes you
will be as famous as me.
148 CONTINUED: 148
And as rich as me.
From rags to Raja. It's your
Applause from the audience.
Welcome back to Who Wants to Be
A Millionaire? In the chair
tonight is Jamal Malik- as if we
don't know! In an amazing run,
Jamal has already five million
rupees but, not content with
that, has chosen to gamble for
one Crore- that's ten million
million rupees. What a player!
The question one more time:
Which cricketer has scored the
most first class centuries in
history. Was it A) Sachin
Tendulkar, B) Ricky Ponting, C)
Michael Slater, D) Jack Hobbs.
I know it isn't Sachin
That's a start. So, it could be
Ricky Ponting, Jack Hobbs or
I'll use a life-line. Fifty-
Okay. Computer, take away two
Music swells, lights dim.
148 CONTINUED: (2) 148
Well, you were right about
Sachin Tendulkar. The computer
has taken away A) Sachin
Tendulkar and C) Michael Slater.
That leaves you a fifty-fifty
choice, Jamal. B) Ricky Ponting
or D) Jack Hobbs. What do you
think? Decision time. For half a
million rupees. Your answer: B)
Ricky Ponting or D) Jack Hobbs.
A hideous, never-ending pause while Jamal stares into
A barely perceptible jump from Prem.
You sure? Not B) Ricky Ponting?
The Australian? Great cricketer.
D. Jack Hobbs.
Do you know?
Jamal shakes his head.
So it could be B, Ricky Ponting?
Or D. Jack Hobbs.
Final Answer. D.
A just-perceptible narrowing of the eyes.
Computer-ji D lock kiya-jaye.
Prem turns to the computer. Music. Lights.
With one hundred and ninety-
seven first class centuries, the
answer is...D. Jack Hobbs!
The audience go wild. Prem's smile is thin.
148 CONTINUED: (3) 148
Jamal Malik, Crorepati!
The camera goes off Prem for a second. He mimes a
disgusted spit. Then he is back on.
I cannot believe what I am
seeing here, tonight, Ladies and
Gentlemen....So, are you ready
for the final question for two
Crore rupees- twenty million
Not really, but...maybe it is
Maybe, indeed. Okay, okay. For
twenty million rupees, the final
question on Who Wants to be a
The lights dim again, the portentous music increases.
Suddenly a klaxon sounds. The audience burst into
nervous laughter and groans. Prem laughs.
Ohhhhh! Just when I thought I
would need a pacemaker fitted,
we're out of time! What a show,
Ladies and Gentlemen, what a
show. Join us tomorrow night to
see if Jamal Malik has made the
biggest mistake of his life or
has just won the biggest prize
in the history of Indian
television....Same place, same
time. You wouldn't dare miss it.
Applause. The studio lights come up. Prem switches off
his smile as fast as the cameras switch off. Gets up
and pulls out his mobile.
149 EXT. JAVED'S BUNGALOW. DAY. 149
Waving a kitchen knife in on hand, a desperate Jamal
slams through the gates of Javed's bungalow, the
objecting Doorkeeper running along behind. He bangs
open the front door.
150 INT. JAVED'S BUNGALOW. DAY. 150
Stops dead. The place has been stripped of everything.
Not a single thing remains. Jamal runs into another
room. As empty as the first. He stops in his tracks.
Where? Where is she?
He grabs the Door-keeper by the shirt-collar, slams him
up against the wall. Holds the knife against his
I don't know! Wouldn't say,
would they? They had to get out
fast. The police. Honestly.
Jamal lets go of the Door-keeper. Goes hopelessly to
the window. On the window sill is a phone. He picks it
up. There is a dial tone. Jamal rummages in his trouser
pocket. Gets out the battered card with Salim's details
on. Dials. Salim picks up.
Where are you? Where is she?
150A INT. JAVED'S SAFE HOUSE. SALIM'S ROOM. DAY. 150A
Salim is stalking around his room in Javed's new house.
Hold-alls of clothes and possessions lie around the
room. A chest of drawers sits with its drawers open,
Where you'll never find her. Or
me. You could have joined us,
you bloody idiot, been one of
us. You've lost everything now.
Cuts the call off and slings the phone in a drawer.
Takes the gun from his waist, and throws that in too.
Slams the drawer shut with as much force as he can.
150B INT. JAVED'S BUNGALOW. DAY. 150B
The line goes dead. Jamal slides to the floor...
151 INT. SALIM'S APARTMENT. NIGHT. 151
...the camera pulls out from Jamal's face revealing
that Jamal is sitting on the floor of Salim's
apartment. In the background can be heard the sound of
the television. Jamal looks at the knife in his hand,
wonders what he might do with it. The sound of Prem's
voice on the tv.
...if you want a chance to play
Who Wants to be a Millionaire,
Jamal looks up. Stares at the tv.
152 INT. STUDIO. BACKSTAGE. NIGHT. 152
This way, Jamal, this way. Great
show, my friend. See you
In the half-light, Prem guides him to a stage door.
153 EXT. STUDIO. BACKSTAGE. NIGHT. 153
Jamal steps outside the backstage door. Leans on the
rail and takes a huge breath. Immediately, a blanket is
thrown over his head and two police men bundle him into
the back of a police van. The Director joins Prem at
the back-stage door as the van pulls away, sirens
What's going on?
He's a cheat.
This was you? You called them?
How d'you know he's cheating?
153 CONTINUED: 153
Oh, come on! Of course he is.
He's a bloody village boy. Even
when I fed him the wrong answer
the little shit got it right.
Director stares at him.
You gave him an answer?
Well, I didn't exactly-
The Director walks away shaking his head. In the
doorway, Nita is standing there, watching.
But she too turns and walks away.
154 INT. INSPECTOR'S OFFICE. DAY. 154
It is all bizarrely plausible.
Because I am a slum dog, chi-
wallah, I am a liar, right?
Most of you are.
Srinivas comes hurrying in carrying a file, very
pleased with himself.
Shooting at Pila Street, October
pronounced dead at scene.
Suspects absconded: two males,
early teens, one female, early
The Inspector takes the file. Stares at it. Shakes his
But you: you're not a liar,
Mister Malik, that is for sure.
You are too truthful.
He turns to Srinivas.
154 CONTINUED: 154
Thank you, Constable. All that
remains is to work out whether
it was manslaughter or murder.
Ten years, or life.
The Young Constable sticks his head around the door.
The Commissioner's here, Sir.
The Inspector sighs. Gets up. Accompanied by Srinivas,
he leaves the room. Jamal sits there. Lets his head
drop. The camera floats from the room, down the dingy
corridor and out through a window...
155 EXT. POLICE STATION. DAY. 155
....alighting on a crowd of hundreds of people jostling
to get a view of the building. News crews are setting
up around them. A tv Reporter is doing a piece to
....behind the walls of this
police station lies the mystery
all of India is talking about.
Did Jamal Malik, an uneducated,
eighteen year-old boy from the
slums of Mumbai win one Crore
rupees by fair means or foul?
And in the crowds all around me
there is an even bigger
question. Will he be back on the
show tonight to play for twenty
156 OMITTED 156
156A INT. POLICE OFFICE. DAY. 156A
The Commissioner is waiting in the outer office.
COMMISSIONER OF POLICE
So? Have you charged him yet?
I- progress is being made sir.
COMMISSIONER OF POLICE
Progress? Have you charged him?
156A CONTINUED: 156A
The Commissioner dumps a copy of the Times of India
down on the desk. Then the Hindustan Times, the Amar
Ujala and the Afternoon Dispatch thump down after them.
All have photos of Jamal on Who Wants to be a
Millionaire on the front page.
COMMISSIONER OF POLICE
And if that isn't enough for
He motions the Inspector to come over to the window.
Lifts the blind. The Inspector hurries over. Looks
COMMISSIONER OF POLICE
- yes, yes! The boy's a bloody
hero with every beggar and thief
in the city. We're in danger of
looking very stupid, here,
Whilst I'm not convinced he
actually cheated, I have got-
The Inspector brandishes the file.
COMMISSIONER OF POLICE
- Prem Kumar himself- a man of
great standing and integrity-
said the kid was a liar and a
cheat. What more do you need?
The Inspector pauses.
Then he puts the file behind his back. Srinivas frowns.
Srinivas coughs pointedly. Gets a steely look from the
Inspector. The Commissioner has been staring out of the
window at the crowds. Turns back to them.
COMMISIONER OF POLICE
He's in for fraud, so you charge
him for fraud. Fast. Or you'll
find yourself on traffic duty at
the Gateway of India.
156A CONTINUED: (2) 156A
The Commissioner walks out.
Not a word, Srinivas.
157 INT. JAVED'S SAFE-HOUSE. SITTING ROOM. NIGHT. 157
A cheek scarred by disfiguring knife scars. Pulling
back we see it is Latika, staring frozen at Jamal on
the television news. A palatial living room. Dealing
cards to Salim, is Javed Khan. A couple of Bar Girls
giggle next to Javed and a couple of his Thugs. Pouring
drinks at a sideboard is Latika. Javed glances up at
the screen, clearly not recognising Jamal on a clip
from Who Wants to be a Millionaire. Salim, too is
staring, wide-eyed at the tv. Javed picks up the
remote, doesn't even notice and switches over to a
music channel. Latika hurries out.
What about my bloody whisky,
But she has already gone. He growls after her.
He motions Salim to get him a drink. Javed's mobile
rings as Salim goes over to the sideboard. Shifts a
bottle to the back.
We're out. I'll just get- Syed.
Salim smiles faintly at the image of Jamal and hurries
158 INT . JAVED'S SAFE-HOUSE. SALIM'S ROOM. NIGHT. 158
A drawer opens. Inside is Salim's pistol. And a phone-
the same one he threw in there months ago. Salim stares
at both for a long time. Finally, picks up the gun and
He finds this faintly amusing.
159 INT. JAVED'S SAFE-HOUSE. KITCHEN. NIGHT. 159
Latika sits in the kitchen, staring at the tv, tears
running down her cheeks. A reporter is talking in front
of an enlarged photograph of Jamal. Latika wipes away
the tears quickly as Salim comes in. He locks the door
behind him. Stares at the tv.
That boy. He will never give up.
He shakes his head.
Salim approaches Latika. She flinches as he walks
towards her. He puts some car keys in front of her.
- just drive. There won't be
another chance. Go.
Latika takes the keys. Hesitates.
He'll kill you.
Salim smiles, shakes his head.
It is not written.
Salim goes to the back door. Unlocks it. Opens it for
Salim points at the television.
You have to. It'll take you two
hours if you drive fast. Here.
He holds out his mobile phone.
For God's sake, hold on to it.
159 CONTINUED: 159
Latika takes it. Salim takes hold of both sides of her
head for a moment.
For what I have done, please
Salim releases her.
Go. Have a good life.
Salim puts his hands together in blessing. She leaves.
Salim shuts the door, locks it. Smiles.
160 INT. INSPECTOR'S OFFICE. NIGHT. 160
Jamal is dozing in the chair. He wakes with a shout.
Srinivas has just thrown a bucket of water in his face.
He unlocks the handcuffs. Jamal looks up at him.
You're back on the show.
161 INT. BACKSTAGE. NIGHT. 161
The audience for Who Wants to be a Millionaire are
standing in line. They are being body-searched by
police. Mobiles are being confiscated and put in bags.
162 INT. BACKSTAGE. NIGHT. 162
Gaffers make last-minute adjustments to the lights
shining on the empty chairs in the middle of the set.
Camera positions are checked by the Floor Manager.
163 INT. POLICE OFFICE. NIGHT. 163
Srinivas walks Jamal through the police office, past
the Inspector sitting at his desk, his arms behind his
head, pondering. He watches Jamal go and then asks:
INSPECTOR OF POLICE
What happened? To the girl?
Jamal walks on. The Inspector watches him all the way.
164 INT. POLICE JEEP. NIGHT. 164
Jamal sits in the back of the police jeep. It pulls out
of the police station car park into a sea of people all
cheering and shouting at the jeep. Jamal looks
165 INT. CAR. NIGHT. 165
Latika drives through the slums of Mumbai. She hoots
her horn furiously at a cart-driver ambling across the
166 INT. POLICE JEEP. NIGHT. 166
The jeep stops at the lights and a beggar wanders up,
tapping on the windscreen. The beggar studies Jamal's
face for a second, then starts shouting and pointing at
Other beggars- just like the one Jamal used to be- join
him and start cheering and applauding. The jeep pulls
167 OMITTED 167
168 EXT. SLUM. NIGHT. 168
At the chi stall, everyone gathers around the tv,
169 EXT. ROADSIDE CHI HOUSE. NIGHT. 169
A rickshaw parks up next to a hundred others. The
Driver leaps out, abandoning the irate business man in
the back and runs to the tv in the café.
170 INT. CALL CENTRE. NIGHT. 170
The Manager walks into the aircraft hanger of a
building. Stops. Where is everyone? Then he sees
everyone crowded around the tv in the Recreation Room.
Oi! Get back to work.
Then he sees Jamal's face on the tv.
170 CONTINUED: 170
171 EXT. ROADSIDE SHACKS. NIGHT. 171
All along the highway, one by one the televisions in a
hundred shacks flick on, silhouetting the family
huddled in front of it.
172 INT. STUDIO. BACKSTAGE. NIGHT. 172
In the half-light, Jamal is being powdered by Nita.
She finishes powdering Jamal.
Hey. Sweetheart. What about me?
I'm sweating, here.
You should be.
She dumps the powder compact in his hand.
So. Tonight. The Calypso Bar.
Not if you were the only man in
She walks off.
But I am the only man in the
173 EXT. MUMBAI STREET. NIGHT. 173
The traffic is gridlocked. Latika is pumping the horn.
Come on, come on!
She glances out of the window, sees one of the roadside
shacks with the television on. Gets out of the car and
runs to it.
173A INT. COMMISSIONER'S OFFICE. NIGHT. 173A
The Commissioner grabs his phone.
COMMISSIONER OF POLICE
Get me the Inspector on the
173B INT. INSPECTOR'S OFFICE. NIGHT. 173B
The Inspector wanders into his office, still deep in
thought. Switches on the television just as the
Millionaire music starts. Sits. The phone rings.
174 OMITTED 174
175 OMITTED 175
176 OMITTED 176
177 INT. STUDIO. NIGHT. 177
Prem and Jamal walk on-stage. Blinding light. They take
their seats to tumultuous applause.
Welcome back to Who Wants to be
a Millionaire? I can safely say
that tonight is the biggest
night of both of our lives,
Ladies and Gentlemen. Jamal
Malik, the Call Centre worker
from Mumbai has already won one
Crore rupees, a cool ten
million. Tonight, he can walk
away with that in his pocket or
make the biggest gamble in
television history and go for
the final question and a
staggering twenty million
rupees! Jamal, are you ready for
The lights dim, the music rumbles. Prem pushes the
button on his computer. Pauses. Gets conversational.
Big reader, are you Jamal? A
lover of literature?
Nervous laughter from the audience. Jamal just shrugs.
177 CONTINUED: 177
I can read.
Even more nervous laughter.
Lucky! In Alexandre Dumas' book,
The Three Musketeers, two of the
musketeers are called Athos and
Porthos. What was the name of
the third musketeer. Was it A)
Aramis, B) Cardinal Richelieu,
C) D'Artagnan, D) Planchet.
An involuntary laugh comes out of Jamal's mouth.
178 INT. ROADSIDE SHACK. NIGHT. 178
In the shack, sitting on an upturned oil drum,
surrounded by puzzled Indians in rags, a slow smile
comes to Latika's face.
179 OMITTED 179
180 INT. STUDIO. NIGHT. 180
Camera on Prem.
The final question, for twenty
million rupees: and he's
smiling. I guess you know the
Would you believe it? I don't.
Jamal laughs. There's nothing else to do. The audience
You don't? So, you're going to
take the ten million and walk?
A gasp from the audience.
180 CONTINUED: 180
You just said you don't know the
answer. I heard that, right? You
do understand that if you get
the answer wrong, you lose
everything? Ten million rupees.
A fortune, Jamal.
A terrible pause.
I'd like to phone a friend.
We're going to the wire, Ladies
and Gentlemen, we are going to
the wire. The final Life-line.
Here we go....
181 INT. STUDIO. NIGHT. 181
Prem presses his computer. Ominous rumble of drums. The
lights dim. A phone can be heard ringing, the amplified
sound echoing around the studio.
The phone continues to ring.
182 INT. ROADSIDE SHACK. NIGHT. 182
Latika is staring at the television. Then an electric
current seems to shoot through her and she is running,
dodging the static traffic, street vendors, the odd
cow, heading for her abandoned car. Hooting horns,
shouting drivers. The phone rings on...
183 INT. STUDIO. NIGHT. 183
Doesn't look as if your friend
is in, Jamal. Who is it?
My brother's number, but-
- the sort of brother who'd go
for a walk on the twenty million
It's the only number I know.
184 INT. CAR. NIGHT. 184
On the passenger seat of Latika's car, Salim's phone
continues to ring...
185 INT. STUDIO. NIGHT. 185
You're on your own, Jamal.
Prem looks up at the gallery. The Director shakes his
head, mimes cutting his throat.
186 INT. CAR. NIGHT. 186
Latika wrestles the door open, grabs the phone.
187 INT. STUDIO. NIGHT. 187
Prem opens his mouth to speak. Then, out of the
darkness of the studio,
A gasp from the audience.
LATIKA V/O (CONT'D)
Wow! That's cutting it fine. I'm
guessing this isn't your
brother. This is-
My name is Latika.
The first real smile of Jamal's adult life.
188 EXT. STUDIO. BACKSTAGE. NIGHT. 188
A small smile spreads across the Inspector's face.
That's why he's on the show.
He picks up his hat and hastens out of the room.
189 INT. JAVED'S SAFE-HOUSE. NIGHT. 189
Javed pulls the Bar Girl from him, stares open-mouthed
at the television.
What the bloody-?
He pushes the girl off him. Gets to his feet.
190 INT. STUDIO/ INT. ROADSIDE SHACK. NIGHT. 190
Okay! So, Latika, you want to
hear the question one more time?
And let's be clear about this.
Twenty million rupees ride on
your answer. You have thirty
seconds. Jamal, please read out
the question to Latika.
Is that really you?
The question, Jamal.
In Alexandre Dumas' book, The
Three Musketeers, two of the
musketeers are called Athos and
Porthos. What was the name of
the third musketeer. Was it A)
Aramis, B) Cardinal Richelieu,
C) D'Artagnan, D) Planchet.
Silence. The electronic clock ticks loudly.
Where are you?
I'm- I'm safe.
Ten seconds. So, Latika, what do
190 CONTINUED: 190
Five, four, three, two, one.
Time's up! Your answer.
I don't know.
The audience groan.
I've never known.
You really are on your own, now,
Jamal. Your answer: for twenty
Apka final jawab?
Yes. Final answer. A. Aramis.
The lights dim, the music crescendoes. A buzz runs
around the audience. Prem pushes the button on his
computer. Stares hard at Jamal.
Computer-ji A lock kiya-jaye.
Jamal Malik, Call Centre
Assistant from Mumbai, for two
Crore, twenty million rupees,
you were asked who the Third
Musketeer was in the novel by
Alexandre Dumas. You used your
final life-line to phone a
friend. You answered A.
Aramis.....which is...I have to
tell you...the correct answer!
Wild applause. Prem jumps up and pulls a bemused Jamal
to his feet, raising his arm in the air. Jamal is
smiling, but disorientated.
190 CONTINUED: (2) 190
Ladies and Gentlemen, Jamal
Malik, Crorepati! What a night!
We have all been present at the
making of history, Ladies and
Gentlemen! Jamal Malik,
To ever-increasing roars and applause from the
audience, Prem escorts Jamal off-stage.
191 INT. ROADSIDE SHACK. NIGHT. 191
The line goes dead in Latika's hand. She stares down at
the phone. The bemused family are still eying her like
an alien. She smiles at them and goes out. The traffic
on the road is still grid-locked. She starts walking,
faster and faster. Then she breaks into a run.
192 INT. JAVED'S SAFE-HOUSE. BATHROOM. NIGHT. 192
A small tv in the bathroom. Salim smiles.
Salim! Teri ma ki chute! Salim!
Javed is banging on the door. Salim gets up from where
he has been praying. He climbs into the bath which is
full of bank notes and lies down amongst the money. He
reaches across for the pistol and picks it up. Smiles
slightly as Javed smashes down the door, pulls the
trigger and shoots Javed. He falls onto the floor,
dead. But the Thug right behind him shoots Salim in the
chest. He lies back in the bath, the faintest trace of
a smile on his face as he stares at the pictures of
Jamal on the tv.
God is good.
193 INT. STUDIO. BACKSTAGE. NIGHT. 193
Prem and Jamal are being posed by photographers. A
giant-sized cheque for twenty million rupees is
manhandled onto the floor by the Floor Manager and an
Assistant amidst much cheering and laughter. Jamal is
snapped next to a scowling Prem. The Inspector appears
next to them.
Just one more thing left, Sir.
193 CONTINUED: 193
If you'd like to come with me.
He takes Jamal by the arm, leads him backstage.
194 INT/EXT. POLICE JEEP. NIGHT. 194
Jamal sits silent in the back seat next to the
Inspector as he drives through the traffic. Then:
Truth alone triumphs? I should
have known better.
The Inspector stops the jeep. Unlocks the handcuffs.
Holds the back door open for Jamal.
Thought you might need a lift,
He nods towards the outside world. Dazed, Jamal gets
195 EXT. CHHATRAPATI SHIVAJI TERMINUS. NIGHT. 195
Jamal finds himself gazing up at VT station. Slowly, he
wanders inside. The Inspector takes the contents of the
file and tears them slowly in half. Lets the pieces
fall on the ground. Gets back in the jeep and drives
196 OMITTED 196
197 INT. CHHATRAPATI SHIVAJI TERMINUS. NIGHT. 197
VT station is awash with the evening commute. Thousands
of people crowd the platforms, jostling the only still
figure who is sitting at the base of the statue of
Frederick Stevens. Jamal. Then there is a gap in the
wall of bodies that swirls around him. Jamal gets to
Then she is gone in the melee again. Only to reappear.
197 CONTINUED: 197
Jamal forces himself through the people. Nothing will
stop him. Latika too is shoving them aside until they
are face-to-face. They stop, look at each other, hold
each other's hands tight. The whole station seems
frozen, the only movement from a thousand bodies being
Jamal and Latika.
I thought we would meet again
only in death.
He shakes his head.
I knew you'd be watching.
Jamal puts his hand on Latika's chin, turns her head
gently so that she is facing him. He sees the knife
scars on her cheek for the first time. She tries to
turn her head, but he won't let her. Runs his hand
slowly down the scar. Rests his hand there.
This is our destiny.
He gently kisses the scarred cheek.
This is our destiny.
The camera pulls back and back, rising above the
station. The music starts and the frozen station comes
alive, two thousand kurta-clad men and saree-clad women
dancing in and out and on top of the trains, an unbound
celebration of hope and humanity that has at its
centre, Jamal and Latika.