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The film is based simply on the belief that “it is written.” Destiny is the reason that Jamal has found his way into a police station to be tortured with electricity and beaten in order to find out if he is cheating on the Indian version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire? His whole life is described in every answer to Prem’s questions on the show. Jamal is a poor boy from the slums of India. By no means should he have the ability to answer any of these questions as he hasn’t been given a formal education and has had to survive his entire life. And in a country that for centuries has been divided by class with extreme poverty, the opportunity to make oneself rich is a fantasy. And for many more it isn’t even a thought.
Jamal has always lived his life with the belief that his life is destined. We see this in his relationship with Latika. She is left behind by Salim when they escape and for years he cannot stop thinking of her. He even finds her after years apart. But once Jamal is over the hurdle of finding her he must come face to face with Salim, his brother who betrays him by sleeping with Latika and running off away from Jamal. And everything that happens becomes part of Jamal’s destiny which is less about winning money than it is about gaining back the love of his life. The show is merely a catalyst for him to be able to once again find Latika, and this time never let her go.