Comparitive Essay Between "Millions" and "Slumdog Millionaire" by Danny Boyle

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In both ‘Slumdog millionaire’ and ‘Millions’, the director Danny Boyle explores the subject of brotherhood. Furthermore, in both films, Boyle makes the same suggestion that the strength of brotherhood bonds is tested when circumstances change to increase pressure in the relationship. In both films, this theme is explored through the development of the characters in the opening scenes, the rising action and the climax. In the film ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ we are taken to the city of modern Mumbai and into the life of a man named Jamal Malik as he attempts to win the TV game show ‘who wants to be a millionaire’ in order to reunite with his long-lost childhood sweetheart, Latika. The film ‘Millions’, also from Boyle, tells us the tale of how the brothers Damian and Anthony react when a duffle bag filled with millions of soon-to-expire British pounds fall from the sky near their house.

In the opening scenes of ‘Millions’, Boyle leads into the theme of brotherhood by introducing us to the characters Damian and Anthony through the use of camera work. The film begins with a montage of many different camera shots cut together to show a bicycle race between the brothers from a train station, to the construction site where the foundations of their new house are being laid. This has the effect of showing the audience that the brothers have a strong and positive relationship, as they are appearing to enjoy themselves in each other’s company. This introductory montage ends with a high angle shot of Damian and Anthony lying on the ground close next to each other after the race, looking happy and smiling. This, combined with the montage, has the effect of leading the audience to believe that the brothers enjoy each other’s company all the time – whether they are playing, competing or in this case relaxing. Through these techniques the audience is shown the strong brotherhood bond between Damian and Anthony before circumstances change or pressure is added to the relationship.

Similarly, in the opening scenes of the film “Slumdog millionaire” Boyle also introduces us to the subject of brotherhood, and the bond between Jamal and Salim Malik, again through the use of camera work. In the early scenes of the film, a Montage of different shots is used to show the brothers running away from guards on an airstrip, after being caught playing cricket with some other kids from their slum. Throughout the chase, the brothers stick together. This has the effect of introducing us to the characters of Salim and Jamal, as well as making us aware of their friendship and brotherhood. Early on in this montage, a Medium Close Up shot is included, showing Jamal and Salim smiling and high-fiving whilst running away from the guards. This montage has the effect of leading the audience to believe that the brotherhood bond between Salim and Jamal is very strong, as they stick together even in the face of danger, in this case being caught by the guards. Both the Montage and the Medium Close Up shot address the subject of brotherhood, and show us the strength of the bond between Jamal and Salim before circumstances change to increase pressure in their relationship.

In the rising action of ‘Millions’ the strength of the brotherhood bond between Anthony and Damian is tested when they disagree about how the money should be used. Boyle again conveys this changing dynamic of the boys’ relationship through the use of dialogue, editing and camera work. Shortly after the money is discovered, Damian and Anthony are in town when Damian sees a woman selling copies of the Big Issue. “Big Issue anyone?” she says, to which Damian replies “Here, and keep the change.” She responds “Thanks mate. I’ve had nothing to eat all day!” to which Damian replies, “We’re going to Pizza hut. Want to come?” At which point Anthony overhears the conversation and interjects “No! No she doesn’t, she just wants more money! We haven’t got any more!” Ignoring Anthony, the lady replies, “I’d fancy...
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