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Movie Review for Human Development


Slumdog Millionaire is a nice movie that tells how resilience through love and destiny grows in the bosom of Mumbai, India, despite poverty. The significance of this text in the study of human development is that it describes lives and problems by which its characters face difficulties during their life. This paper aims to critically analyze this film about the character explorations using developmental theories regarding Jamal, Latika, and Salim. We want to unravel human development from the film in fragments and understand resilience, a necessary condition for growth that applies to every individual’s life.

The movie “Slumdog Millionaire” is a powerful story reflecting the essence of human development in Mumbai’s slums. The director of this movie, Danny Boyle, demonstrates how Jamal Malik, who is a poverty-stricken boy in the slums, rises through abuse and love. The relevance of this text to the study on human development emerges in elaborating people’s capacity for compensation for their conditions by recovery and restoration, as well as social relations with other individuals. Attempting analysis of ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ through developmental theories, we aim to decipher the intricacies behind what constitutes human nature in this story and three concepts: identity, attachment, and resilience, which believe they are vital parts of a person.

Character Analysis Through Developmental Theories

In the picture “Slumdog Millionaire,” Jamal Malik passes an intense journey into development at a psychosocial level in terms related to Erikson. The process of developing life stages from confusion with who he was and role diffusion will lead him to Ego integrity versus despair. Jamal faces severe odds and societal rejection but is characterized by a great ego, as described in Erikson’s theory. Additionally, Bawane (2021) points out how marginalized children are portrayed in the movie and helps elaborate on Jamal’s suffering and social heritage. Through developing Jamal, “Slumdog Millionaire” offers a nuanced representation of the accruing and formation of the identity alongside survival in an unfortunate environment (Beware, 2021).

Attachment theory can be applied to Latika from the film Slumdog Millionaire because this phenomenon reveals what type of attachment and separation they signify in her development. The journey of Latika’s attachment is represented by her closeness to Jamal in the beginning, forced separation, and serial relationships with Salim, as well as other captors. Drawing from Bhandari’s (2021) analysis of Orientalist representations, we can place Latika and how she wowed within a broader cultural and socio-political milieu, analyzing how popular Orientalist tropes may impact her portrayal and influence. Here, the long-term nature of these early relationships is illustrated through Latika’s trauma, not eliminating her resilience and ability to care for another. “Slumdog Millionaire” has a character called Latika who can prompt thinking about the sophisticated relationship between attachment experiences, cultural representations, and individual development (Bhandari, 2021).

The character of Salim from “Slumdog Millionaire” provides an excellent opportunity for analysis within a sociocultural context, illuminating the interplay between culture, environment, and socialization in the designation of behavioral trends or actions. From being a preteen boy living in Mumbai slums, dealing with the brutal realities of existence as Salim does to his career as a criminal and eventual redemption is an example of how social-cultural background shapes an individual path. Integrating Boyle’s insights into cultural representations in the film, we gain another angle on the nuances of Salthe’s characterSalthe’s character and how it relates to a larger social context. The actions and decisions taken by Salim are not restricted to personal agency but come from an environment that has been culturally set up. A sociocultural analysis of Salim from the movie Slumdog Millionaire reflects that human development is balancing personal choice and culture.

Ethical Considerations and Alternative Approaches

In turn, when watching ‘Slumdog Millionaire,’ the audience is confronted with moral dilemmas concerning popular topics like child labor, poverty, and abuse. We understand the effect of poverty and neglect better when we think about how a character like Jamal is maimed by studying Hu’s (2023) use of metaphors. The film portrays child abuse through intermediaries and forced begging, showing the necessity for addressing structural issues that uphold this maltreatment (Hu, 2023).

Other ways of dealing with the threats that face characters are interventions aimed at underlying causes such as poverty and inequality, including action, health equality, and economic empowerment. Second, it is essential to provide deep-fixed support services for victims of abuse and exploitation’s recovery from trauma. However, community-based initiatives and advocacy programs can also be important in changing the norms of society to create a change that will reduce cases of exploitation or abuse from recurring. Suffice it to say that, through ethical reflection and proactive interventions such as shown in this feature film by a contemplative viewer who can determine whether the social justice approach is recommended.

The film “Slumdog Millionaire” represents a man’s triumph over poverty, love, and destiny that overcomes all obstacles. Some themes demonstrated in the movie include identity formation and attachment and play through Jamal Latika and Salim, who are given opportunities to grow because of sociocultural intervention. It will do justice to the study of human development since it looks at how struggles, wins, and changes are made through bad exposure. The name Slumdog Millionaire speaks of the irony between Jamal’s low-key upbringing and his accomplishments, which mirrors in us how much prosperity every person contains despite any circumstances they are brought to this world with.

The film relates to specific concepts and theories of human development study. The work of Erikson is crucial in Jamal’s identitarian development and resilience, creating new perspectives on his life; the attachment processes give more detail on Latika. The character of Salim presents a clear illustration of how sociocultural variables from the environment shape one’s behaviors and decisions, as social theories have noted. Overall, Slumdog Millionaire is a movie that focuses on human development as an extremely messy process that includes factors such as resilience and relationships in one’s life blueprint.


The developmental perspective on Slumdog Millionaire sheds interesting interpretations of human evolution. Psychosocial and sociocultural theories provide a deep understanding of character development in film. The film is loaded with a sentimental aspect of tenacity, challenges, and transformations that reflect human life. A sharp turn on the complex capacities of identity, social and cultural conditions, and attachment in the film makes one think about the universal aspects of challenges surrounding and challenging human integrity. By watching “Slumdog Millionaire,” they may also notice the other background factors that can influence human life. Personal references do not inform the characters’ experiences in the film but can be inclined to the economic inequalities in society.

Understanding the general structures of the system, which in this case do sustain human growth, is of much help to enable us to see the importance of particularities as well as details and how they are essential contributors to several ways between the privileged-based oppression and how it is related to humans. Other than that, the film also focuses on aspects of power and success. Despite enduring various hard times, the film characters stay determined and unwavering. Their stories go a long way to bring out the fact that not only is resilience standing but also one way to finding meaning and purpose amidst the suffering we have in life. In this case, the film challenges the aspects of success and makes us humans appreciate the same within society.

Apart from being a masterpiece in cinematography, the film becomes a key study of how human life and nature come together and build up an inherent life. By analyzing deep within the developmental theories, one can understand personality, identity-based attachment, and social-cultural factors that resonate with them. Thus, multidisciplinary approaches focusing on elements that impact a human’s life allow one to interpret problems such as resilience difficulties and growth in human lives via “Slumdog Millionaire” in a much easier way.


Bawane, D. M. (2021). Representation of Subaltern Children in Slumdog Millionaire by Vikas Swarup. Turkish Online Journal of Qualitative Inquiry12(8).

Bhandari, U. (2021). Orientalist Representation of India in Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire (Doctoral dissertation).

Hu, J. C. (2023). Maimed, Disabled, Enslaved as Commodity: ChildMaiming in the Lens of Critical Consciousness.

Schwartz, D. B. (2020). ‘We control the engine, we control the world’: the geopolitics of gender, nation, and labor in hard-to-place transnational films. Transnational Screens11(1), 1-17.

Boyle, D., & Tandan, L. (2008). Slumdog Millionaire. Fox Searchlight Pictures.


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