PRODUCED BY: Celador Films, Film4, Pathé Pictures International.
DISTRIBUTED BY: Warner Bros, 20th Century Fox, Channel 4 (click here to see the full list).
BOX OFFICE: $141m (USA), £31m (UK).
RATINGS: 8.1 (IMDb).
I am going to analyse the opening scene of this film. It begins at 00:40 (after idents) and ends at 1:53.
Apart from the idents, there are no other credits. They are all shown at the end of the film.
At 00:57, a date and place appears on the screen in the top left corner. The font is fairly small and simple. It says 'Mumbai, 2006', which gives the audience some information about what to expect, and where it all takes place. At 1:00, some more writing appears, releasing even more information to the audience. It tells us a name and a situation, however it still is not clear who this name belongs to and who is in this given situation. It also asks a question, making the audience get involved and to perhaps suggest that somehow there is police involved. At 1:02, the man blowing smoke hits the first character across the face. It becomes clear that the first character is under some sort of interrogation, linking the name and situation with the police.
However, we're still not entirely sure as there has been no dialogue.
After this scene, 4 possible answers to the question asked previously appear, in the style of 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire'. The theme tune to the game show has begun to play in the background. There is a montage, of someone dropping a lot of money into a bath tub, and the first character. From this point, we can figure out that the first character is waiting behind the set of 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire', therefore confirming that he is the name given (Jamal Malik) and he is in the given situation; he is one question away from winning 20 million rupees. However, the questions says 'How did he do it?' which contradicts the previous statement. This questions suggests he has already won the money whereas the statement above suggests he has nearly won it...
From this, we can also figure that the film has gone back to how it all began, as he has already won the money. We can then work out that the 2nd seen character is interrogating Jamal, after, we presume, winning the money.
Whilst the music is playing, there is someone introducing the game show, telling us what is going on. At 1:27, we get the first bit of face to face dialogue. The shot type is a close up, however the lighting is poor and dull. A new character is asking Jamal if he is ready, and as Jamal replies, a spot light flashes on and off of him. This effect enables us to briefly see the characters face and emotion. He looks quite nervous and seems to be staring at one place, perhaps trying to calm his nerves. At 1:44, Jamal and the new character walk onto the stage. The shot type is a two shot, with the unknown character looking up at Jamal smiling, but Jamal is still looking else where with a nervous expression. We can figure out that the new character is the host of the game show, but we are still wary about him as we have not been given any information about him.
At 1:48, there is a birds eye view of the stage on which Jamal, has just walked onto. This gives an all round view of the setting. The opening scene effectively ends as the music comes to an end. Jamal has sat down in the hot seat and is about to start playing the game. The effect of the game show theme tune playing is a clever way of introducing the start of the film and also the start of the game show, even though there are flashbacks, despite the fact that we do not discover that they are flashbacks until later on in the opening sequence. The dimensions of the screen are long and thin, cutting the top and bottom halves of the characters faces off.