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“The Slumdog Millionaire” and “The Hurt Locker” Films

Modern cinematography is the world that perfectly reflects the problems of people and the situations that are created in the world now. It may be said that cinematography reflects the problems which are urgent to modern people or have some relation to appeared situations, such as poverty, war, money, love, desire, world crisis, and other notions which are widespread in modern society. Film directors usually show their personal attitude to things and situations they describe. Still, there are a great many different concepts according to which films may be analyzed. People may consider the main theme of the film or its mission and answer the question about what message the director of the film wanted to deliver to the audience. Furthermore, the cast and the roles may be analyzed. Taking the films The Slumdog Millionaire and The Hurt Locker as the focus of the discussion in the paper, the analysis of the films is going to be conducted from the perspective of geographical concepts that include the following notions as, space, time, place, scale, social formations, and landscape and environment.

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Geographical Concept

Before starting the film analysis, it is necessary to conduct a review of the concepts which will be discussed while this analysis. The geographical concept that is going to be the center of the films’ analysis contains a number of different points that should be checked. First of all, the geographical concept components are space, time, place, scale, social formations, and landscape and environment. It is supposed that place and time are such geographical notions that are rather understood. Space is the notion that describes objects around and the connection of these objects with our life. The scale and social formations are the notions of geographical concepts that are rather interconnected. Social formation shows the society that lives on the territory while scale measures this society and identifies its main characteristics and scope. Landscape and environment represent the understanding of where the situation takes place and what the surrounding conditions are from the geographical point of view (Holloway, Rice, and Valentine 94). Conducting a content analysis of each film, these notions are going to be referenced and deeply discussed.

The Slumdog Millionaire

Plot Summary

The main focus of The Slumdog Millionaire film is Jamal Malik, an 18-year-old boy, and his life, full of poverty and suffering. The film starts in the police office where Jamal is taken for the suspect in cheating. The desire to meet the person he loves, Latika, pushes a boy to play a popular game, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, as he is sure that Latika will watch the program and is sure to see him. When the last question that costs Rs.20,000,000 is left, police takes the boy to get to know how a person from slums can answer such difficult questions. Jamal tells his life story where he describes the parting with Latika and his life situations which gave him answers to the questions. In fact, police officers believe him, a boy returns to the program, answers the last question about the musketeer’s name, and at the end of the film kisses his love, Latika, at the last scene (The Slumdog millionaire). The film shows the everyday life of poor people who live in slums and have to plead for charity to survive. Moreover, the cruelty of the modern world in the relation to such people is displayed.

Content Analysis

The Slumdog Millionaire movie is directed by Danny Boyle, one of the UK’s finest directors, in 2008. The movie could be seen in the city cinemas since 9 January 2009. The film was nominated for 10 Academy Awards in 2009 and managed to take 8 of them. The most notable prizes are the Best Picture and the Best Director. Moreover, the film got seven BAFTA Awards and four Golden Globes. Filming started on 5 November 2007. It should be noticed that the film was shot in the open air in Mumbai’s mega slum and in shantytown parts of Juhu. The film crew had to try hard to control crowds and make them friendly observe what was happening (‘The Slumdog Millionaire’ Official site).

Turning to the film content analysis from the geographical concept perspective, it should be noticed that the events that take place in India and modern times are represented. The boy was left without a mother from the very childhood. The destiny makes it possible for him to live with his brother, Salim, and Latika, a girl he first cares for and then falls in love with. The two social formations are shown in the movie, poor people who have to lead terrible life to feed them and violent and cruel gangs who think that they can do all they want. The destinies of these two absolutely different societies cross. Poor people become dependent on violent gangsters and it seems that nothing can change the situation.

Watching the film it may be considered that the described situation is not only in the film, the scale of the problem is broader. The director of the film wanted to show the disastrous state of poor people in India, their dependence on criminals, and their inability to change something. Jamal is the boy who dared to change it. His attempt to go to the game is audacious and desperate action but it worked. Being unsure of his skills, Jamal is lucky to have questions that once were parts of his life situations. For example, Jamal knows that Amitabh Bachchan played the main part in the film Zanjeer as once he was lucky to have the autograph of Amitabh Bachchan, a famous Bollywood star. The same happened with the other questions, all the answers were taken out of different life situations Jamal was faced with.

The landscape and environment in the film are significant and show the specifics of India. First of all, it should be mentioned that the main social environment that is discussed is the poor people who live in the special parts of the city. The slums are presented with the whole intensity and power. Shabby and dirty streets are some of the signs of being in a poor area. The film shows the audience the whole ‘beauty’ of slums, both the side view and inside. People in slums are absolutely different, they are cruel and bother only with their personal destiny without considering the wealth of others. Looking at the scenes from Jamal’s childhood, it becomes a surprise how this boy living in hostile and criminal poor parts of the city managed to become a good-hearted person with great many positive features.

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The other example of discrepancy of the environment and behavior may be observed in the situation when Salim being a member of the gangs’ sets Latike free from her despotic husband. Salim is sure that he will be killed for such actions, still he cannot behave the other way, he really worries about the destiny of his brother and nearest friend. The movie presents great many of different topics, such as love that cannot reduce even in distance, the cruelty of modern Indian people and the family bonds that may never be ruined. So, it may be concluded that relating to the geographical concept, the following information about The Slumdog Millionaire movie was gathered: space – poverty, time – modern era, place – India, scale – poor people in po, or side of the city, social formations – power people and criminal structures, landscapes – poor slums’ streets, and environment hostile, cruel and egoistic.

The Hurt Locker

Plot Summary

The main idea of the film is to show people the everyday life of U.S. Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit that is responsible for mine clearing of improvised explosive devices. One of the teams is centered in the movie. The team consists out of three members, Sergeant J.T. Sanborn, Specialist Owen Eldridge, and the newcomer Sergeant First Class William James. He becomes a team-leader and from the first days he sows himself as reckless and intrepid person. The job people perform is connected with huge risk. Moreover, behavior of William James sometimes puts the members of the team in the situation of unjustified hazard. The tension between the members of the team increases. Still, they are the professionals and can continue their work together. The film shows constant pressure and fear of death. After all, returning home to wife and infant son, William James understands that one of the things he loves most of all is the ability to help people and to feel that fear he used to being the member of Explosive Ordnance Disposal team. So, he returns to Iraq to continue his mission (The Hurt Locker).

Content Analysis

The Hurt Locker movie was shot by Kathryn Bigelow in 2009. The main characters of the film are Jeremy Renner who plays Sergeant First Class William James, Anthony Mackie who plays Sergeant J.T. Sanborn, and Brian Geraghty who plays Specialist Owen Eldridge. The film was nominated in ten Academy Awards in 2010 and won six of them. Moreover, the 2010 BAFTA Awards nominations were won and the movie was nominated in three categories in Golden Globes (‘The Hurt Locker’ Official site).

Turning to the geographical concepts and their representation in the film the following information should be considered. The Hurt Locker is the movie that depicts a hard and dangerous work of combat engineers who have to work in Iraq. The main aspects of the Iraq war are presented in the movie with its cruelty and injustice. The audience is represented with the war laws from the very first scene when William James comes to replace Staff Sergeant Thompson who died while task performance, clearing of mines and other improvised explosive devices. It should not be noticed that the director of the movie wanted to underline the cruelty of the present time that happens when most people stay in safety homes far from Iraq with its horror.

Describing the space, it should be mentioned that the events take place in one of the Iraq cities and people live under constant pressure of empty houses, whose inhabitants have left their homes to leave far from the war events. The bombsuit is one of the main factors in the movie that also one of the object that is included in the space concept. The bombsuit reminds people who wear it that the tasks they perform are extremely dangerous and may lead to serious injury or even to death.

The landscape presented in the film is ruins, something that used to be a city some years before but it is war that did not leave it any chance to remain it. The dust and spray are the accompanying of those who dare to visit the city. Furthermore, considering the geographical location of Iraq and the places of war events, the mountains and hills with rocks and sand surround the team members who have to act cool and resolute.

The team of three people usually has to be in the center of danger; they are to behave in pressure and tense. The environment inside the team also adds to the stressing situation. The newcomer, William James behaves as fearless and brave person, but the others members of the team, Sergeant J.T. Sanborn and Specialist Owen Eldridge, consider his actions stupid and hasty. These three persons have to work together and rush and heedless action of one can lead to the death of the whole team. The tension inside the team increases and comes to the highest spot. It is very difficult to work in such conditions, in the environment where, on the one hand, people are under the pressure of responsibility of their own lives and lives of the other people and, on the other hand, these people cannot communicate in a proper way and are unable to understand each other. Constant blames and misunderstanding lead to Eldridge’s injury and the main guilt of this lies on James’ shoulders. The scale of these people is not so huge, still such environment does not give other an opportunity to perform their tasks in a proper way. The social formation may be described by the gathering of people with high education and special training in one and the same field, war running. So, concluding the relation of the main notions of the geographical concept to the film, it may be underlined the following, space – war, time – modern era, place – Iraq, scale – the whole war region of Iraq and people who have relation to the events, social formation – educated people who have come through serious training and obtained some war running skills, landscape – mountains and cities of Iraq, and environment – tense, dangerous and cruel.

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Comparison Analysis of Movies

The films The Slumdog millionaire and The Hurt Locker are absolutely different from the first sight, still, it depends on the fact which perspective and concepts take as the basic for comparison. The main focus of this paper is to represent the movies from the perspective of geographical concepts, such as space, time, place, scale, social formations, and landscape and environment. After a thorough analysis it was concluded that these two films have both similar and various ideas if to consider them from geographical perspective.

Taking the concept of geographical lime, it should be noticed that the films are similar here as they represent the same periods, modern era. Both the modern Iraq and modern India are the centers of the movies. Still, there are no any words about time relation of the movies, the indirect hints direct the audience to the idea that the modern time is meant. The war in Iraq continues and it is obvious that the director of the film wanted to show the people the life of soldiers who have to continue the war. It is also easy to understand that modern India is meant because the center of the film is Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? game that is a modern one.

The place is absolute different in the movies. The events in The Slumdog millionaire take place in India while The Hurt Locker situation occurs in Iraq. Still, it is possible to find the similarities even in such absolutely different items; both Iraq and India are situated in Asia and are considered to be the countries of the third world, the developing countries with the low level of development.

Continuing the discussion of the similar notions in these two films, it should be noticed that the landscape and environment may be related. Describing the environment similarities of these two films, the word cruelty arises. Both, the slum environment with poor people whose desire just to feed them and have at least any interest from all they do and see and war environment with death and danger are cruel. The antagonism reigns in these both movies. If some people think that slums are not dangerous, they are wrong. Danger along with tense, egoism and hostility is living there. Still, the directors of the movies showed these feelings and emotions differently. The Slumdog millionaire shows the cruelty of slums still pointing yo the fact that there are some people who still can be good-hearted and positively educated, without any sins. The Hurt Locker is more direct in this notions and shows only negative environment.

Comparing the landscapes of these two movies it is surely noticed that they are different. One of the main features is that Danny Boyle showed the houses full of people, especially children who move to and fro, while Kathryn Bigelow represented the picture absolutely free from children, moreover, the houses are empty as people run away to be as far as possible from war. Still, the cities are similar, devastation and poverty reign in these two movies. Though, the The Slumdog millionaire landscape is more colored and picturesque, as it is not colored with the war paint and there is no sorrow on the houses. Being inanimate objects, the houses and surrounding territory still can reflect mood and feelings.

The space in the movies is absolutely different. When The Slumdog millionaire dwells upon poverty and the inconvenience it brings, The Hurt Locker reflects the war with horrifies, fears and grief. Are the situations similar or different? Thinking on the question, it was concluded that it is impossible to answer the question clear. On the one hand, both poverty and war make people suffer, they die more frequently in these both conditions, and it is possible to call these events as a disaster. Still, poverty has two natures, either people do not have an opportunity to come out of the situation (no education or physical or mental disabilities) or do not want to. War has only one nature, the power desire. It is impossible to reject that one of the main reasons fro war is the desire to have a power. So, it may be concluded that poverty is the reason of the very person who suffers, while war does not depend on those who have to take part in it, in most cases the war decision is made by people who do not under fire.

The other geographical concept is the social formation that is absolutely different in these two movies. The Indian poor people are represented as uneducated and criminal, while those who take part in the war are shown as the warriors who are able to show their patriotism and desire to help. The scale of the social formation is different in these two films, as in India only one region of the city is shown where the poorest people live, while Iraq society is depicted.

Referencing the films to the geographical concepts, it is easy to find the similarities. Moreover, the deep analysis of these two pictures gave us an opportunity to see that the social problems are aroused. Poverty is one of the main disasters of the whole planet. Even the developed world suffers from the problem, trying to use different leverage. Danny Boyle depicts a love story via the life of poor people and in such low-pressure manner pointed the whole world to the problem. Suffering from the consequences of the world crisis, many people have to face the problems they newer new before and the motion is one of the methods to refer to the problem before it is possible to change something.

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Kathryn Bigelow depicts absolutely different theme, war. It is impossible either to predict or to prevent it in most cases as power is one of the greatest desires that people may feel. War brings suffering and deaths. Thus, nothing depends on simple people who are sent to kill and to be killed. The director of the film tried to present the problem of war in the modern world and how people become dependent on it.

In conclusion, the films The Slumdog millionaire and The Hurt Locker are the great ones which deserve people’s attention (taking into account the fact that these two films won Oscars in a number of nominations and were awarded in some other world famous film festivals). Considering the movies from geographical concepts, it should be concluded that it is possible both to compare and contrast these two films taking into account different items and perspectives. The films seem to be absolutely different, while the consideration from the perspective of geographical concepts shows that the time the events take place in the films is similar, as well as the regions, the developing countries of Asia. Still, the cities are different and the problems in these cities are absolutely various. Moreover, the environment is both hostile and dangerous. Still, the films may be differently explained especially from the point of view of social formations. The main aim the directors of the films wanted to deliver was to show the world the problems that exist in Asian countries and make people think on the solutions to them.

Works Cited

Holloway, S. L. Rice, S. P. and Gill Valentine. Key concepts in geography. London: SAGE, 2003.Print.

The Hurt Locker. Dir. Kathryn Bigelow. Perf. Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, and Brian Geraghty. First Light Production, 2009. Film.

‘The Hurt Locker.’ Official site, n.d. Web. 2010. Web.

The Slumdog millionaire. Dir. Danny Boyle. Perf. Dev Patel, Madhur Mittal, and Freida Pinto. Celador Films and Film4 Productions, 2008.Film.

‘The Slumdog Millionaire.’ Official site, n.d. Web. 2010.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, December 13). “The Slumdog Millionaire” and “The Hurt Locker” Films. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/the-slumdog-millionaire-and-the-hurt-locker-films/

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StudyCorgi. (2021, December 13). “The Slumdog Millionaire” and “The Hurt Locker” Films. https://studycorgi.com/the-slumdog-millionaire-and-the-hurt-locker-films/

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"“The Slumdog Millionaire” and “The Hurt Locker” Films." StudyCorgi, 13 Dec. 2021, studycorgi.com/the-slumdog-millionaire-and-the-hurt-locker-films/.

1. StudyCorgi. "“The Slumdog Millionaire” and “The Hurt Locker” Films." December 13, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/the-slumdog-millionaire-and-the-hurt-locker-films/.


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StudyCorgi. "“The Slumdog Millionaire” and “The Hurt Locker” Films." December 13, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/the-slumdog-millionaire-and-the-hurt-locker-films/.

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StudyCorgi. 2021. "“The Slumdog Millionaire” and “The Hurt Locker” Films." December 13, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/the-slumdog-millionaire-and-the-hurt-locker-films/.

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StudyCorgi. (2021) '“The Slumdog Millionaire” and “The Hurt Locker” Films'. 13 December.

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