Intrigued by Jamal’s story, the jaded Police Inspector begins to wonder what a young man with no apparent desire for riches is really doing on this game show?
When the new day dawns and Jamal returns to answer the final question, the Inspector and sixty million viewers are about to find out.
As such, Slumdog Millionaire strikes me as a hugely important film in contemporary cinema.
It's an advertisement for the dramatic potential of the non-Western city.
Yet the film, which for all its breathless intensity rarely subverts our expectations, and which in its final section sticks closely to the conventions of modern action drama, never fails to grip or to delight.
It's easy to sense the excitement that Boyle – and his cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle – felt when shooting in Mumbai.
Mumbai, Chennai, Shanghai, Lagos: they, not New York or Los Angeles, over-familiar and culturally declining cities both, are where any writers and directors should be heading today.
They offer more energy, extremity, humanity – fillips to the imagination.
"Slumdog Millionaire" is the story of Jamal Malik, an 18 year-old orphan from the slums of Mumbai, who is about to experience the biggest day of his life.
With the whole nation watching, he is just one question away from winning a staggering 20 million rupees on India's "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?