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Prem Kumar

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Prem Kumar is the main antagonist in the dark comedy book Q&A by Vikas Swarup. He is played by Anil Kapoor in the film.

Prem Kumar is the equivalent of the Game Show Host in the movie version Slumdog Millionaire except in the film he is not a villain at all. Prem Kumar first appears when the protagonist, Ram, a boy who is unusual because he has a Muslim, Indian and Christian name, (Ram Mohammed Thomas) sees a strange man leaving the houses of Nita, a prostitute, and Neelima, a famous actress. Ram becomes suspicious seeing the same man leave the houses and thinks he may be involved in Neelima's suicide and he has his suspicions confirmed when Kumar's face is shown on the advertisement for a game host seeking a customer. Ram is angered at Kumar's treatment of the women he knew so he decides to go and confront the bastard.

The game

During the game, Kumar appears civil enough, he greets Ram eagerly at the start and challenges him with different questions about life and everything, including what is the capital of India, to which Ram correctly answers Dubai, to the surprise of the audience who betted he would not know. Kumar poses challenging questions such as what is the nature of dacoits (Indian criminals) which Ram had happened to meet in the past. Kumar's questions get more and more difficult until they get to the thirteenth question.


Ram makes an excuse in the break to go to the toilet, and Kumar says he will go too. In

Kumar (unnamed in the movie) as he appears in the movie

the privacy of the toilet, Ram confronts Kumar, pulling out a gun he had been saving for the very purpose that this opportunity gave him. Ram aims the gun at Kumar who is confused why he is angry with him suddenly. Ram interrupts Kumar's pissing to say that he knows that Kumar killed Nita. Kumar lies and says the name means nothing to him. But then Ram presses him further and says that he killed Nileema, the actress, by raping her before she killed herself. Kumar finally confesses out of fear, and admits that he is indeed a master criminal, and that he was the rapist of both women, and he has been in league with big criminals to make Ram win the tournament from the start. Kumar pleads with Ram not to kill him, saying he will help him win the quiz. Finally, Ram reflects, and allows Kumar to live, and the man tells him how to win the show.


Ram goes on to win the quiz with Kumar's "help" but the bosses aren't satisfied with the cheating and Kumar is called away by a criminal afterwards at the end of the tournament which Ram notices, saying "Houston, we have a problem."

Soon afterwards, Kumar is found dead in his car, suffocated by poisonous gas. People think he killed himself, but Ram is certain he was executed by the gangsters.


Kumar is the main antagonist of the novel, and however in the film he is replaced as a likeable, charming character. Unlike many Indians, Prem Kumar could speak very good English, like Ram. Kumar had good business skills and was possibly rich, and he used this to worm his way out of rape and other crimes. However, his luck ran out and the bosses got him.

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