Monday, February 2, 2009

Of Slumdogs and Tigers

Much has been said and written and debated on Slumdog Millionaire. The phenomenon that brought Indian names to the global circuit and gave Hollywood a run for their money (or so they claim!). That left western minds apparently pondering on "Jai Ho" and "A R Rahman" and the slums of India. I haven't seen the movie myself but did hear a great deal of comments for and against it. A colleague said the story is quite interesting, and the movie well-made. But Mr Arindam Chaudhuri has a different opinion.

The Booker winner, The White Tiger (Arvind Adiga), is a similar topic in question. Not many who pounced on it as soon as the Award was announced, gave me a positive opinion on it. None did, in fact. It pays to note that all the readers who gave me their valuable opinion were all Indians. (The reviews I read on the Net were also not too favourable.) "That's not the real India!", they scream. "The books that sell in the Western World are those that portray India in the meanest light."

The same was said by many, for the movie "Slumdog Millionaire" too.

It is possible that the movie would not have been noticed abroad had it not been directed by Danny Boyle. It is possible that no one in India would have given any importance to the dirtiest slums and the vilest people shown in the movie, had it been directed by an Indian. So why the hype and the hoopla? If the movie does land an Oscar, as an Indian I would be certainly in the foggiest confusion as to whether to rejoice for Anil Kapoor and AR Rahman and the rest of my country-men-and-women who were involved in the making of the movie, or to deplore the state our country has been reduced to in the eyes of the World.

Hmm. Makes one wonder what the movie is all about and start looking around for the nearest theatre that plays it.

1 comment:

  1. This was shown in a theater about 25 miles from here (I live in a small town and it didn't make the local one). I kept trying to get around to see it, but wasn't able and it is on a list of DVDs to check out (but I've been told it really needs to be seen on the big screen).

    What are your thoughts on Deepa Metha films? I've found them to be well done even though they are dealing with tragic topics.