Monday, January 19, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire!!!!!!!

Hello Once again Ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to Reality Bites once again and today we discuss one more topic which is close to reality. Yes we are talking about none other than the much-hyped and awarded film - Slumdog Millionaire.

So before beginning let me give you a brief idea about the story of the film.
Slumdog Millionaire is the journey of a boy ( Jamal Malik) from the slums of Mumbai to the sets of Kaun Banega Crorepati. The story is set in flashback mode and is an account of how Jamal a poor slum dweller knows the answers to the questions asked on the show.

What remains prominent in this journey is the condition of the downtrodden in our city Mumbai and at the same time this story is about destiny and a will to do anything for your true love. Based on the novel Q & A by Vikas Swarup this tale is hard-hitting and at the same time interesting too.

Just like our blog this tale of ‘rags to riches story’ is difficult to digest because my dear friends some great philosopher had once proclaimed – ‘Reality Bites’ and this film is certainly not for the weak hearted who love typical bollywood movies. Yes, this film is about hope but its heart wrenching to see the condition of our so-called economic capital-Mumbai. In short great performances, great story and great direction is how you can sum up Slumdog Millionaire. (Oops I forgot great music by Mr. A.R.Rahman:D)

The following is a list of awards won by Slumdog Millionaire till now:

2009 Broadcast Film Critics Association The Critics' Choice Award:

Won: Best Picture
Won: Best Director – Danny Boyle
Won: Best Writer – Simon Beaufoy
Won: Best Young Actor/Actress (under 21) – Dev Patel
Won: Best Composer - A.R. Rahman

2009 Chicago Film Critics Association
• Won: Best Director - Danny Boyle
• Won: Best Adapted Screenplay - Simon Beaufoy
• Won: Most Promising Performer - Dev Patel
2009 Golden Globe Awards
• Won: Best Motion Picture - Drama
• Won: Best Director - Motion Picture - Danny Boyle
• Won: Best Screenplay - Simon Beaufoy
• Won: Best Original Score - A. R. Rahman
The above are a list of some of the prominent awards won by the film. The film has won more than 60 awards till now.

But every good thing is always criticized by cynics and yes a superb film like SM has also been slammed by some of the great stalwarts of our country.

According to Mr. Amitabh Bachan:

The Indian star had said" a murky underbelly exists and thrives even in the most developed nations... It's just that the Slumdog Millionaire idea, authored by an Indian and conceived and cinematically put together by a westerner, gets creative global recognition."
The Guardian (UK) said only a westerner could have made such an honest film. Indian producers are "fixated with making flimsy films about the lives of the middle class... Like Bachchan, they are too blind to what India really is to deal with it," it said.

Come to think about it, Amitabh is not entirely wrong. Westerners do love to see Indian poverty in fact Indian poverty still sells like hot cake in USA and UK. That is the only reason why films like Mother India, Salaam Bombay and Lagaan; all based on poverty get nominated in the Oscars.

What image of India will a 7-8 year old kid living in UK have of India when he watches this film? Films like SM might even prove to hamper the image of India which now no more is known as the third world under-developed country.

But at the same time we cannot ignore the truth because ‘TRUTH IS BITTER’ but it still persists no matter how much we try to ignore it. Dharavi is the biggest slum in Asia and that is the truth; an impoverished underbelly exists in major part of Mumbai and India and that is true and certainly we are not new to the fact that maximum percentage of our Indian population does dwell on the streets and the slums.

I feel instead of criticizing Danny Boyle (Director of Slumdog Millionare) we should try to improve the condition of our country by doing something for the poor. This movie should serve as a wake up call for the politicians. The day when we truly eradicate poverty from the face of our country will be the day when we can proclaim that – “you pathetic westerners have no right to portray our country in a negative light.”

Last but not the least some thoughts to ponder on:

1.) Why no Indian director thought of making the movie?
The answer is simple: We Indians love escapist cinema which takes us into a different world altogether. Also, the film wouldn’t have fared well at the box office.

2.) Amitabhji in numerous of your films like Deewar, you have been shown as a poor boy who becomes a criminal in order to become rich or take revenge against the society. So isn’t that making a fun of poverty and indirectly inspiring & leading unemployed poor people to the world of crime?

That’s all for this fortnight friends and before I sign out do post in your comments and yes one more important thing: let us all observe two minutes silence in the loving memory of ‘Chandni Choked Distributors’ oops I mean Chandni Chowk to China ( God save us from this

~ By Archer Akshay