Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Why Slumdog works.

NOTE- Daddy, this will be my LAST post for the next two months. Rest of you, leave in your good wishes and stuff for my boards. I'm going to need it!

This comes 2 days after the Oscars and since everyone's been talking about whether or not Slumdog Millionaire deserves the 8 Oscars, I thought I'd have my say as well.

Why it worked everywhere. I think the world embraced the movie because it fit everybody's perception of what India's all about. I mean, song and dance? Check. Slums and communal violence? Check. Call centres, brothels, crowds? Check. Maybe it does seem like Danny Boyle concentrated everything India's ashamed of and put it into a movie. Maybe it is something un-Indian claiming to be Indian. At the risk of sounding unpatriotic, whatever said and done, however exaggerated it may be, the movie only showcased the existing downside of the country. Don't get me wrong, India is so much more than all this. Poverty and corruption ISN'T what India's all about. But still, I think we all have to remember that ultimately this is a work of fiction. NOT a documentary on India and everything it stands for. The same thing goes for Aravind Adiga's The White Tiger. He had it all, the cynical, unapologetic style. The unrepentant protagonist unafraid to strip his country's seeming sheen away from everything it was proud of. India's naked Darkness. And it won the Booker.

Ultimately, with all the political incorrectness taken away, Slumdog the movie is a celebration of love, fate and spirit. Its a hundred coincidences put together in the name of destiny, and at the end, you feel good. Its about a guy you might bump into everyday in the streets, getting what he wants despite the odds. Maybe it isn't typical cinematic finesse. Maybe its predictable and corny. Maybe it isn't as dark as the movies today are. Maybe it doesn't deserve the Best Picture Oscar in itself. But with a practically unknown cast, a low budget and an utterly forseeable narrative, what its managed to do is commendable, according to me.

And one of the things it HAS managed to do is bring Indian talent to the fore. AR Rahman's genius goes way beyond Jai Ho and the rest of the soundtrack. But thanks to this, the world can now revel in everything he's capable of. International acclaim is what it takes for us to sit up and notice unsung heroes. Resul Pookutty, prime example. It took an Academy nomination for the everyday Indian to know who he was. Slumdog did its part in putting Indian talent on the map, even though in the process it might have showed the country in not exactly all its glory. It gives two slum children a shot at a life without the penury they faced until now. And in the process, it reiterates that slumdogs can indeed go far.

I'm not entitled to comment on whether or not it deserved the Best Picture Oscar, seeing how I haven't watched the rest of the movies nominated. And I do agree that there was way too much hype shrouding the movie for an honest appraisal of it. And that the awards that came its way were mostly because of its exotic appeal. Nevertheless, Slumdog Millionaire is a movie that should be watched and enjoyed for its creative appeal and its feel good factor. Hey, there's a reason we all love fairytales!

3 people shouted back:

straight from the heart said...

atulaa here are my wishes for your boards ...u'll top as usual dont worry too much about it..btw vidyuth is gonna kill me for being online:p

Prashant said...

Some people want it to happen,some wish it would happen,OTHERS MAKE IT HAPPEN. Best Wishes to u!!!

spadika said...

"I think we all have to remember that ultimately this is a work of fiction. NOT a documentary on India and everything it stands for"

OMG. I said EXACTLY the same words to my friend the other day.
EXACTLY the same! :O

Post a Comment