Posted by: Myself | February 4, 2009

Of Slumdogs and Millionaires

Hope you are not one of those aliens who are still looking for reviews of Slumdog Millionaire. Blockbuster, Superb Screenplay, clichéd yet motivating, typical bollywood masala, dirty picture of India, not so great. These are some of the commonly appearing words in mixed bag of reviews this movie generated. Many ‘nationalists’ slammed it like anything declaring it yet another western myopic approach towards India. Painting it as dirty as it can (or should i say as it is ?)
Looking at the awards nominations and wins its definitely darling of west. They got something new to cheer to.

They don’t see everyday kids emerging out of shit literally, pardon my language, to see his superhero is celebration of human spirit and determination.
They are not used to some 200 odd people dancing on highly electric numbers on a railway station. It was something like broadway musical to them.
They don’t see slum dwellers playing cricket (or baseball for that matter) on airport runways. It was innocence (i guess so ) in its true form for them.
Dialogues like come with me … just for my undying love is insanely romantic for them.
Child turned blind just to make him better beggar is cruelty in its true form.

After so many new things apart from many more packed in one movie definitely turned them on ! No fault of danny showing what they rarely see. After all he is doing his job in a manner he found it most suitable. As an Indian i definitely found it uncomfortable to see directly in mirror reflecting most basic problems of poverty, child abuse, etc very much part of Indian society. But don’t you think such things come under artistic freedom. Did we ask Mani Ratnam why he showed one of the ugliest faces of india in Bombay ?
or should americans protest against Scorsese for painting Boston as mafia hood ?

why do have just problem to anything rather than trying to solve that problem. Of all the people who very comfortably slammed it saying its painting india in general and mumbai in particular in bad light have ever done anything to change it ? It might be ordinary by standards of many indians who think we have produced far better cinema in past and went unrecognized by west. Then why do we crave for their awards so much ?

If they liked the bollywood masala (if SlumDog is one acc. to them) then why not refine our masalas and earn big bucks like hollywood movies ? every year we see much of masala on silver screen that any attempt that tries to capture things little differently are tagged as parallel cinema. Thanks to multiplexes things are changing a bit but still we have a long way to go.

As a movie buff(i like to call myself a one :)) I definitely liked the movie. Not that great but yes one of the finest i saw lately. I wasn’t surprised the way west lapped it up. Given the fact of variety it adds to the nominations it has to be among them in a major way.
As for advantages this can bring to indian cinema i can see a definite opportunity to show west that we really have that kind of movies and music that they are finding so innovative and melodious for a long time and are really capable of producing it time and again ! Hope someone cache this opportunity before it fizzles out.



  1. It was a good movie as a movie(nice statement, isnt it). But I don’t know why some people start weighing it in scales of cliches, negativity, realism etc. Well everyone has his point of view.
    By the way,
    >>danny showing what they rarely see
    This is what West actually think India is. Its not what they rarely see, its what they normally think…

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