There is a debate going on in one of my friends’ facebook profile.She recently updated her status saying ‘Slumdog Millionaire is a total put off’She felt it projected a very very bad picture of our country.She even felt all those Indians who had been a part of the movie shouldnt have been so.And that instigated an outbursts of sorts from other friends of hers.And the debate went on for a couple of days.
I read a review by Arindam Chaudhry which had been put up in my friend’s profile and this is what he had to say.He has literally crucified the movie.
One of my commenters here too opined that it was a movie that ‘celebrated Indian poverty and general condescending white superiority over the browns’.
I fail to understand why is the film being subjected to so much of negativity?All I ask is would the movie have garnered so much of flak that it is garnering now,had it been made by an Indian director?Arindam Chaudhuri feels the film does not have the sincerity of ‘Salaam Bombay’.Didn’t Salaam Bombay depict the plight of children living on the streets of Bombay?Yet it is being considered as one of the cult movies.Why?Because it was made by Mira Nair?
Slumdog Millionaire was shot in one of the largest slums in the world,Dharavi.So what?It could have been shot anywhere else.It just happened to be shot in Dharavi because the protagonist was a boy who lived in that slum.Its not as if Dharavi was suddenly discovered by Danny Boyle and his team.It is the harsh truth of our country.You cant deny it.None seems to be doing anything to clean up the mess in our country but blabbering on an on about how it is being projected outwardly.I totally agree with what worjunkie says in her post.It is high time we stopped being so self conscious.
Anyway I know its pointless to rant like this.The debate will continue.I liked the movie because it had a novel concept of relating each answer that Jamal,the protagonist,gave to the incidents in his life.It had some excellent music by ARR.It was a simple love story about a boy who takes part in a game show to look for his lover he got separated from.When he does find her,all the movie conveys is hope and positivity.Is that so wrong a message to convey?
What saddens me even more is in the midst of all this futile outbursts,we are overlooking the recognition that our very own A R Rehman,Gulzar andResul Pookutty have got.Being nominated for Oscars is no ordinary feat.Whether they win or no,its to be seen.But they surely have made India conspicuous by their achievements.Let us not take that away from them.