Tuesday, March 3, 2009


We all have witnessed the phenomenal success of Slumdog in Oscars. Suddenly an indiscreet slum in suburban Mumbai became the toast of the most coveted awards, so much so that it swept it completely. I have not yet watched the movie which really does not come as a surprise as i have not been into movies lately but for someone who know me well enough, me not having watched Slumdog yet would be slightly misplaced. Though i am still pondering over watching the movie, the debate and fervor that movie has generated in the media actually qualifies me to have watched half of it.

Last few days i have been traveling a lot and one very important stopover for me was Mumbai and it happened just after the success of Slumdog. The primary reason for the visit was a long pending case in Andheri Court which I had to settle. I arrived in the court at about 10.30 and was waiting for my lawyer to come and suddenly the whole atmosphere was charged with the noise of “Jai Ho” the Oscar winning song of Gulzar and AR Rehman. A group of children from the nearby slum were taking out a procession and were escorted by the media team. Suddenly these children have now become an overnight celebrity and both local and international media wants to cover them like never before.

In media circles there is a huge debate going rounds that whether the success of this movie is because of purely artistic ability, great story, great music and the sheer brilliance of Danny Boyle or is it simply because the director has once again been able to poverty India in a way the suits the foreign taste (poterying poverty and slum of India). The very fact that the person residing in slum has been labeled dog underscore a very important point.

It would be hysterical on my part to join another debate but the point I want to make is the success of this movie has given new hope to slum dweller not just in Mumbai but across India and may be the world. The lives of the cast would never be the same again but i hope that this trickles down to the ordinary slum dwellers and would help change their lives for better. Also the fact that Indian artist got the biggest recognition globally would encourage many more to live their dreams. No wonder that the first Academy Awards of the recession turned out to be, as one headline proclaimed, the first outsourced Oscars of all time. 




SearchingSoul said...

I couldn't agree more with your thoughts. I have not seen the movie either but it looks like half of it was already shown by the media hype.

I also wonder why they call those slum dwellers DOG. I haven't been to India but I've seen a lot of slum areas in my country. Being poor doesn't make them deserve to be called dogs. They are fellow human beings with dignity.

But no matter what my thoughts are about the movie, I am happy that the high and mighty Hollywood suddenly recognized an Indian movie. It's a long overdue award. I just thought that they should have done that a long time ago with M Knight Shayamalan for The 6th Sense.

Anonymous said...

one more insightful contribution ... great going buddy.


Putu said...

I'm here not to protest the award winning Slumdog Millionaire film or "Dog" label on the title.

To me this movie is ordinary, why i said ordinary because the story told is general problem that occurs in poor country, developing or even developed country, like vicious circle of poverty, from generation to generation with different names, like a curse that can trap the neck of inhabitant slum areas. Religion that supposed to save humans from sin, but so many sins that created in the name of Religion.

Because being such ordinary, events as described in this film has cause us not see or pretend not to see what being happened in front of our eye, and let it happened without doing anything, aren't they humans?, same as those who sit inside skyscraper building, those who live in elite residential?, those who wear government labeled uniform?, do we notice those people in slum areas exist?, or like street dogs that roam without getting our attention?, It feel ironic that everyday on the street we met “Jamal”, “Latika”, ”Salim” who bath with dust and sweat, while those "Maman" relax drinking soda not far. But why many people debating label that's being given?, almost everyone without being notice or notice has label them "dog" nicely without word, by being pretend that they have.

By this ordinary story, Danny Boyle has succeeded to pack something that is ordinary become extraordinary with beauty, very creative. I guess there should be more film as this, and not a big matter whether it is being made in India, Indonesia or even in developed country, maybe by film people can have their heart inspired instead of seeing the reality, the fact is that after the launch of the Slumdog Millionaire film trigger reaction whether is pros or contra. Slumdog millionaire is the best Asia's movie that I have ever watched.

Mukund said...

Slumdog has been commented upon alot... I would only like to add that I am not sure if the movie gives the right picture to the world about India...
Your post was an interesting read...


Thanks SearchingSoul, Rahul and Mukund for the acknowledgment and sharing your views. As for Putu,you should start a new blog yourself and i would be the first one to follow it. But please dont stop commenting on my blog.
Aside for Rahul...Buddy you need to contribute more, you already have a fan following and i have a real good feeling about it.