Saturday 17 January 2009

Slumdog Millionaire


 Slumdog Miliionaire  is basically the rags to riches story of a slum boy who serves tea in a call centre and is ridiculed as a chaiwala by Anil Kapoor, who plays the host of Who wants to be a millionaire? For the uninitiated, Kaun Banega Crorepati was a copy of this show.

The movie has ample of masala with the introduction of a love angle in the movie. It is the story of Jamal Malik, a boy who wins a huge amount on the show and is arrested as he is suspested of cheating... Irrfan Khan plays the police inspector who arrests him and tries to make him accept his guilt. What happens further forms the essence of the movie. 

As Jamal explains every correct answer he gave,  a new chapter of his life unfolds... and so does the story of India, which every Indian knows and conveniently forgets... No it is not the history we're talking about, that is exploited well enough by the politicians (the "Gandhi" link being milked, as a reminder for anyone who needs their memory refreshed!) What is being referred to is the story of the parallel India, the India which people like Amitabh Bachhan don't really get a chance to come to, face to face.

Big B slammed the movie on his blog criticising the fact that it portrays India in a bad light. 

"It's just that the SM (Slumdog Millionaire) idea authored by an Indian and conceived and cinematically put together by a Westerner, gets creative Globe recognition. The other would perhaps not," Bachchan wrote on his blog.

If the movie projects “India as a third world dirty underbelly developing nation and causes pain and disgust among nationalists and patriots, let it be known that a murky underbelly exists and thrives even in the most developed nations.”


Read the entire article here .Well, this is what I have to say to him.

There's no point denying the existance of this parallel world. I do agree with him on certain issues like the fact that India has always been subjected to a biased treatment by international award committees, but let's forget about any awards for a while, national or international. Making these type of movies is extremely essential... how else is one to be reminded that all is not hunky-dory in the country and we have miles to go before we can even think about getting complacent and satisfied... and satisfied with what? With this kind of place?

In the movie, Jamal is shown having a protective brother but one who seems a lot more aggressive, a fighter... jealous of his brother sometimes envying him also because he gets the admiration of the girl Latika. The two brothers lose their mother in a riot that breaks out in the slum area where they live, the two brothers find themselves all alone with another girl Latika who survives. The boys are around six years old and start collecting scrap to survive... They're picked up by a guy called Maman, along with other kids who turns out be someone who disables kids physically and leaves them to beg on the streets for him! Jamal and his brother escape in a running train when they're about to be subjected to the same treatment, but Latika gets left behind... they start going places, commiting petty crimes like stealing chappals(footwear basically)  from outside the Taj Mahal and selling them in the chor bazaar. Or when a tourist mistakes Jamal for a guide, and shows him the money to take him on a quick tour, Jamal agrees without any hesitation inspite of not knowing anything about the place... So they are the partners in crime, with his brother Salim doing the dirtier job of stealing while Jamal engages the people... They are pretty ok with their life, when Jamal makes Salim go back with him to where they came from... to find Latika. They go back on Jamal's insistence and come face to face with Maman, there Salim commits his first major crime by killing Maman, and then later joins the gang of Javed who leads the opposite gang, believing that only Javed's men could save him now...

How many of us haven't encountered those kids at the traffic signals??? Almost all of us have... We keep hearing about the stories of all those gangsters with fear... Isn't this exactly the way it starts for them?  Even what Saddam Hussain eventually became, started this way... you don't have to believe me... google it!

I feel it's the type of movie that would make one think... and wonder too... It is no doubt a powerful movie, but criticising it because it portrays the India that normally gets left behind, is taking it afar! I would recommend watching it atleast once... for every Indian, atleast!

13 comments:

Unknown!!! said...

I watched the movie..and liked the buildup...and the movie went at the same pace from start till end..keeping us stuck to chairs throughout the movie..
..well Amitabh(and likes) wouldnt have commented that way if it was not made by a westerner.. I've seen the slums in Mumbai and I don't think the movie has any exaggerations

aZoed said...

I have been anting to write about the movie too, from the day I saw it... and quite agree with you on the existence of a parallel world, a reality which we need to be reminded of, so that we make the parallels meet someday... BigB.. nice actor, but ain't he doing wrong with us bloggers by stealing our domain? ;) We hear and see him a lot anyways!

Arjun said...

I very much agree with u....

People who criticize are all over the place.. I tell its not cool doing so...

With BigB ... India's nowhere near a developed nation.. I wonder if it can ever be (in every sense of the word).. Travel 50kms outside a city and u'll find how actual India is... Development is not all about the economy...

Anyways, gonna watch this movie soon as possible..

Cheers..!!
Arjun

Ashish said...

I too have seen the movie but I couldn't find words to describe the movie which is beautifully described in the movie....BTW well tried!!
nice work
good post
:)

Akansha Agrawal said...

@Unknown
It's not just Mumbai man... it's everywhere...

@aZoed
I agree, we see and hear him toooo much these days... probably taking up less ads will help his case!

@Arjun
Watch the movie and then tell me if u agree with me about the movie...

@Ashish
Thank you... :)

Chriz said...

i wanna see this one

Anurag said...

I haven't seen it but you are damn right in what u say .....

Aparna said...

i saw the movie and i really liked the novelity of the concept and for the harsh reality it depicted

amitabh in his plush sedan and ferrari might not be aware of this fact.

my heart went out for the blind beggars. How brutal can any human be to trick innocent lads for their eyes..?

wonderful review akansha!

keep it up
cheers!

Akansha Agrawal said...

@Chriz
Go watch... what's stopping you?

@Anurag
Thanks... :)

@Aparna
Thanks a lot gal... :)

Kido said...

Chriz, I'm with you. I too am yet watch it...

B/w good job:)

Keep going :)

kish said...

If an Indian Director would have done this, i'm sure it wouldn't have been nominated for the oscars.(they're pretty much biased:))But yeah, dont think anyone could've done this better than Boyle.
On a lighter note, i really like your blog. In fact, i'm going to follow it:)

Akansha Agrawal said...

@kido
Thanks mate... :)

Akansha Agrawal said...

@kish
Yes the bias is here to stay till we change their mindset...

Thanks a lot... Keep coming! :)