Thursday, January 22, 2009

Slumdog Blah Blah....BLEH!!!!

Danny Boyle and team, take a bow! Slumdog Millionaire is a fine movie indeed. While the movie releases in India today; being the internet pirate that I am, I checked out a downloaded version weeks back. Fine print, yay!
Now I really liked the movie, I did but things are getting on my nerves now. India, heard of the word "overkill"???
Though I am not surprised but I'd yet want to ask, "Why". Why the madness over the movie? You flip news channels and there are hour long segments over the flick. The movie being nominated for the Academy Awards and newspaper front pages are screaming so. The Globes are over, SM has packed in its kitty a whole load of them and we still can't stop rambling about it. Why?
Hello? SM is NOT even an Indian movie. Sure it is set in India and has a few Indians on the crew but so what? Why are we so hell bent on SM being our moment in the sun? There were other movies like Holy Smoke, The Darjeeling Limited and a few more set in India. When did we go all out to champion those flicks? Maybe they didn't have enough Indians on board. Maybe they didn't showcase our country enough. MAYBE THEY DIDN'T FARE ALL THAT WELL IN INDIA OR SWEEP AWARDS GALORE.
This whole idea of what I completely see as "stealing thunder" disgusts me.
It's just like how we hailed Sunita Williams or Bobby Jindal as Indians when they are actually far from that. I'm sure we understand how having roots in a certain country and pledging alliance to another are two different things. We are the very same who will not tire labelling Sonia Gandhi as an Italian.
Sure celebrate when A R Rahman won the Golden Globe, celebrate if he wins the Oscar, celebrate if good old Anil Kapoor brings home a few recognitions, celebrate if Irrfan Khan is appreciated but why want to go the whole hog? (FYI, Dev Patel is British!!!)
Yet another issue surrounding the movie caught my fancy...our demi God Amitabh Bachchan's perspective on SM. How he thought Danny Boyle portrayed India as a "third-world, dirty, underbelly developing nation". Of course Mr. Bachchan now does claim how he has cleared the air with Boyle and how the media interepreted "incorrectly"! I'm so sorry Mr. Bachchan, we scribes really don't know our job. Thank you for blogging!
I must admit that though initially I did agree to a certain extent but thinking over it, I felt that this is after all a story of a dude from the streets hitting it big and not about Mumbai or India. As a film maker, would I really be showing Juhu in all its grandeur when my protagonist is from Dharavi? I think not!
My good friend, Gautam "The Goatman" Kagalwala has a tongue-in-cheek remark to offer. "He's mistaken that the rest of the city lives the kind of life he lives," Goat says.
The movie has just been premiered here and the news channels are a little short of showing the entire flick if they could.
If only, if only we could live with the fact that we have enough ourselves to take credit for. If only we realise that we just might be taking the charm away off...a "fine movie". Really!

All things bright and Biprorshee

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