Friday, January 16, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire - Gross!!!

Slumdog Millionaire is a first India based movie (not Indian) which has won Four Golden Globe Awards and is a strong contender for the Academy Awards. Here comes a British Director (Danny Boyle), portrays life of Mumbai slums and gets laurels for it. The obvious question that comes in the minds of Indians is: What does this movie have that has made it win Golden Globes and kept it in a race for Oscars? Considering the poor records of our movies in the academy Awards.

Is it realistic? No. The movie might portray slum life but the plot can hardly be called “real”. Here is a “Slumdog” who speaks accented English and wins 20 million rupees in a game show, just by sheer luck. Does that sound real?

Is it entertaining? Hardly. Seeing Shit holes, gruesome abuse, poverty, dirt of slums and many more stereotypes about India that westerners have can not be entertaining for Indians at least.

Is the acting extra ordinary? No. Apart from the veterans like Anil Kapoor and Irfan Khan, the new actors are amateurs.

Is the music outstanding? Hardly. Rehman is undoubtedly a musical genius and he deserves every prestigious award on the planet, but he has done much better job in hindi and regional movies. Slumdog Millionaire does not have an extra ordinary soundtrack, if we compare it with Rehman’s previous work.

Then what is it that has helped this mediocre flick win so many laurels? It’s the crass portrayal of the Ugly side of India. Whatever scientific and developmental progress India makes, westerners want to and would like to believe that India is a piece of Garbage and this movie quite literally depicts that mindset. Every country, however developed is, has a dark side. But, when it comes to India, west want to see the “real India” which they think is filthy, poor, and ugly.

Movies that show our creativity, music, culture, scientific and technological progress never interest them. But show them shitty slums, filthy lanes and poor people, they’ll be more than happy to watch it. Poor India and poorer western mindset!!!

The movie plot portrays the journey of a Slum boy Jamaal Malik (Dev Patel, with British Accent) from being a “Slumdog” to the millionaire, by winning a television game show. Each question asked in a show seems to be related to gruesome experiences of the boy’s childhood. Boy manages to answer almost all the questions and is on the verge of winning the show. But then the show host (Anil Kapoor) gets him arrested because he believes that a “Slumdog” can not know the answers and should not win the fortune. (Does that make sense? This is the biggest loophole of this immensely flawed script) Anyways, the boy gets out of the jail, after a considerable torture by police, thanks to the change of heart of the policeman. (Irfan Khan). He then answers the last question and wins the show, despite Anil Kapoor’s reluctance.

And guess why the boy participated in the Game show? To find his childhood sweetheart and not for the money. He thought she must be watching the show. Now that seems ridiculous, but is so much like hindi movie love stories. Nothing “real” about it!!!

The only positive aspect of the movie is well edited script which makes the story fast paced. Please don’t waste your precious money for this movie. Watch it on a borrowed CD or DVD.