Sunday, March 01, 2009

Slumdog Millionare and Whatever

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Slumdog Millionaire won Oscars, how did this happen?
1. Slumdog Millionaire was indeed the best movie of the year.
2. American's love to watch Indian slums and poverty.
3. Danny Boyle cheated.
4. It was destiny.

Not surprisingly many Indians (including the Old B) think that this is definitely not the best movie of the year. I agree too. You see, we Indians are accustomed to such high intensity of melodrama that when movies like SDM are presented before us where almost everything is so subtle we toss it out. But in this case the movie went on to win BAFTA, GG and 8 Oscars and hence the controversy. If this movie was made by an Indian some of the scenes would've had a lot more intensity. One particular example, if the scene where Jamal and Salim lose their mother was followed by a really sad song with tears rolling down from the eyes of the (now) orphan kids as they walk on the roads with dead bodies, burning buildings in the background and with flashes of the moments of their mothers love. We would've applauded and marveled at the skills of the master director. There are many such opportunities in the film. But SDM does not get stuck, it just moves on. How could Danny Boyle simply let tremendous moments like these get by? What was he thinking? You see SDM cannot be the best because it completely missed out on such moments almost all the time.

Most Americans are Dimwits. They think that US is the center of the universe. And what else can boost their ego other than seeing the abject poverty in other countries. No wonder why 'City of Gods', a movie based on the life in Brazilian Slums was critically acclaimed by them. Of course, this year their judgment was completely flawed, they gave the best actor award to a gay and best supporting actor to a joker. But isn't it true that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder? Then if Oscars are the awards given by the American movie fraternity to the movie the deem best then who are we to complain. It's their movie and furthermore it's their award.

I must say one thing here, I have seen a lot of Hollywood movies and with some confidence I can assert that SDM is not the greatest Hollywood flick I have ever seen. So in spite of all it's natural flaws and short comings, how did this movie win 8 Oscars? In this case, all I can say to Danny, in words of Anil Kapoor (from SDM), "What a playa! Ladies and gentlemen. What a playa!".

Sometimes, you've got to give in to the elements of the nature. If I try to draw out the current global economic scenario, particularly in US and Europe as backdrop of the movie's release. I can say that the timing of the movie was impeccable. At a time when the entire rich part of the globe is looking at gloomy days ahead, probably this movie gave a message of hope. Again, the message was to the Americans and Europeans and not us Indians.