I had to stop my Kudremukha Travelogue Part 2 midway to write this post. I finally watched Slumdog Millionaire today, on the big screen.Most people have already seen the movie. So this is not a full-fledged review. And thank god I didn’t heed those numerous advices from people (Download it and watch it. Not worth watching in theatre. Its normal masala movie). But therein lies the movie’s strength. This movie is entertaining cinematic experience at its best. Yes, it is a masala entertainer.
‘Tu Mere Saath Daance Karegi Na…’
My idea of judging how great a movie is simple – images from the movies still come to your mind , you are humming the songs from the movie & you think about the characters from the movie long after you left the movie hall. There are such sequences galore in this movie. All the actors do their job very well – nice chemistry between the lead pair, the kid Jamal, a wicked Anil Kapoor’s superlative performance etc.And Rahman’s background score pitches in with perfect timing, everytime. All the little song sequences in the movie are highly entertaining.(Particularly O Saaya in the opening minutes, which sets the tone for the rest of the movie) And the movie as a whole is,to quote a cliche, a visual treat. Overall, loved it. All I can say is either be an intelligent movie goer and know what to expect from the movie and enjoy it or keep cribbing how you’ve know idea how this ‘average masala’ movie is garnering awards in bucketfuls all round the world.
‘Shut up! The Man With The Colt 45 says shut up!’
Now to the big debate. The ‘award worthiness’ of the movie and protests from obscure organizations about Indians being called slumdogs in the movie.By this time, it should be amply evident what kind of Indian movies win recognition in the West – the other side of the world where the Oscars are distributed. A peek into the past to look for the Indian movies that won oscar nominations will make the picture clear- Lagaan,Salaam Bombay,Mother India. My thinking is they see it as artistic cinema – this depiction of the underbelly of rural & slum-ridden India in all its pathos. For instance,even the first glimpse of Taj Mahal in the movie is shown with some filthy water body in the foreground (Or is it the Yamuna???). And when the movie has entertainment value with colorful Bollywood song-and-dance thrown in, its icing on the cake.And to extend this observation to another medium, consider another recent award-winning piece – The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga. Every sentence in the Man-Booker prize winning literary work drips with not-so-subtle hints about the malodorousness prevalent in the Indian society,veering towards plain yuckiness regularly in its 300-page story. Many people have the same opinion as Slumdog about this book too. The message should be clear by now.
Slumdog Millionaire is now a frontrunnner for the Oscars. So lets root for it. I sure hope Rahman wins an Oscar (yeah yeah, I know he’s given much better movies in the past.Now stop whining :P)
‘It is written’