Slumdog Millionaire: an amateur analysis by me

So finally I happend to watch Slumdog Millionaire today. I will be honest in saying that I was more curious to watch this movie not because I was dying to see Mumbai's slums on a 70mm screen (I see them day in and day out), but I watched it coz I wanted to know in what way was the film so special that it was showered with 4 golden globe awards.

So back to the film...well after watching this film, this were my views:

1. Firstly, Yash chopras, Karan Johars and Ekta Kapoors should take a lesson or two from Danny Boyle; because seriously I felt embarassed that a firangi has to show us the plight of my city, while the Chopras, Johars and these directors make senseless films like KANK, Rab ne Bana di Jodi and all that...which anways indicate that there is just one culture in India and that is Punjabi culture. Nothing wrong about it, b'coz south indian flicks show south indian culture, Bhopuri flicks show UP culture. But my point is that there should be less of thrashy flicks and more of intelligent and realistic films to be made. We obviously don't need a firangi to show us our plight. Madhur Bhandarkar has already done it excellently in Traffic Signal so has Meera Nair in Salaam Bombay.

2. We Indians are awesome people. Ok I know that we are an uncivilized bunch of people with bad table and telephone
manners. But you know what, long ago Herbert Spencer gave a theory named 'Survival of the Fittest' and we Indians stand testimony for this theory. In this film Salim and Jamal Malik (two brothers) survive through some of those really bad situations and are actually smarter than the page3 socialites and fashion gurus who have been brought up in some posh south mumbai locality. We (the middle-class and lower class population which constitutes 75% of India) can survive anywhere and everywhere because the situations in which we have been brought up have made us smart and tough.

3. Yes Yes the film has got not one but four awards, but like it or not the flick won these many awards because everyone abroad loves to see India in a poor light (in Munnabhai MBBS, a chinese tells Arshad Warsi that he wants to click photos of poor India). What better film than this to show us in a poor light. Till today, many do not like to consider India as one of the frontrunner for the powerful nation's slot.

4. The film showed that Infrastructure in our city is terrible. Jam-packed that's how our city is. There is no space at all. The film should be a gentle reminder for builders and govt babus who give permission for constructing buildings and all in every available spaces. Sanitation, healthy development of children are all a thing of past. Sometimes I feel the rural kids are luckier than us as they atleast have vast expanse of fields to run into. Bad, haywire construction of buildings for money...this just makes me go maddddddddddddd.

5. Finally, the film has taught me a lesson that I better not shell out money to maimed kids singing darshan do ghanshyam more...I would rather buy them a parle-g bicuit or a vada pav instead.

P.S: Importantly, I advice Big B to try some other ways to garner publicity instead of criticizing such films which are 10,000 times better than his film BOOM.
JAI HO!!!

17 comments:

Rum said...

Well said and nicely written.. two corrections though. 1. its Salaam Bombay (not Mumbai)... 2. its Salim K Malik and Jamal K Malik n not Khan (it was Javed Khan... Mahesh Manjrekar) .. remember Jamal typing the name in the pc at the call centre??..

gayathri-vishwanathan said...

oh yaa thanks yaar for correcting me...yes it was javed khan and they were malik. and i have got so used to writing mumbai that i forgot it was bomaby earlier.

The Layman said...

We (the middle-class and lower class population which constitutes 75% of India) can survive anywhere and everywhere because the situations in which we have been brought up have made us smart and tough.

Can we include the middle class? The middle class of today is just as guilty of the sins which we accuse the rich of. The middle class leads an almost similar, if not the same, lifestyle.
Career, money, fame are just some of the blind folders which blind us from the realities of India.

I'm not generalizing though.. speaking of arm chair activists like me and my ilk! :)

gayathri-vishwanathan said...

layman...middleclass can still be included. The middleclass whom you are pointing out to are the one's who work in huge MNC, BPO and IT firms. There are many middle class people who have to face severe conditions of haywire infrastructure. You know in places like Dahisar and Nalasopara (extended suburbs of mumbai) there are severe water-cuts and electricity cuts...despite this people survive there. This is what prompted me to say that we can survive anywhere and everywhere.

Ajit said...

yeah, good analysis....
came over from Ajith's blog...

The film does show a side of my fav mumbai which I did not like, but unfortunately, all this does happen....
and secondly, our film makers should learn from this, coz I am bored of these NRI films...

and it also reminds me, that we have a long way forward... we indians....

Mona said...

Good one Gayu! It is very true that the firangs love to see the slums and poverty in our country coz for them its is like a visit to the zoo to see rare animals. They never get to see slums, n street children there so they r in complete awe of it when they come to india and see it... n not to forget, this IS the reality. We live in our highrise appartments, drive in the cars n all that, but how many of us have made an effort to do something for these stret kids? Has Mr. Bacchan ever cared to donate a samll some to them instead of donating a silver mouse to some temple to wade off the ill effects of marrying Aishwarya to his son? No! He has no right to say that the movie shows india in bad light. He needs a reality check! n so so WE!

gayathri-vishwanathan said...

Hi ajit...thanks for visiting my blog, yes even I am equally sick of NRI movies (they were novel some 5 years back, now they have become a bore).

monaaaaaaaa,Big B has become old and no one is giving him bhaav, thats the reason why he used this as a bahana to garner publcity. As for we living in high rise buildings and driving cars and doing nothing for street kids, I agree with you on that point and I am miffed with apna budda government coz they hardly take any initiative to improve the lifestly of such kids and families per se.

Arun Meethale Chirakkal said...

Agree with you except for this "Yes Yes the film has got not one but four awards, but like it or not the flick won these many awards because everyone abroad loves to see India in a poor light"
Isn't it generalising? I'ven't seen the film but similiar charges against the latest booker winner 'The White Tiger', which i found totally baseless made me think on these lines. After all isn't it a reality that our country has an ever-widening chasm between the haves and havenots?

Ajith said...

The film is awesome, superb screen play and direction. Something which our stupid directors in bollywood should take a note of. There are people who have criticized this movie for showing the slumps, but as u rightly said the film is actually portraying the survival instincts of kids in Indian slums. The Indian middle class will soon wake up and start chasing their dreams, the result will be unimaginable.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/6294409.stm

Blogrolled u!

gayathri-vishwanathan said...

@arun...had it been a question of just the white tiger book I would have said that yes probably I am generalising. But then When Taare Zameen Par- an equally good film with excellent starcast, excellent director and good music was not shortlisted for the TOP 5 foreign films this year in Oscars, I was forced to make that statement.

@ajith firstly thanks for blogrolling me, and yes even I am hoping sincerely that bollywood directors will start making some good films after watching this flick.

A S said...

Hi Gayathri

I liked ur comment number 5. Most of these beggers are professionals. Its better to buy such hapless kids some food.

But I feel we have over-hyped the Oscar awards. And everything western. I think we must have strength and confidence in our own abilities and talents rather then always looking for the stamp of the west in everything we do.

AS

Rahul Viswanath said...

Stopped by our blog for the 1st time ..... I second you on SDM review .... Its high time our Hindi Film Industry learn few good things from it ........ :)

ApocalypsE said...

SM is a awesome movie... I think the same way about Big B's comment...

Praveen said...

dropping in here for the 1st time..

a well done review thr..rather I would call that lessons learned from the film...

loved the previous one on ADs too

Gaurav Bhat said...

Well, yes, it looked as if the entire poverty porn episode was completely blown out of proportions. But, to be honest, I wasn't quite impressed with the movie. The screenplay has some glaring flaws and hence I don't think it deserved to win so many Academy awards.

gayathri-vishwanathan said...

@AS thanks for the comment, yeah the movie is a bit over-hyped. I agree.

@rahul, we share the same surname don't we?

@apocalypse, thanks for visiting.

@praveen, yes indeed we have learnt sme real good lessons more so about survival instinct.

@gary, yeah i thought milk was better than SDM. But that's ok...i am glad atleast Rahman won :)

Shiv Lingam said...

Slum dog was an extremely well taken movie with one exception - the scene where the boys drench themselves in shit is obnoxious and unnecessacary...Dont u feel "A Wednesday" was also a classic...only an indian directed it?