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July 1, 2009

The Review

I saw the TV premier of the movie “Slumdog Millionaire”. There has been a lot of controversy involved around this movie especially the way India has been depicted and the debate brought on by an actor’s blog. Also wanted to watch Frieda Pinto’s acting whether she is good enough to share the limelight with Hollywood stars.

When the movie first released, I hardly felt the need to watch it somehow I had the feeling that the movie was not that good. So ever after winning 8 Oscar awards, I still did not change my mind on watching this movie. When I saw the promos of it being aired on the television, I made sure I watch it to find out the truth whether it deserves the hype or not.

Here is my verdict. The movie failed to make an impression on me and I am glad that I did not go to the theatre. The story of an underdog who goes on to become a millionaire, if one has watched closely enough it is a typical Bollywood dished out movie with a Hollywood style of finishing to add to the overall taste (just like a pinch of salt perhaps).

I am thinking of catching up with the other nominated movies to know how this movie went to win the Oscars. There were heavy contenders as far as I know from the story plot. I am wondering how a movie goes on to win a Best Picture or Best Director award without any members of the cast being nominated for their roles while this was not the case for the other movies nominated under the same categories.

There is no denying in one fact though, the word “Slumdog” will be used as a racial slur against Indians. Regarding the debate that has been brought by the actor’s blog if one has watched enough Bollywood movies; they would realize that the common man is no more part of the Indian society. Most of the movies would show the actor hailing from a rich family and they live in palatial houses, which most of the Indians can only dream of buying. Where is the Amol Palekar who represented the common man? Somehow I have this feeling of him getting replaced by Abhay Deol (with the exception of certain movies). Something that is close to reality and people could relate to. Why is that Hollywood movies tend to be closer to reality whereas ours far away from it?

The movie showed the life of the people who we choose to remain ignorant about. I liked the Taj Mahal scene the most where Mumtaz was said to have died in a road accident. I don’t believe the movie is good enough to win the Oscars; somehow my interpretation of a movie winning an Oscar would be based on how the movie moved one in a certain way and the feeling remaining in the end or making one think even after it had ended. This movie fails to do so.

Frieda Pinto is hardly there on the screen. A 5-10 min role which makes it hard to tell about her acting abilities. I hope she is good enough to get signed by Hollywood. I also hope that she is aware that this won’t last long that coz not many Indians or for that matter Asians do not have things going for them. One’s looks matter a lot. No doubt Ben Kingsley (real name Krishna Pandit Bhanji) who played Gandhi had a longer stint coz no one could not make out, that he was of Indian origin and not white as he is mistaken. Bend It Like Beckham is a good example, the lead star Parminder Nagda got overshadowed by Kiera Knightly who had a small role and went to working in big budget movies. As for Dev Patel, he seemed to carry just one expression through out the movie.

In the end, the real winners were the slum children who played the main characters childhood coz there lives have been transformed in a big way and hope that they are able to make the best out of it and stay on top of whatever comes their way.

I am proud of A.R. Rehman and Resul Pookutty for making India proud :D


sujata said...

My sentiments exactly!!

Winnie the poohi said...

Cudnt agree more! It doesnt deserve to win!

Zainab Dhanji said...

The movie was okay. Had they not created so much hype about it, i might have liked it more than i did.

Deepali said...

I haven't seen the movie so will skip this post in case there are any spoilers :)

Shwetz said...

"As for Dev Patel, he seemed to carry just one expression throughout the movie.."


Wasnt keen on watching the movie either. Your reviews saved me from the regret of missing it out on saturday night :P

A.R Rehman rocks anyway! \m/

Indian Home Maker said...

I agree, I didn't think the movie was all that great at all. Loved A R Rehman's music though :)

Adisha said...

Another example of sheep mentality ... what else can one say ...

The Survivor said...

@ All

Thank you for your comments. I actually thought that there wont be many takers, but you gals surprised me :)