28
Jan
09

Slumdog : A point of view

I watched the famous Danny Boyle movie last Sunday. It was well directed, an oscar deserving movie and a great performance by the cast, refreshingly so because of the lack of main-stream Bollywood stars. It’s amazing that after decades of churning out movies upon countless movies, Bollywood is yet to make a movie comparable to Slumdog Millionaire. This goes to show that you do not need breath-taking foreign locales,  scantily clad exotic dancers or a star-studded cast to make it to the oscars.poster1

The movie released the same day as “Chandni Chowk to China”, which was a super budgeted movie starring the currently ruling King of Bollywood, Akshay Kumar. The project had roped in Warner Bros. and Orion Pictures production houses with a massively anticipated North American release. What happened next was the obvious, it failed miserably to impress anyone, not even Indian audiences.. and they wonder why they don’t win oscars! It was probably too ambitious a venture anyway, Indian cinema still needs to learn the ropes when it comes to the international entertainment market. Musicals are a thing of the past, unless performed by good-looking high school-going teens with endless energy coupled with a great performance and acrobatic dance sequences.

bournesupremacyThe level of maturity of Bollywood action directors can be measured by the fast paced chase sequence in the first scene of Bourne Supremacy. The scene was shot in the streets and gullies of Goa, with a Hyundai Sonata and Maruti Gypsy. I could never imagine  the 4 wheeled gypsy to be so maneuverable, but with a world class director, anything was possible. There were no unnecessary explosions, but it was still one of the best chase scenes shot in india (Another one would be the Auto Rickshaw chase in James Bond’s Octopussy). No Bollywood Blockbuster movie would come close enough to making that impact on the audience.

And we, as Indians, would shamelessly claim the success of Slumdog Millionaire as our own, where nothing from the director to the actors were remotely Indian. Let’s see, director : Danny Boyle, Screenplay Writer : Simon Beaufoy, Adapted from the book Q&A by Vikas Swarup, who by the way, has been nominated and won awards possibly everywhere else except India (But I’m sure he’ll win a few Indian awards soon enough, judging from the International popularity of the movie). The actors were never heard of before, except for Anil Kapoor whose influence in Bollywood was kinda waning, what with him getting old and stuff. The kids (Jr. Hero and Heroine) were superbly impressive, and kudos to the Director for not making it JASMBF (Just Another Stupid Mushy Bollywood Flick). The locations were life-like and not overly extravagant, with the Millionaire Don’s house looking pretty humble, a relief from the usual golden staircases and diamond-studded chandeliers which indicate affluence in Bollywood movies.wednesday1

Anyways, Indian Cinema is in its adolesence with the “off-beat” movies released which makes more sense with a realistic view of life and the problems we face. Movies like “A Wednesday” which didn’t involve murderous lyrical songs with “Item numbers”, but rather focussing on the story line making it a movie worth spending money at the hall for, and left you thinking about the movie when its over, than about the stupid dialogues and pick-up lines which only roadside romeos would utter in utmost confidence. Afterall, it happens only in India.


6 Responses to “Slumdog : A point of view”


  1. 1 ruolngulworld
    January 29, 2009 at 5:46 am

    Watched ‘Slumdog’ about a week back. Though I would like to say it was one of the best movies I’ve seen, it was something of a letdown for me after all the hype. Definitely one of the better films I’ve seen, especially Indian or based on Indian themes, but I didn’t come away with that satisfied sense of having spent a good 1 and half hours of my time. Maybe ‘Casablanca’, the classic Humphrey Bogart movie which I also watched at the same time, spoiled it for me🙂

  2. 2 NotGood
    January 29, 2009 at 6:38 am

    I have 250+ GB of downloaded pirated movies, but unfortunately Casablanca isn’t one of them, I’m not much into romance but I should probably try it.. The oldest movie I have on the list is probably “The Elephant Man”.. I must say, B/W movies still do have the old-school charm..
    btw, don’t go by the hype surrounding a movie, its just the media doing their job.. there are better movies low on hype but large on content.. I think IMDB.com does a pretty realistic rating of movies based on what’s watchable and whats not (Tho’ sometimes, I download movies with ratings below 2.0 just for fun)😀

  3. 3 chhamanator
    February 1, 2009 at 11:43 pm

    …. and they complained its a poor representation of India, the hypocritic, double faced anti-everythings.. Dude, you have to watch Casablanca. And in the meantime, download the two Monty Python movies as well..

    Good blog btw, all the best, brah…

  4. 4 NotGood
    February 2, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    Thanks chham.. Its an honor to have u here.. You bring comic relief to the blog🙂 I will watch Casablanca, maybe not now, but definitely sooner than later, just to see what the fuss is all about. I’d like to think watching Wuthering Heights would last me a lifetime of Classic romances.. hehe

  5. 5 gkhiangte
    February 9, 2009 at 9:38 pm

    my fair lady is a real classic!!my fav.
    yojimbo by akira? anyone?
    o great review btw..
    i love the film too..i love the aesthetics part of it..love the chasing scene in the slum area and where latika was standing in the rain..and of course the “do or die jump into the dump” scene..absolutely marvelous! very original!

  6. 6 NotGood
    February 10, 2009 at 3:25 am

    @ gkhiangte.. and yes.. it has won 7 BAFTA awards tonight.. great achievement for a movie which is remotely Indian.. I sure am glad no big bollywood names were involved with the movie because of the over-the-top media coverage they would get, and the shallow modesty they would potray.. Being actors, they think their whole life is a goddamn movie..


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