Thursday, March 5, 2009

Jai Ho

It was the National and Liberation days holidays here in Kuwait and that combined with the weekend gave us 4 days of holidays and I still feel lazy. Thankfully the next weekend has already arrived.

As usual we avoided the roads on the N & L days since there would be an effusion of foamy patriotism. I am sure there are people who enjoy it, but it is just not our cup of tea. This year we read that one person was actually killed! I hope now some laws will be put in place so that at least next year the “weak in hearts” (if we are all still here!) can join the celebrations and maybe even support this economy.

Anyway, we finally got around to seeing the film “Slumdog Millionaire”. Whatever other feelings it may evoke, it will not bore you. It may appear like any other Hindi movies sans the songs which these days assaults one’s senses (the songs in itself are good if one is only listening)

Yes, the editing is wonderful and so is the sound. As for Rahman’s music, it cannot beat the one from “Roja” or many of his other creations but it is good. The film also had the element of romance which I am sure would appeal to all. The undying love that Jamal has for Latika is very touching.

Yes it has the slums , the dirt, the kiilings and the child beggars. And all those who felt insulted must realize that there was no exaggeration. And yes, the slums and these souls are just next to the world’s costliest private residence and its inmates.

I am sure one cannot make every Indian rich but every Indian does deserve clean drinking water, sanitation and a decent place to “answer the calls of nature”. Those who seek their votes must realize that it is their right to have them and those who will soon give their votes should claim these rights. Entire generations of Indians (including myself) have grown up taking these basic amenities for granted and some continue to pretend that it is otherwise.

There may be trillion excuses for these amenities not being present for a multitude of Indians but it is ironical that India can produce millionaires and billionaires across all religions with or without (?) the help of the same government machineries.

Salman Rushdie rubbished this film on the basis that the story line in the book and the movie are unbelievable. I do not know what is unbelievable in the movie. (Yea, he continues to look for his "true love".)

Maybe the director made the mistake of depicting the boys as Muslims while in the novel he had a name which combined all the major religions and we Indians know the fact that the slum encloses human beings from every religion. But the director did capture one essential factor and that is what continues to appeal many. One doesn’t have to be rich to have noble feelings and also to excel in any field. Don’t know how many of you have watched these clippings that shows a boy who seems to have mastered many languages. He is only happy to earn his daily bread and to do the job that was taught by his grandmother.

click here

and here..

But with due respect to the director (he seems to be a genuine stuff) and to the producer who trusted him, the cynic in me does wonder if this movie was indeed good enough to have replaced the others which normally enthrall the Oscar lovers. With the world in a financial turmoil and with a possible reduction in the number of potential viewers from the usual corners of the world won’t India’s 1,147,995,904 (2008 est) population with a good percentage of movie lovers compensate the global business houses? Financial turmoil or not, most Indians will continue to keep movies in their priority list. Haven’t we all been nurtured on fantasies and demi-Gods that let us escape from the ground realities?

As for an Indian(Bollywood) director or a producer, I do not think he will ever get away with such a movie. umph! not even one seductive, reveal all dancing scene and not even one "foreign country"!


  1. so much has been said and written about the film... :)
    and congress has taken credit for the film.... :)

    it is so stupid.... and they are right... it is only because of their rule did the slums come up in the first place.......:)

  2. Yes, India's huge movie market may had a role to play on the Oscar bit. But to me, it is the long overdue recognition of Rahman that is important. I think his best music was for Taal. Be that as it may, now the whole world will be able to enjoy the master's creations. Jai Ho to that.

  3. Saw it a few months ago - we enjoyed it, whatever others have said & done..It is a movie and that's it. neither is it a documentary nor is it a statement. It was made for the purpose of entertainment - and along the way it got a lot of attention to underlying issues. I heard recently that some broker absconded with the money the kids were given to buy homes. At least the producers did that - try to help these kids out. do our mega producers & actors in bollywood part with a pie?

  4. Ajit; dont know how stupid the Congress can be! they dont deserve to win anyway.. but then I do not think much better of the others too...

    Vinod: sure Rahman deserves this and more..

    Maddy: I guess one cannot help being affected by this movie.. as you said the Indian directors will not part with their money.. Pookutty also mentioned that they shot those scenes amidst the dirt and squalor and it was very difficult.. if it was Bollywood or other "woods", the sets would be made and none including the actors will need to experience the real thing.


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