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Sharmila-Sweet
Is Slumdog Millionaire worth the praise?

Matthew Schneeberger

January 29, 2009 17:17 IST
Last Updated: January 30, 2009 15:38 IST

Sitting inside a crowded movie theatre in Nariman Point, South Mumbai [Images], surrounded by other pasty-skinned foreigners and a few overtly wealthy Indians, I was forced to stifle an audible groan.

"What will we survive on, Jamal?" Freida Pinto [Images] had asked.

"Love," Dev Patel [Images] had replied.

Enough was enough. For an hour and a half (and for Rs 250), I had watched a right proper Brit and a middle-class Mumbaikar stumble through cheesy dialogue, all the while pretending to represent the Mumbai slums.

'It's official,' I thought. 'Slumdog Millionaire is massively disappointing. It's inauthentic and vain. And it's making a mockery of Hollywood's annual awards season.'

The realisation saddened me because I tried hard to like the film. Desperately, in fact. From the moment I had first heard of acclaimed director Danny Boyle's [Images] plan to shoot a movie in India, I positively swooned.

'My India, my Mumbai, no longer a crude caricature!' I had gushed. 'The world will finally see her as she is!'

I told all within earshot how badly I wanted to see Boyle's masterpiece. I made a Slumdog Millionaire [Images] poster my desktop computer's wallpaper and compulsively watched and re-watched the film's two minute trailer.

During the horror of 26/11, while Western film critics instructed the laity to 'see Slumdog Millionaire in order to better understand this benighted Asian metropolis', I consoled myself by conjuring up images of packed American theatres, where attentive US movie-goers could receive a genuine taste of Mumbai.

So when Indian friends pronounced themselves 'woefully underwhelmed' with the 'overrated' film, I dismissed their opinions and instead turned to glowing reviews in the Chicago Tribune, the Wall Street Journal and others.

"Ingrates," I secretly said of Slumdog's Indian critics. "Finally, someone has shown you the heart of your own city, the city you thought you knew. How dare you pass judgement! See the steady stream of awards? The four Golden Globes? Pick up a copy of the New York Times and read what Danny Boyle has done for you!"

In the months leading up to Slumdog's India release, I continued to describe it in only the most flattering of terms: 'the ultimate underdog film', a 'mad-cap, life-affirming tour of modern India', 'Danny Boyle's Ode to Mumbai' and a 'high-paced primer on life in Asia's largest slum'.

And, despite the temptation of easy available pirated DVDs, I waited for the official India release, hoping for the full 'movie-going' experience. I was prepared to be blown away. Really and truly, ready for blast-off.

But, from the start, during the torture scene, which itself was painful to watch, something didn't feel right. Maybe unrealistic expectations had siphoned away my enjoyment. But countless times before I had entered a movie theatre with high expectations, yet left completely satisfied.

Maybe living in India had dulled some of Slumdog's romance. But I know a Delhi-based German expat who calls it the 'greatest film ever made'. It's just that, ultimately, I found Slumdog Millionaire to be decidedly average. An earnest, talented outsider's cursory glance at Mumbai slum-life. But the best film of 2008? Worthy of all the awards and accolades that Hollywood has to offer? Hardly.

And why in the world has Simon Beaufoy been awarded best screenplay at the Golden Globes? It's terrible, worse than bad, more full of holes than a block of Swiss cheese.

Some argue that it's not a documentary, just a movie. I understand. My complaints with the screenplay have nothing to do with the coincidences or the question-and-answer inspired flashbacks. Those were cute. They drove the story. They were digestible.

It was the absurdity of slum-kids knowing all about Samuel Colt, the completely inauthentic (and clich�d) call-centre scenes, the bizarrely callous game show host, the indifferent studio audience, the implausibility of a hardened Mumbai gangster asking for a sandwich, the doubtful CST rendezvous (Ever seen CST at 5 pm? The phrase 'needle in a haystack' comes to mind), the ubiquitous Queen's English, the improbability of a fully-clad mini-Ram ready to wage war on Mumbai's Muslims. But, most of all, it was the disastrous performance of the lead actor, Dev Patel.

For starters, his Jamal couldn't be any more British if he tried. Apparently, having brown skin was the only pre-requisite for taking on the role. Never mind the accent. What resulted, naturally, was a completely unbelievable character. Every single thing he did rang hollow: every piece of dialogue, every bit of action, everything. Let's be honest. Dev Patel wouldn't last five minutes in a Mumbai slum.

And to those of us half-way acquainted with the city's seedier side, Patel's naivete dragged down the movie, and was annoyingly bothersome throughout, like a broken tooth.

I found it impossible to feel emotionally invested with the main characters. All the way up to the final kiss, I truly did not care what happened to Jamal or to Latika. And I'm as sentimental and sappy as the next guy. It's just that this love story didn't work.

That's not to say that Danny Boyle achieved nothing here: the shots are interesting, the action frenetic, the soundtrack masterfully married to the narrative, and so on. Plus, in many ways, I respect what the film unveiled by peeling back Mumbai's epidermis and peering inside.

Yes, despite what the most zealous of naysayers claim, India's problems are real and manifold: extreme poverty, communal violence, child beggary, painful vestiges of the caste system, to name a few. And all of these exist even in modern, urban India, the India of all those Western magazines profiles, the India of business process outsourcing and information technology.

So it's good that someone has held up a mirror to remind India that, yes, you've come far, but that you have a long way to go, too.

Still, these are weighty, charged issues, perhaps best not hastily reproduced and distilled by a mere passer-by. Boyle readily admits he has no great knowledge of, intimacy with or insight into India, though today he's quite complimentary of the city so responsible for his recent fortune.

Before seeing the movie, I thought those who claimed that it portrayed India in a negative light were being ridiculously defensive. Having seen it, I understand where they are coming from. Yes, Mumbai has squalor and violence and cruelty. But it has great humanity and brotherhood and character, none of which were adequately represented in the film.

One of the first negative reviews of Slumdog I read was from the blog The Great Bong, who absolutely lacerated it. In it, the blogger wrote, "Well yes these things do happen in India. However the problem is when you show every hellish thing possible all happening to the same person. Then it stretches reason and believability and just looks like you are packing in every negative thing that Westerners perceive about India for the sake of crowd pleasing."

He goes on to propose a film about an outlandish string of events happening to an African-American boy in the US, and says, "Even though each of these incidents have actually happened in the United States of America, I would be accused of spinning a fantastic yarn that has no grounding in reality, that has no connection to the 'American experience' and my motivations would be questioned, no matter how cinematically spectacular I made my movie. At the very least, I wouldn't be on 94 percent on Tomatometer and a strong Oscar favourite."

He's right. Say an Indian director travelled to New Orleans for a few months to film a movie about Jamal Martin, an impoverished African American who lost his home in Hurricane Katrina, who once had a promising basketball career, but who -- following a drive-by shooting -- now walks with a permanent limp, whose father is in jail for selling drugs, whose mother is addicted to crack cocaine, whose younger sister was killed by gang-violence, whose brother was arrested by corrupt cops, whose first born child has sickle cell anaemia, and so on. The movie would be widely panned and laughed out of theatres.

That, to me, is Slumdog Millionaire: contrived, pretentious, absurd, hollow, inauthentic, a pseudo-statement about social justice. And yet today the film stands on the precipice of Hollywood's highest honour, the Academy Award for Best Picture.

For me, the only authentic aspects of the film were the Hindi-driven dialogue and the acting of the slum children, which worked to make the entire slick package palatable.

As for the much ballyhooed end-credit Bollywood number, I left before they finished dancing.

I had seen enough.

Sharmila-Sweet
Not everyone is raving about Slumdog Millionaire


Everyone is raving about Slumdog Millionaire, which has bagged quite a few awards and nominations. And the film seems certain to win a couple of Oscar awards.
Yet, there are a handful who feel that the film does not, in fact, deserve the applause.

Shamal Sengupta, who teaches direction at Subhash Ghai's filmmaking institute Whistling Woods in Mumbai, tells us why he disliked Slumdog Millionaire.

Broadly speaking, Slumdog is just an olden-day story, the way the whites or the westerners interpret India. It is an on-your-face look at reality. As an Indian, I know we cannot discard poverty. But there is a way to portray it.

There have been many movies based on Indian poverty. City of Joy was based on (slum) people in Kolkata. Directed by Roland Joffe, the film was a complete misrepresentation of the city. I was horrified with that movie. I can see the same mentality in Slumdog.

Slumdog may not be as bad as City of Joy but I didn't expect this from Danny Boyle. He has a different sensibility, and for him to make Slumdog was a shock. He is one of finest directors I have known. I was greatly disappointed.

Nidhi
QUOTE

Broadly speaking, Slumdog is just an olden-day story, the way the whites or the westerners interpret India. It is an on-your-face look at reality. As an Indian, I know we cannot discard poverty. But there is a way to portray it.

There have been many movies based on Indian poverty. City of Joy was based on (slum) people in Kolkata. Directed by Roland Joffe, the film was a complete misrepresentation of the city. I was horrified with that movie. I can see the same mentality in Slumdog.

Slumdog may not be as bad as City of Joy but I didn't expect this from Danny Boyle. He has a different sensibility, and for him to make Slumdog was a shock. He is one of finest directors I have known. I was greatly disappointed.


Let us not direct our ire at the white man, closing our eyes to reality. First of all this story is not the interpretation of a white man but an Indian, Vikas Swarup. Danny Boyle only directed the movie. Why are we so reluctant to face the reality that poverty & Slums are enmeshed in the social fabric of India. Satyajit Ray showed it in plenty & he was a great director too. In my view the movie 'City of Joy' was a good movie. It realistically portrays the torment & suffering of a poor country bumpkin (Om Puri) & his wife (Shabana Azmi) in a city like Calcutta. We are proud Indians who would like to be shown only in glitterati & dazzle a la bollywood masala that is doled out by the dozens. Truth is a bitter pill to swallow & surely we are in no mood to do it.

It took a white man Richard Attenborough to make a great movie on the father of the nation. 'Gandhi' went on to win many awards. I find it odd when people criticise just because something was a creation of a white, black, or brown skinned individual. One could criticise the finer aspects of a movie, that is understandable. Most of us are prejudicial & readily pass judgments without even having seen the movie. Amitabh Bachhan performed laboriously in an English movie called 'King Lear'. This movie did not even see the light of day in most parts of the world. But he put his two bits & criticised Slumdog Millionaire & the white man cornering all the glory.

SDM is an ok movie, nothing remarkable about it. The director has done a good job of interpolating the Q & A with the background life story of the slumdog. I preferred movies like 'Changeling' & The curious case of Benjamin Button. Those were qualitatively far better.
parag_sankla
Just like Satyajit Ray (even though he is one of the greatest directors of Indian cinema), SDM is a classic case of Povery Porn. Why show only slums of Mumbai to the world? Is that all India about?

surhall
QUOTE(parag_sankla @ Feb 22 2009, 03:07 AM) *

Just like Satyajit Ray (even though he is one of the greatest directors of Indian cinema), SDM is a classic case of Povery Porn. Why show only slums of Mumbai to the world? Is that all India about?



i request to all do not see movie bad name India.
sent email tp PM DR,Manmhon Singh ji.
dhall
Nidhi
Sour grapes to all those who were so critical of Slum Dog Millionaire. The movie deservedly won laurels & awards in plenty at the Golden Globe, Bafta & now the Academy. At the Oscar's it proved why it was the darling of both the critics & movie goers the world over. The critisism of a few about issues that are irrelevant to the feature, its concept & tecnicalities does not in any way beliitle the 8 oscars it won. Kudos to the SDM team.
Sharmila-Sweet
'Slumdog Millionaire' sweeps 8 Oscars
By Aparajita Ghosh
Mon, Feb 23, 2009 14:45 IST

Slumdog Millionaire , an uplifting tale of a slum kid’s rise from rags to riches, swept 8 awards at the 81st Annual Academy Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday evening.

The movie had ten nominations in nine categories (it had two nominations in Best Song category) out of which it won in eight categories, including Best Film, Best Director, Best Music Score, Best Editing, Best Cinematography, Best Song, Best Sound Mixing and Best Adapted Screenplay. It only lost in one category, Best Sound Editing, to ‘The Dark Knight’.

When producer Christian Colson came on stage to accept the Best Film statuette, the entire team of ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ – including actors Dev Patel , Freida Pinto , Anil Kapoor , Irrfan Khan , co-director Lovleen Tandon, director Danny Boyle, writer Simon Beaufoy, A R Rahman, the three sound mixers, the child actors – joined him on the podium.






Colson began his acceptance speech by saying: “Thank you so much to the Academy. As you can see, our film was a collaboration between hundreds of people. I'm so happy that so many of them could be with us here tonight to share this moment.”

Anil Kapoor seemed particularly ecstatic and held the Oscar up in his hand when Colson passed it to the actor.

Earlier at the ceremony, A R Rahman won two Oscars for Best Original Score and Best Song (Jai Ho). Resul Pookutty shared his Oscar with two colleagues for Sound Mixing.

Accepting the award, Resul said: “I come from a country and a civilization that (has) given the universal word. That word is preceded by silence, followed by more silence. That word is "Om." So I dedicate this award to my country. Thank you, Academy, this is not just a sound award, this is history being handed over to me.”

The evening saw a breathtaking performance from A R Rahman who sang a medley of his two nominated numbers ‘O Saya’ and ‘Jai Ho’.

Hosted incredibly well by Hugh Jackman – who sang and danced – the evening turned out to be a gala event with dazzling razzmatazz of tinsel town. Kate Winslet won the Best Actress for ‘The Reader’ while Sean Penn won Best Actor for ‘Milk’. Those who had expected Mickey Rourke (The Wrestler) to win the Best Actor trophy – as much to hear his off-the-cuff acceptance speech as for his performance – were in for momentary shock. However, Sean didn’t forget to mention Mickey in his acceptance speech.

As expected, Heath Ledger won the posthumous ‘Best Supporting Actor’ Oscar for playing The Joker in ‘The Dark Knight’. The Australian actor’s mom, dad and sister accepted the award in what turned out to be an emotional moment for the entire gathering at Kodak Theatre.

The Best Supporting Actress award went to Penelope Cruz.

Of the Brangelina couple, neither won. The Best Animated Feature went to ‘Wall-E’ while Japanese film ‘Departures’ won in the Best Foreign Language Film category.


parag_sankla
QUOTE(Nidhi @ Feb 22 2009, 10:42 PM) *

Sour grapes to all those who were so critical of Slum Dog Millionaire. The movie deservedly won laurels & awards in plenty at the Golden Peacock, Bafta & now the Academy. At the Oscar's it proved why it was the darling of both the critics & movie goers the world over. The critisism of a few about issues that are irrelevant to the feature, its concept & tecnicalities does not in any way beliitle the 8 oscars it won. Kudos to the SDM team.


Anti-Indians are very happy now. The western world has once again proven that their vision of India has not much changed from the "Country of elephants, snake charmers and slums". It is a very perverted case of poverty porn and now some Britishers are making millions (may be billions) by making a story by ridiculing the slums of Mumbai.

Shame! Shame! Shame!

behenji.turned.mod

i found the movie boring...
desai2rn
QUOTE(parag_sankla @ Feb 23 2009, 05:09 PM) *

QUOTE(Nidhi @ Feb 22 2009, 10:42 PM) *

Sour grapes to all those who were so critical of Slum Dog Millionaire. The movie deservedly won laurels & awards in plenty at the Golden Peacock, Bafta & now the Academy. At the Oscar's it proved why it was the darling of both the critics & movie goers the world over. The critisism of a few about issues that are irrelevant to the feature, its concept & tecnicalities does not in any way beliitle the 8 oscars it won. Kudos to the SDM team.


Anti-Indians are very happy now. The western world has once again proven that their vision of India has not much changed from the "Country of elephants, snake charmers and slums". It is a very perverted case of poverty porn and now some Britishers are making millions (may be billions) by making a story by ridiculing the slums of Mumbai.

Shame! Shame! Shame!


I saw SDM. Not a bad movie. Yes the book is written by an Indian, poverty is a reality in India, as it is in many parts of the world. Leaving all that aside, If the same movie was produced and directed by an Indian
as oppose to Brition, would it have got the same recognition.?? I have doubts. Not to take anything away
from Danny Boyle or the cast. They made a good movie on a low budget. But awards don't always
tell the whole truth. Be it Oscars of Filmfare.

I just watched Tare Zamen Par, as I had misplaced my dvd. In my view as a movie TZP is far better than SDM. TZP was also an enrty for Oscar, granted in different catagory, but did not get anywhere.








Nidhi
QUOTE(parag_sankla @ Feb 23 2009, 05:09 PM) *

Anti-Indians are very happy now. The western world has once again proven that their vision of India has not much changed from the "Country of elephants, snake charmers and slums". It is a very perverted case of poverty porn and now some Britishers are making millions (may be billions) by making a story by ridiculing the slums of Mumbai.

Shame! Shame! Shame!


Frankly, it would be an insult to pay attention to your post. It's rightful place would be the trash can. Though I avoided your thread on the same subject pretty well knowing your attitude, you still continue to languish in the same mindset & vituperative tone that seems to be a hallmark of your nature. The discussion is about a movie & its finer points. Each one of us have our own likes & dislikes but what has that got to with Nationalism & Patriotism. Since you are on the subject, let me take it a bit further.

All the Anti Indians as per your logic:
1. Vikas Swarup: He is the deputy High Commissioner of the Indian Embassy in South Africa. He wrote the book 'Q & A' which was published in 2005. Seated in the Kodak Theater for the function, he was extremely happy that the movie gave his book recognition & fame. Now the paperback edition is being published in multiple languages. He is prima-facie guilty no 1.

2. The star cast: Dev Patel, Freida Pinto, Anil Kapoor, Irfan Khan, Ayush Mahesh Khedekar, Tanay Chheda,
Saurabh Shukla, Mahesh Manjrekar

3. A.R. Rahman the music director & Gulzar the lyricist as well Resul Pookkutty the sound-mixer.

You could have seen all these people happy & exuberant at the academy functions. Some of those slum kids on stage were thrilled. There were millions of Indians both in India & abroad anxiously watching & hoping that the movie gets the maximum awards. But all of them as per your logic are Anti Indians.

This is what the Fianance Minister P C Chidambaram said: the country of a billion people "adopted" Briton Danny Boyle's film as its own though it "may not be an Indian film".

Monday was a "red letter" day in the history of the country when ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ won as many as eight Oscars with A R Rahman picking up two of them, he said.

That was the Finance Minister who knows the reality like most of us & has no qualms in showering praises about the movie, though it did show the soft under belly of India. Your logic must put him at the top of the Anti India list.

True, you are the most patriotic & nationalistic Indian of all Indians. But look at where you are, in San Francisco, the White Man's land. Seems like you lost confidence in the Indian nation. You showed your appreciation of your native land in the usual way: by getting out of it as soon as you possibly could. Hence I presume you feel embarrassed by all the filth & squalor in which the poor live in India & that which is shown in the movie. Looks like that after this movie you may not be able to face the white man in the street. Those living in Ivory Towers find it difficult to face the ground realities.

It is but a movie, one may like it or dislike it. But does that give you a right to paint all those who feel happy about the movie with an Anti Indian colour?




parag_sankla
Good to see that you have come down on personal attack.

My location is not the subject matter here, painting our country in a certain way is. A Britisher comes to India and makes a film on the slums, calls us dogs and then the whole world showers praises on the film. So great!

No one can deny that India does have slums and poverty. Is that the only thing in India? Does only India have these?

It is the Western world's way of looking down upon us, in the same colonial manner.

Calling some one trash is a very good manner. Keep it up.

Jai Hind!
Aditya Pant
QUOTE(parag_sankla @ Feb 25 2009, 08:03 PM) *

Good to see that you have come down on personal attack.

My location is not the subject matter here, painting our country in a certain way is. A Britisher comes to India and makes a film on the slums, calls us dogs and then the whole world showers praises on the film. So great!

No one can deny that India does have slums and poverty. Is that the only thing in India? Does only India have these?

It is the Western world's way of looking down upon us, in the same colonial manner.

Calling some one trash is a very good manner. Keep it up.

Jai Hind!

Parag,

I just don't agree with your line of thinking here. The film does not aim to showcase India's poverty. The way I look at it, it celebrates the undying spirit of the poorest of the poor. And that IMO is a positive reflection of India. As for calling us 'dogs', that's also a misplaced objection. Would you have an objection to the word 'underdog' if it is used? It is in the same spirit that the word 'slumdog' is coined by Simon Beaufoy. I think we tend to get very defensive because in some way or the other we're ashamed of our own problems.

The film is recieving praises not because it showcases India's poverty. It is because that it is a feel good film that underscores the point about the rise of the underdog against all odds. In a year marked by some real tough general economic scenario, especially in the West, it is natural for people to take to feel-good films. As a film, though, it is at best an average film but people have taken to it because of its positive message of hope and not because it is 'poverty porn'.

Aditya
mmuk2004
Parag,

Calm down a little and watch the movie for yourself. You will have a much more mixed reaction to it than that, guaranteed!!! tongue1.gif

While watching the movie I felt that I was watching a typical hindi masala film, and not a very good one at that. How many Amitabh Bachchan films have you seen where the hero rises against all odds(yes, from the slums!) and triumphs at the end? And if you did not have tears in your eyes and don't adore Amitabh Bachchan, then you aint a true blue-movie-lover from the subcontinent! wacko.gif biggrin.gif The movie itself pays homage to the Amitabh phenomenon, which has, at least in my mind, become synonymous with hindi cinema of a particualar generation.

The fascinating thing about the movie is that an outsider made it...it is indeed amazing that Boyle, who himself claims that he does not know much about Hindi cinema, could make such an archetypal "Bollywood" kitsch and serve it piping hot to the international audience which is so ready to sample different styles of filmmaking now. It is certainly not a subtle film, and there are many films from India that are much more interesting, much for thought-provoking, much-more many things... it is crude and sweeping in its social observation, there is a great deal of gratuitous violence in the movie that is sometimes false, and sometimes frighteningly true.

I think it is creditable, and quite astonishing that Boyle has grasped the typical elements of Hindi cinema and made it work for an international audience without being too self-conciously cerebral or patronising about it.

Aditya, I absolutely agree with the feel-good part of the film... one comment about the film stuck in my mind...don't really remember if it was my friend's original comment or he was relating someone else's comment: He said "What the heck! It was one of the most depressing feel-good movies he had seen in a while tongue1.gif
parag_sankla
Aditya, Madhavi

I appreciate and have regards for your views. It is the member in question who keeps hitting on India and Hinduism again and again. Madhavi, you are a senior at HF, Aditya is relatively new. Have a look at the Politics and Religion forums and you will know what I mean.

Parag

oye_sonu
QUOTE(Nidhi @ Feb 25 2009, 05:40 PM) *


Frankly, it would be an insult to pay attention to your post. It's rightful place would be the trash can. Though I avoided your thread on the same subject pretty well knowing your attitude, you still continue to languish in the same mindset & vituperative tone that seems to be a hallmark of your nature. The discussion is about a movie & its finer points. Each one of us have our own likes & dislikes but what has that got to with Nationalism & Patriotism. Since you are on the subject, let me take it a bit further.


True, you are the most patriotic & nationalistic Indian of all Indians. But look at where you are, in San Francisco, the White Man's land. Seems like you lost confidence in the Indian nation. You showed your appreciation of your native land in the usual way: by getting out of it as soon as you possibly could. Hence I presume you feel embarrassed by all the filth & squalor in which the poor live in India & that which is shown in the movie. Looks like that after this movie you may not be able to face the white man in the street. Those living in Ivory Towers find it difficult to face the ground realities.



Nidhi ji no one made any personal attack on you . then did you wrote in such harsh tone to parag??
Parag ji "might be" wrong but wats the point in making such personal comments on his post and on him??

Are we discussing something over here or FORCING our views on others??
( I remember even you had wriiten in similar tone to me !). he is bold enogh to share his personal details like loc etc not many people can dare to share this. (Including you !!)

ndian talent was recognised via this movie, GOOD. and SDM might be best movie in the world, but thats the diff issue. here we are discussing another aspect of this movie. why these westerns always make movies on these -ve issues only?? and wats the harm in discussing it ??


in lil hurry !

sonu
parag_sankla
Sonu bhai

Location, name , photo and Date of birth.

And you have rightly hit the nail on the head. Why the western world likes to portray only negative things about India?

Any one and every one knows the derogatory term "Gali ka kut@$%" which is very similar to the meaning of this newly coined world "slumdog". By giving such a name to the film, the producers have made their point in showing India in poor light.

I have been observing for last 2 years or so that the member in question only likes to pick such controversial topics and continue to do India bashing or Hindu bashing.


So before some one makes a judgement, they need to know from where all that "gyaan" is coming from and what is the motive behind it.

Jai Hind!
oye_sonu
QUOTE(desai2rn @ Feb 25 2009, 04:27 AM) *



I saw SDM. Not a bad movie. Yes the book is written by an Indian, poverty is a reality in India, as it is in many parts of the world. Leaving all that aside, If the same movie was produced and directed by an Indian
as oppose to Brition, would it have got the same recognition.?? I have doubts. Not to take anything away
from Danny Boyle or the cast. They made a good movie on a low budget. But awards don't always
tell the whole truth. Be it Oscars of Filmfare.

I just watched Tare Zamen Par, as I had misplaced my dvd. In my view as a movie TZP is far better than SDM. TZP was also an enrty for Oscar, granted in different catagory, but did not get anywhere.



Desai ji said it very well. repeating your lines :
QUOTE

Leaving all that aside, If the same movie was produced and directed by an Indian
as oppose to Brition, would it have got the same recognition.?? I
have doubts. Not to take anything away from Danny Boyle or the cast. They made a good movie on a low budget. But awards don't always
tell the whole truth. Be it Oscars of Filmfare.

wahi baat jo main kehna chaahta hoon.
This movie was produced by an foriegner for foriegn audience. Indians won that prizes because they worked for diff set of audience.
our world is totally dif then theirs !. did they ever bothered to check Gulazar's earlier work?? or A R rehman's other work or INDIAN music by other artists??
Oscars koi best paimaana nahin hai talent ko dekhne ka !


sonu
oye_sonu
QUOTE(parag_sankla @ Feb 26 2009, 12:18 AM) *

Sonu bhai

Location, name , photo and Date of birth.

And you have rightly hit the nail on the head. Why the western world likes to portray only negative things about India?

Any one and every one knows the derogatory term "Gali ka kut@$%" which is very similar to the meaning of this newly coined world "slumdog". By giving such a name to the film, the producers have made their point in showing India in poor light.

I have been observing for last 2 years or so that the member in question only likes to pick such controversial topics and continue to do India bashing or Hindu bashing.

So before some one makes a judgement, they need to know from where all that "gyaan" is coming from and what is the motive behind it.

Jai Hind!


Parag bhai main iss topic mein padna nahin chaahta tha. magar apke personal details ko use karke humiliate karne ki koshish kari.(which you NEVER did to her ! ).Kamaal hai aapka jawaab phir bhi kaafi civilised tha. mere jaise to garam jaldi ho jaatein hai !!

Anyone's views might be wrong on SDB. but wats the harm in discussing one of the thosand aspects of any movie.?? recognistion for indians/talent is diff issue then the movie theme ! why do these westerns mostly choose these topics ??( spirituality is another one !!)

I cant t say anything if she is writng against Hindus ( or any other faith),. it depends wats she is writing. now people of all faiths are involved in violence .But one thing is assured she cant write "against India" till Iam here rolleyes.gif ( N I have time with me tongue1.gif )


Jai bharati !


Sonu

mmuk2004
QUOTE(parag_sankla @ Feb 25 2009, 12:48 PM) *


Any one and every one knows the derogatory term "Gali ka kut@$%" which is very similar to the meaning of this newly coined world "slumdog". By giving such a name to the film, the producers have made their point in showing India in poor light.




Parag,

I was merely commenting on the film, I have not been very active of late so I don't know the background to this issue. I certainly do not approve of personal attacks but I do believe that one can have a difference of opinion and one can debate it politely without it becoming a boxing match! ninja.gif Okay, let me re-phrase that, as it is certainly interesting to hear strong opinions from either side... surely one can debate it spiritedly, without having to draw blood... biggrin.gif

The word "dog" in English has very different cultural connotations than what the hindi/urdu phrase "gali ka Kutta" or "kutta" has, in the Indian subcontinent. Have not read much about it, the debate, I mean, on the ramifications of the word or the "poverty porn" angle, but in my mind it seems to miss the point of the film. "You old dog," and its variations, for example, would be a backhanded compliment in English. It suggests an admirable slyness, an ability to outwit the opponent/circumstances/world. I feel that "slumdog" is used in a very British way, after all, it is made by a Britisher even though the story is about India. I don't see the point in such policing of terms, it takes away from the cultural complexity of language.

In fact it also plays on the derogatory elements of the term, and makes it into something of a triumphant thumbing-you-nose-at-em.
Sangeet
Madhavi

I share your sentiments about SDM giving Deja Vu of a typical bollywood film. After watching the Oscars, I did see the movie yesterday.

Between wasn't the story of the first half (where they show slums & the life there) from late 70s and early 80's. The brother in the latter half of the movie shows Jamal that all those slums ( including the one they used to live in ) have been demolished & replaced by office buildings & apartment housings as India has developed and he is also now working as an aid to some builder?

Back to the movie, Nothing to take away from the technical aspects & acting (i found the kids portion more engrossing than the portion with the grown ups) but I found the film pretty bland & typically Hindi right down to the climax when they are dancing in the railway station in music video format a la most of the recent Hindi film climax !

The Oscars handed to Rahman & sound mixing was deserving though.. even though I hated how they used the Jai Ho song in the movie.
parag_sankla
QUOTE(oye_sonu @ Feb 25 2009, 11:22 AM) *


Parag bhai main iss topic mein padna nahin chaahta tha. magar apke personal details ko use karke humiliate karne ki koshish kari.(which you NEVER did to her ! ).Kamaal hai aapka jawaab phir bhi kaafi civilised tha. mere jaise to garam jaldi ho jaatein hai !!

Jai bharati !


Sonu


Sonu bhai

Thats typical of this member in question. Likes to make personal attacks. Anyways, I did not want to repeat the same and malign myself.

As I said earlier, film is a different thing, but the motive of this person is definitely dangerous!

For now, I am off this topic (and the other which I myself opened).

Poverty porn rocks!

Cheers
Parag



Marcilo
QUOTE
I share your sentiments about SDM giving Deja Vu of a typical bollywood film. After watching the Oscars, I did see the movie yesterday.


Is it out on blockbuster?
Exon
My children saw this movie in its first week of release. They watch mostly western movies; they didn't like the movie at all. Since it was nominated for 10 oscars, late last week, I went to see the movie.

It is worth recollecting that oscars are voted by a few thousand motion picture association members. In my opinion this movie didn't deserve 8 oscars. It is a slightly above average movie. I didn't mind seeing it once. I felt, the childrens characters were depicted reasonably well. However, the scenes involving villains were no better than very ordinary movies. Over all I liked the music; except, in a few instances the background music was a bit noisy. The last dance scene on the railway platform doesn't fit with the movie.

On several situations, the movie makers didn't seem to have paid attention to details. It has been already reported in several forums that 'darshan do ghanshyaam' was written by G. S. Nepali and not by any of four choices in the movie's game show. If the movies main character Jamaal saw Zanjeer (1973) shooting, it doesn't seem to fit with his age in the movie. If a game show host's intention is to popularize a game show he would rather be making entertaining jokes; instead at times, the host appeared to be rediculing Jamaal. The police officers investigated cheating aligation soley by interrogating Jamaal. I don't recollect if they made any attempt to look at the operations of the game show to find out possible methods by which he could have cheated. In my opinion, a movie worthy of so many oscars would have paid attention to details. These are my personal impressions of this movie.

Exon
Sangeet
QUOTE(Marcilo @ Feb 26 2009, 02:02 AM) *

QUOTE
I share your sentiments about SDM giving Deja Vu of a typical bollywood film. After watching the Oscars, I did see the movie yesterday.


Is it out on blockbuster?


No. I think it is releasing in April on DVD. It is still in theaters.
parag_sankla
QUOTE(mmuk2004 @ Feb 25 2009, 11:30 AM) *

QUOTE(parag_sankla @ Feb 25 2009, 12:48 PM) *


Any one and every one knows the derogatory term "Gali ka kut@$%" which is very similar to the meaning of this newly coined world "slumdog". By giving such a name to the film, the producers have made their point in showing India in poor light.




Parag,

I was merely commenting on the film, I have not been very active of late so I don't know the background to this issue. I certainly do not approve of personal attacks but I do believe that one can have a difference of opinion and one can debate it politely without it becoming a boxing match! ninja.gif Okay, let me re-phrase that, as it is certainly interesting to hear strong opinions from either side... surely one can debate it spiritedly, without having to draw blood... biggrin.gif




Madhavi

I am sure you would have seen the kind of personal attack done on me by this member in question in this thread. Also just a glance on the politics and religion forums will tell any one what kind of member this is. Consistently taking anti-India and anti-Hindu stand and giving tons of "gyaan". (By the way, I am not Hindu by religion, but extremely proud of Hinduism and our heritage.)

I am not very good at vocabulary and framing very good sentences like some learned members here, but this news article perfectly echoed my sentiments:

http://www.expressbuzz.com/edition/story.a...me=m3GntEw72ik=

Anyways, life goes on. So let us get over this "slum" and "dog" issues. I just wanted to make my point, which I did. As usual, found very little support (Sonu), every one else is playing "its ok" tunes.

No worries.

Cheers
Parag
mmuk2004
Parag,

We all know you to be a very productive and active member who is always ready to help people out. Nobody is questioning that. But in this case I happen to disagree with you about my reaction to a movie. I did not even like the movie that much and am in the unenviable position of defending it. Here's a personal request: See the movie, and don't let others decide for you what you like or don't like about the movie.

As regards that article, in my mind it is a ridiculous argument...there are enuf holes in it to make swiss cheese get an inferiority complex! biggrin.gif

QUOTE
There was no need to use the 50:50 option or phone a friend, as the issue was locked from the beginning, ever since Slumdog Millionaire was nominated for the Oscars. We all knew Danny Boyle would get the award, having portrayed India negatively, projecting the slums and drains of Bharat, the inhuman behaviour of the police and highlighting the brothels of Mumbai.


With goons flourishing in the slums of Mumbai, engaged in making big money and the mafia plucking out eyes of children, the film had the right mix of ingredients to make it to the top at the Oscar awards ceremony.

After all, it’s this aspect of India that’s been adored by phirangs in the past, who term India as the country of snake-charmers and elephants, refusing to believe that it is at par today with any other country in the areas of IT, science and technology, fashion and beauty care as well.



We all knew: who are the "we"? I did not, and I can tell you of any number of people (Indians) who do not come in the "we" category. The assumption that "we" knew Boyle would get the award because he portrayed India negatively has no logic to it. The writer has assumed that that is the one and only reason why movies get oscars, because "she" and "we" said so. The writer goes on to make a series of such claims without providing any support whatsoever for it:

With goons flourishing etc... the film has the right mix of ingredients to make it to the top at the Oscars...(right mix according to who?)

After all, it is this aspect of India that has been adored by phirangs (What a sweeping statement, how does she support this? And btw, who are these phirangs?...this kind of en-bloc lumping of people as phirags reeks of bias... besides that they must be dinosaurs who don't know that India has progressed in the areas of IT, Science and Technology... )

Sangeet, you were right, the film does have this sense of history that I had not noticed before(from the slums of the 70s-80s to the modern India of bpos and new highrise buildings).

People can like or dislike the movie for various reasons, and that does not have anything to do with supporting or not supporting you. Just as they might not agree with you that it portrays India negatively, but that does not mean they think that it is "o.k" to portray India negatively.

Hey bhagwan... too long, it sounds a little garbled to me now... sad.gif anyways... if you want to bypass this lengthy post... just read this:

Watch the movie and decide for yourself!





Sharmila-Sweet
Why fret over 'sale' of 'Slumdog' kid?

Nikhat Kazmi - Monday April 20, 2009


Can Rubina Ali be another Zahara Marley Jolie-Pitt? Correction. Should Rubina Ali have the freedom to become another Zahara Marley Rubina Jolie-Pitt?



The story of the eight-year-old ‘Oscar-winning' kid (that's her USP, according to dad, Rafiq Qureshi) who was reportedly up for sale for a few crores isn't so simplistic at all. Of course, my initial reaction was like the rest: Ugh! How can a dad do this! But once the volley of angry adjectives -- Disgusting, Apalling, Revolting -- had run dry, cold reason set in. I suddenly remembered what six-month-old Zahara's biological mother had said after Jolie had airlifted her malnourished and dehydrated infant from the Wide Horizons for Children orphanage from Addis Ababa.



According to Mentwabe Dawit, the 24-year-old biological mother of Yemsrachez (now Zahra), the baby was conceived after a knife-point rape and was put up for adoption by the desperate mother who even thought of abandoning her sickly kid rather than see her die. The child was born at Mentwabe's family home but was sent to the orphanage when the young mother was unable to feed her. When Jolie adopted the six-month-old, after admitting her to a hospital for treatment and renaming her Zahara, Mentwabe had said: "My daughter is a very fortunate human being to be adopted by a world-famous lady. I wish them both all the success they deserve."



Today, Zahara lives a life that would have been denied to her in the dust bowls of Ethopia and was last spotted running riot (on celebrity sites) with the rest of her siblings in Toys R Us. Ask Zahara if she would like to return and the answer would definitely be a big `No!' Just as it would be the same for her two other siblings, Maddox and Pax.



Hasn't Maddox Chivan Jolie-Pitt fared better as part of the Brangelina brood than he would have as Rath Vibol, a vagrant in the streets of Battambang, Cambodia. Or for that matter, isn't young Pax Thien Jolie-Pitt poised for a better future than would have been his due if he had continued subsisting on the fringes of Ho Chi Minh city as Kham Quang San, the Vietnamese kid who was abandoned at birth at a local hospital.



Take the case of David Banda Mwale Ciccone Ritchie. When Madonna adopted him from Malawi, the one-year-old infant was suffering from pneumonia after having just survived through malaria and tuberculosis in his short span of life. Of course, his father, Yuhanne had made a few mumblings of discontent after the adoption, but soon realised a better future awaited his son with the Material Girl.



It may sound crude, but there are most things that money can buy. Like, turning your back to hunger and homelessness forever. And opening the doors to education, opportunity and empowerment.



Can Rubina Ali hope for these basics in her life today? The producers of Slumdog Millionaire may have put away a neat sum for the future of the two slum kids, Rubina and Azhar; and some organisation somewhere may have promised them a house sometime in the future. But today, Rubina lives in the Gharib Nagar slums of Bandra, while Azharuddin still has his tarpaulin shanty. They do go to schools, but are these the best schools of Mumbai? Can they hope to be an IIT-IIM aspirant after the kind of education they are receiving. Or else, is a graduate course in Xaviers, Stephens awaiting them in the not-so-distant future. Kids like Zahara and David can surely get into Harvard and MIT if they so desire.



Star-struck Rubina insists in all her interviews that she wants to be an actress like Preity Zinta. Is anyone willing to send her to film school after she graduates? Is there a seat waiting for her at Whistling Woods or even the FTII? Or must she pick up her skills from her slummy existence, which definitely wouldn't take her far on the Preity Zinta path.



Perhaps, the strongest plea against Rubina's adoption (read Sale) would be the love deal. Wouldn't be fair to snatch a daughter away from a father, a sister away from her brother, merely for money's sake, would it? Actually, that's another teaser. Because the little we know about Rubina's personal life isn't all savoury, is it. Two mothers fighting over her, a father forever complaining about the `insufficient' money she earned and a family labelling her a goose that lays the golden egg...it really doesn't seem an environment conducive to a happy and hopeful childhood.



As I said, the answer is still blowin' in the wind
bawlachintu
QUOTE(mmuk2004 @ Feb 26 2009, 01:00 AM) *

QUOTE(parag_sankla @ Feb 25 2009, 12:48 PM) *


Any one and every one knows the derogatory term "Gali ka kut@$%" which is very similar to the meaning of this newly coined world "slumdog". By giving such a name to the film, the producers have made their point in showing India in poor light.




Parag,

I was merely commenting on the film, I have not been very active of late so I don't know the background to this issue. I certainly do not approve of personal attacks but I do believe that one can have a difference of opinion and one can debate it politely without it becoming a boxing match! ninja.gif Okay, let me re-phrase that, as it is certainly interesting to hear strong opinions from either side... surely one can debate it spiritedly, without having to draw blood... biggrin.gif

The word "dog" in English has very different cultural connotations than what the hindi/urdu phrase "gali ka Kutta" or "kutta" has, in the Indian subcontinent. Have not read much about it, the debate, I mean, on the ramifications of the word or the "poverty porn" angle, but in my mind it seems to miss the point of the film. "You old dog," and its variations, for example, would be a backhanded compliment in English. It suggests an admirable slyness, an ability to outwit the opponent/circumstances/world. I feel that "slumdog" is used in a very British way, after all, it is made by a Britisher even though the story is about India. I don't see the point in such policing of terms, it takes away from the cultural complexity of language.

In fact it also plays on the derogatory elements of the term, and makes it into something of a triumphant thumbing-you-nose-at-em.

Well said Madhavi.
bawlachintu
QUOTE(mmuk2004 @ Feb 27 2009, 10:47 PM) *

Parag,

We all know you to be a very productive and active member who is always ready to help people out. Nobody is questioning that. But in this case I happen to disagree with you about my reaction to a movie. I did not even like the movie that much and am in the unenviable position of defending it. Here's a personal request: See the movie, and don't let others decide for you what you like or don't like about the movie.

As regards that article, in my mind it is a ridiculous argument...there are enuf holes in it to make swiss cheese get an inferiority complex! biggrin.gif

QUOTE
There was no need to use the 50:50 option or phone a friend, as the issue was locked from the beginning, ever since Slumdog Millionaire was nominated for the Oscars. We all knew Danny Boyle would get the award, having portrayed India negatively, projecting the slums and drains of Bharat, the inhuman behaviour of the police and highlighting the brothels of Mumbai.


With goons flourishing in the slums of Mumbai, engaged in making big money and the mafia plucking out eyes of children, the film had the right mix of ingredients to make it to the top at the Oscar awards ceremony.

After all, it’s this aspect of India that’s been adored by phirangs in the past, who term India as the country of snake-charmers and elephants, refusing to believe that it is at par today with any other country in the areas of IT, science and technology, fashion and beauty care as well.



We all knew: who are the "we"? I did not, and I can tell you of any number of people (Indians) who do not come in the "we" category. The assumption that "we" knew Boyle would get the award because he portrayed India negatively has no logic to it. The writer has assumed that that is the one and only reason why movies get oscars, because "she" and "we" said so. The writer goes on to make a series of such claims without providing any support whatsoever for it:

With goons flourishing etc... the film has the right mix of ingredients to make it to the top at the Oscars...(right mix according to who?)

After all, it is this aspect of India that has been adored by phirangs (What a sweeping statement, how does she support this? And btw, who are these phirangs?...this kind of en-bloc lumping of people as phirags reeks of bias... besides that they must be dinosaurs who don't know that India has progressed in the areas of IT, Science and Technology... )

Sangeet, you were right, the film does have this sense of history that I had not noticed before(from the slums of the 70s-80s to the modern India of bpos and new highrise buildings).

People can like or dislike the movie for various reasons, and that does not have anything to do with supporting or not supporting you. Just as they might not agree with you that it portrays India negatively, but that does not mean they think that it is "o.k" to portray India negatively.

Hey bhagwan... too long, it sounds a little garbled to me now... sad.gif anyways... if you want to bypass this lengthy post... just read this:

Watch the movie and decide for yourself!

Never too long for those keen on getting some wonderful insights.
Sharmila-Sweet
'Slumdog' kids' truancy threatens their trust fund



By ERIKA KINETZ (AP)
MUMBAI, India — The two child stars of 'Slumdog Millionaire' are at risk of losing their monthly stipend and their trust fund if they don't start attending school, a trustee for the fund said Thursday.
Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail, 11, and Rubina Ali, 10, shot to fame after starring in the Oscar-winning movie.
But these days, Azhar is only showing up at school 37 percent of the time, and Rubina has only a 27 percent attendance rate at her school, the trustee said.
"It's pathetic," said Noshir Dadrawala, who helps administer the Jai Ho trust established by the filmmakers to provide an education, living allowance and housing for the young stars, who both grew up in Mumbai's real-life shantytowns.
Azhar played the role of the young Salim, the main character whose childhood in Mumbai's slums helps him win fortune and love through a TV quiz show as an adult. Rubina played the role of female lead Latika, as a child.
Dadrawala blamed the children's busy schedule for their chronic truancy.
"They are constantly going to Paris and Cochin and Chennai," he said. "That's fine, but go over the weekend, not at the sacrifice of school."
The children's parents said the absences were due to deaths in the family and other problems and promised to get the kids to school from now on.
The children attended a tea party at a Mumbai hotel Thursday afternoon. A friend of the family said it was a school holiday.
"Slumdog" director Danny Boyle and producer Christian Colson said in a statement that the children's families "need to honor their part of the bargain."
"We are disappointed that Azhar and Rubina's school attendance remains patchy. We have urged both families to honor their commitment to ensure regular school attendance," they said. The filmmakers were in Mumbai to discuss future film projects and charity works.
Dadrawala said the trust decided that if the children do not get their attendance above 70 percent they will lose their monthly stipend of about $120. If they fail to graduate, they will forfeit a lump sum payment set aside by the filmmakers to help the children, who grew up in one of Mumbai's more wretched slums, get a start in life.
The filmmakers have declined to reveal the amount in the trust for fear of exposing the families to exploitation.
Azhar's mother, Shameen Ismail, said her son had been truant over the past two months because he was inconsolable after his father died in September from tuberculosis.
"He would cry often, so I kept him home from school for a while," she said.
She promised his attendance would improve.
"As long as I'm alive, I will make sure my son gets an education," she said.
Rubina's father, Rafiq Qureshi, said the girl was not in school because her slum shanty was destroyed and she was cut on the leg by a piece of glass.
"It will not happen next time," he said.
In July, Azhar moved out of a metal shack in the slums and into a $50,000 one-bedroom apartment that the filmmakers bought for his family in Mumbai.
Azhar's father remained in the slum because, his mother said, he did drugs and she didn't not want him in the new home.
The trust was also searching for a house for Rubina's family, but her father said the budget was not enough to cover the cost and he was hoping the state government could make up the difference.
The new homes are to be transferred into the children's names after they turn 18 provided they graduate high school.
Sharmila-Sweet
Danny Boyle puts a cap on kids' demand
Soumyadipta Banerjee / DNAFriday, October 30, 2009 2:24 IST Email

Mumbai: Rubina will get to act in another Danny Boyle film, but she will not get any more money. Nor will Azhar be 'gifted' a small car by 'Danny uncle'.

The Slumdog Millionaire director told his favourite child stars on Thursday that they should not expect any more money, or gifts, from the Jai Ho trust. It has already provided them with the maximum they deserve, he said.

During his meeting with the trustees and Rubina's family at JW Mariott, Boyle supported a motion, which stated that the grant of Rs25 lakh given to Rubina will be passed on to another charity if her family fails to buy an apartment for her by January 2010.

"Boyle has agreed with us that the grants for Azhar and Rubina, or any other child actor supported by the trust, cannot be increased further. He too feels that Rubina does not deserve any more than the Rs 25 lakh given to her to buy an apartment in Mumbai," said Noshir H Dadrawala, a member of the Jai Ho trust.

Azhar's demand of a small car -- he had said he was "scared of travelling in auto-rickshaw" -- too was rejected. "The trust is providing a daily allowance to the children. It includes travelling allowance. There is no question of increasing that," Dadrawala said.
Boyle said the meeting passed off peacefully. "We spoke in details. I think we have mutually agreed on all the points. They (Rubina and Azhar) are kids, and obviously do not know what is best for them. We have to show them the way," he said.

The kids, however, did not return empty-handed. Boyle asked the trust to provide them and their families with mediclaim policies -- a gift particularly for Rubina, who has just recovered from malaria.

"Danny promised that my daughter will be working with him in his next film. That means a lot to me," said Rafiq, Rubina's father. He added he would soon approach chief minister Ashok Chavan for a flat. "I will ask him to help me get a flat of Rs25 lakh."



DNA
Sharmila-Sweet
Danny and the producers have done MORE THAN ENOUGH for these 2 kids and they keep making unreasonable demands on them instead of being grateful for what they have already got. There is absolutely no need for us to feel sorry for them because they are exploiting Danny's generosity to their own selfish advantage. No other producers would have done anything more than pay for their acting and here they are behaving like royalty and expecting Danny to fulfill their every demand for life ! They should understand that there are millions of other slum children who don't get even 1% of what they have already got and still they continue to be ungrateful and keep demanding more and more
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