Skip to main content

The problem with Slumdog

Click to enlarge

This is not a review - I haven't seen the movie yet and probably won't ever. But given the brouhaha in the media about the movie, I know enough about the plot and the 'artistic appeal' of the movie, to write a blog post on it - or so I think :-P. 

I am not one of those nationalists who feel offended because it shows slums, niether am I against realism. About the much touted scene where the protagonist, Jamal "jumps into a pile of shit just so he can run and get an autograph of his beloved Amitabhji" [link], I agree with MF Hussain (quoted from HT Cafe) when he says that it depicts our lives metaphorically that while our lives are draped in shit, we escape from reality through movies (ala entertainment, ala glamour).

And reality must be shown - I regard Black Friday as one of the best movies ever seen. And why should we shy away form the fact that India has slums - well I would rather say proudly that we are ready to march ahead inspite of slums and in due course address the problem. I don't care what image a movie potrays of India; guess our economic prowess speaks much louder today (than what it did in the era of Shotyajit Ray). And even if it does not - most Indians today have gone past that point where we need a seal of approval from Americans or Britons about their way of life.

The only problem with this movie is that it NOT about reality! Poverty is only a garb of reality under which the movie essentially is no different than the mushy 'so-called-escapist' bollywood cinema. Slumdog is a fantasy - may be for the denizens of the developed world; but fantasy it is. 

I mean, come-on, a slum kid coming out of poverty by winning a quiz show - is this not fantasy? More so, it is fantasy because poverty has been glamourized by capturing the 'excitement' in it. Realism would have been the story of a kid who survives amidst odds, studies or excels in sports and makes it big. And it is not that such stories are not available; check out this news story for instance.

This is my objection to Slumdog - yes Rehman's music is great and the movie has earned an entry into the Oscars - but I think this movie is as good or as bad as any other bollywood masala movie and so I'd rather watch a Billu - an original Bollywood masala than Slumdog Crorepati.

Comments

  1. I think you should go see it. In spite of everything you read, it's a very enjoyable movie...

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

How will travel industry transform post-Covid

Unlike philosophers, journalists and teenagers, the world of entrepreneurship does not permit the luxury of gazing into a crystal ball to predict the future. An entrepreneur’s world is instead made of MVPs (Minimum Viable Product), A/B Tests, launching products, features or services and gauging / measuring their reception in the market to arrive at verifiable truths which can drive the business forward. Which is why I have never written about my musings or hypothesis about travel industry – we usually either seek customer feedback or launch an MVPised version and gather market feedback. However, with Covid-19 travel bans across the globe, the industry is currently stuck – while a lot of industry reports and journalistic conjectures are out, there’s no definitive answer to the way forward. Besides there is no way to test your hypothesis since even the traveller does not know what they will do when skies open. So, I decided to don my blogger hat and take the luxury of crystal gazing

Experienced vs. Freshers – an MBA perspective

Shubham and me compiled and created an article during our first year of MBA. It was never published, nevertheless MBA aspirants will find it very useful. Publishing it online for the same purpose. However, Shubham and myself claim a copyright on the text .... and of course very many thanks to all our freinds whose views have helped us compile the article. Experienced vs. Freshers – an MBA perspective By Nikhil Kulkarni, KPMG Shubham Choudhury, Infosys PGDIM- X, NITIE, Mumbai Ashita Mittal was placed during her final year in engineering college with a leading software firm. But she never wanted to be another brick in the wall. She wanted to differentiate herself from other graduates who start their career at the lowest rung of organizational hierarchy. MBA was a natural choice for her. On the other side is Shailesh Dhawla, who worked as a software engineer with a leading software consultancy firm for 3 years. He started his job with some ends in mind, like working with a known c

हिंदी दिवस के उपलक्ष्य में एक ट्वीटमाला

A thread on Hindi Diwas; for the last few months I have been influencing my daughter to learn Hindi by telling her greatness & elegance of Hindi हिंदी दिवस के उपलक्ष्य में एक ट्वीटमाला; पिछले कुछ माह से मैं अपनी बेटी को हिंदी की महत्ता और लालित्य के बारे में समझा रहा हूँ| She is in Grade 2 and just started learning the Hindi alphabet and grammar.  वह कक्षा २ में है और अभी हिंदी वर्णमाला और व्याकरण के पहले पाठ पढ़ रही है|  Yesterday, she asked me why I think Hindi is a great language. Context being India has so many languages and our mother tongue is Marathi.  कल उसने मुझे पूछा कि मैं हिंदी को एक महानतम भाषा क्यों मानता हूँ - जबकी भारत में इतनी सारी भाषाएँ हैं और हमारी मातृभाषा मराठी है|  My answer - No doubt Hindi is a rich language in terms of literature, vocabulary, variety and its script Devnagiri is very scientific in nature...  मेरा उत्तर था की यद्यपी हिंदी साहित्य, शब्दावली, विविधता से परिपूर्ण हैं और उसकी प्रमुख लिपी देवनागिरी वैज्ञानिक है, ...  ... But then these virtues des