Saturday, January 24, 2009

slumdog made millions!

and i'm not talking about the character in the story of the film 'slumdog millionaire' but the people who made the film including the producer, director, actors and the rest of the gang!

i saw the movie last night, a late show as usual! along with the golden square gang.

this morning my friend (who was part of the gang last night) called to check my take on the film... so here it is.

i loved the movie... liked the gritty edge the film has through till the end... (i would score it a 6.5 on 10)

1. it is a well-made masala film... a love story well-told
2. a good story well adapted into a film (in fact one of my school friends said it was better than the book. and that's something!)
3. the brit accent seemed jarring
4. the actors were all pretty good especially irfan khan and anil kapoor were very good. i thought dev patel gawked a bit too much! :)
5. i also agree that we take many aspects of the poverty (child beggar-workers, child prostitution, slums, filth, etc.) for granted and it doesn't shock our sensibilities as much as it would most of the rest of the world... including other asian countries.
6. i am sure the film made on vikas swarup's next book 'the six suspects' will also be good... its finally about the story and how well it is told
7. but at the end of the day i am not sure this is oscar material, the nominations notwithstanding. its possible that inspite of so many nominations it doesn't win any oscars. and then maybe it will... maybe for technical aspects.
8. but if it does win the oscars for best film, then it proves that the film impressed the western critic and sensibility... india being presented to the westerner through a westerner's eye! in all its grit, grime, gore and glory!
9. but i also believe there are many new-age bollywood films which present a story as well, if not better (wednesday, tzp, etc.)

finally, there is one line in the film which comes to my mind... the actor says that 'today india is at the centre of the world'.... i would add to say that 'mumbai is today the centre of the world'!

my friend felt that the movie wednesday was far better... i agree with him... it had better cinematic values... a story very well told, gripping, and slick... and most importantly, it presented mumbai in a far better light! (manish, murli and i are planning to watch trainspotting soon!)

p.s. for film trivia buffs and those who saw the film, did you'll notice the director's signature style in the frames in the last dance sequence on vt station? (hint : check the time displayed on the large digital clocks on the platforms!)


Anonymous said...


Sandeep Gupta said...

Thanks for your review. I haven't seen it yet but plan to write a blog on it anyway. I agree with your friend - "A Wednesday" was terrific. Which brings me to the subject of the blog I am planning to write - do only movies about India's misery and poverty deserve awards?

Amitabh said...

What I liked about the movie was the tight storyline and screenplay. The ability to tie it all around Q&A. We went to see it here in US in Richmond. Richmond does not really have a great cosmopolitan kind of audience. So we were really shocked when we found it houseful (we found last couple of shady seats) and that was before Golden Globe et al. But I agree there are a bunch of Indian movies that are far better than this.

Also have any of you guys seen "The story of India". It is a six hour documentary produced by BBC in 2007. It was telecast last few weeks by PBS here. It is truly fantastic. I saw only first two episodes till now and it has a bunch of things I can bet you also never knew about.

onlooker said...

totally agree and concur with your score! i personally thought it appeared to be a well made hindi movie, you tend to forget its an english movie! and oscar material, 10 nominations....nah...a good movie. not a movie extrodinaire. period.

saumitri said...

Some parts of the movie showed stark reality which made me sad - but i did not appreciate the world appreciating the INDIAN poverty and slum stories...

Tys on Ice said...

my cousin who saw it told me that its an english version of a hindi masala movie....but iam definetly going to see it...probably will enjoy it also...dont see why we have to dissect everything that is fun

Gazal said...

am waiting to see it.It really has managed to put India on the cetre stage.
jai ho

Tys on Ice said...

i saw the movie...i kinda liked was feel gud was for all this crap that is going on abt weather this is oscar material etc; i think if this bothers us, then there must be truth in it...i cud never figure out our new sensitivity towards things that doesnt conform with what we wud like to believe ourselves to be...whatever fuck that is...

Manasi said...

nice review guru... and i totally agree with tys-on-ice's comments above. also, it seems to me that the questions that slumdog raises in our minds are squarely answered in the reformative approach suggested in dilli-6 :-) have u seen it yet ? its a must for every thinking-movie-goer :-)

by the way, your silence on this blog probably indicates your absorption at work :-) with S&P at 700 and the govt money reaching the nooks and corners of America in the next couple of weeks, i am growing evermore confident of the stock market bottoms collectively flattening out quite soon. my eyes are now just looking for the signs on the unfreezing of the credit markets as my company (and many others) work on razor thin margins of working capital... no signs of bonus this year... But I am hopeful that this global economic crisis will lead us all to better and more transparent approaches to valuing complex securities and values at risk models :-)

you must come back, guru... its an absolute must :-) public demand :-)

Guruprasad said...

@ ramji : great to hear from you! how are you doing? do keep dropping in!

@ sandeep : do keep me updated on the posts on your blog...

@ amitabh : thanks for your comment. the 'story of india' sounds fascinating... must try get my hands on it!

@ onlooker : you are bang on! :)

@ saumitri : i agree... and this is what the world seems to appreciate and reward! as if it makes them feel better that india is not as threatening as it is made out to be!

Guruprasad said...

@ gazal : hope you watched it... and hope you enjoyed it too!

@ tys-on-ice : i agree, sometimes its best to sit back and sip and drink and let the rest of the world slug it out! :P

@ manasi : i'm back :)