Sunday, January 18, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire - Depiction of India in slums

Let me first start by telling that I am not in denial about India's poverty and problems we face, including atrocities done in slums, rich and poor contrast, riots, etc. I always thought Bollywood mainstream films always projected the ultra side of India and does not in any way reflect the real heart and soul of India.

Slumdog millionaire made me cringe. We do have slums, we do have violence, we do have riots. But you cannot kidnap a girl from a main railway station (is it VT?) at knife/gun point, a game show host will not tease the poverty of a Slumdog, audience will not laugh along with the host if he did. These are fine in a normal film, but the director did decide to show reality in the film, so he has to conform to only reality.

The theme of the film and cast is good. It could have been a better film, if the director's vision of India was not so 'colored'.

It is fine for a film to show poverty in slum, begging syndicate, child prostitution, riots, rich poor contrast, etc.. We do have problems - Slums and poverty are a reality, but when you show all problems in one film and mix it in unreality, it gives an image that India is barbarian and a lawless country. Yes, we do ignore the poor and concentrate on the rich and middle class, but India is not in slums. Slums do not represent India, nor does the rich cities, tall buildings and people in suits traveling in cars. India lives in the villages, people with a beautiful heart and dark skin. You will never find these problems in India's villages.

No comments: