Friday, January 16, 2009
Beacon of a Million Dream - Slumdog Millionaire
Among the many questions that I've come across after the success of the Slumdog Millionaire (SDM, here are some that have intrigued me the most: Does India have a true reason to be proud of the film. Does the success of the film constitute success for Indian film industry and more importantly a success for the talent that is present in the industry? A.R Rahman being the biggest case-in point to this argument. Was it an appreciation long overdue for our industry and the talent within it?
Will this signal a change in the way Indian cinema is viewed around the world. Although, I have a personal view on all of them, let's have a look at the facts first:
• Slumdog Millionaire is a Hollywood sponsored British film set in India, acted by Indians.
• The Film is based on a Novel "Q&A" by Vikas Swarup
• Majority of the Producer, Technicians, including Cinematography, Art direction and Sound and Costume are either American or British
• Apart from Rahman, other major contribution has come from Loveleen Tandan, who was the co-Director and did casting for the film, Natasha Nischol who did make-up and hair, and Tabrez Noorani who was the line producer.
• Rahman has given better music than SDM many times over and didn’t get the same acclaim
• The movie is a love story set amidst poverty and despair in a third world country. It was never intended to be a good PR exercise for India, especially Mumbai
So looking at some of the facts mentioned above, although we have some reason to feel proud, we should also make sure that we are not ignoring the fact of the matter. Although one should appreciate the movie as a true masterpiece, the fact still remains that the story is truly universal and would have had the same impact had it been set in any other country which faces the same hard realities as Mumbai. May be this is where the true genius of the movie lies!