Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Comments About Slumdog Millionaire Before I Have Seen It

I have not seen Slumdog Millionaire, but I am already being compelled to comment on it.

This is because it seems to be such a decent movie, but the critics are after it already. It seems to have shown India as a Third World Underbelly - which Amitabh Bachchan quoted, unquestioningly as he does, on his blog. This is already making a quite a bit of noise everywhere, and as you can see, I picked this up on facebook.

This post isn't about the movie, obviously. I haven't even seen it. But this is about this particular line of criticism, which we have heard before - almost every time a good movie was made about India.

What we seem to love is Ghajini, obviously, one that allows us to keep forgetting things. We love the fantasy of Lagaan, the comedy of Singh is King and all the impossible sets and incredible dresses. We love those soaps where people have sanskritized names, sleep with party dresses on and behave like animals as far as their conjugal lives are concerned.

I saw Indians protesting on TV about the usage of the word Slumdog, and others, apparently well-to-do ones, saying that the film shows the poorest parts of India, not the 'real India'!

It is obviously clear that we are a society in denial. We don't know what real India is, where it is. All the people who are ashamed or distressed about seeing the poverty in the movie, sees that everyday, while driving to office, on the road. The funny thing is that they are not embarrassed about poverty, they are embarrassed someone is talking about poverty.

It will be a shame if the movie is shut down. It can be, India has a record of banning books and cutting down movies. I am hoping to catch the movie on my trip to India, and will be disappointed if I can't see it.

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