Monday, May 25, 2009


I saw Slumdog Millionaire today. Well, although I would agree with almost all the rest of the world that the film is not Best Picture material, yet I would say I found it a not so bad film after all. I did not approach it as the story of Jamal or Latika or Salim. I saw them as representative figures that go through so much in life that seems horrible, but are facts of our lives which most of us tend to ignore/forget/overlook. Beginning from the anti-Muslim riot till the police tortures all the details are spot on, real. Only Jamal is unreal. These kids do something extraordinary. Real kids never are so lucky.

The only problem with the film is the romanticism. Of course this is something that one may expect from a Fox-Warner-Hollywood sort of a production. Apart from that the realities shown may be seen as a packaging of the scatological India for a predominantly Western audience, yet their realities can hardly be questioned. Jamal’s winning all that money is unreal, Latika being able to come out is unreal, the police buying his story of how he came to know the answers is unreal – but they are required as a frame. Often unreal frames work wonderfully with real pictures – just as fantasies are often well bound within realistic casings.

Whether one can find such things in the film or not, it was a well-made film. Though I will keep my opinion of how fit young Mr Patel was for the role, at least appearance-wise, to myself.

It is truly disappointing that the kids who played the different roles had a ball of a time, but now they are simply being forgotten. In forgetting these kids, and the kids they had played, we are doing injustice to something. Unfortunately, the result is boiling down to some awards for the makers, for which they had made the film after all. The kids are just a means. The end is vicious.

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