Monday, January 12, 2009

A moment for India's powerless

Even amid the darkness that surrounds us, the news that Slumdog Millionaire has won the Golden Globe for Best Picture and its director Danny Boyle the directing award for the film has cheered me up.

Slumdog is a fascinating film--the story is not new for Hindi film viewers but the way the movie has been shot and directed (the narrative structure itself) is what makes it different from other films. I saw the film side by side with Mira Nair's similar-themed Salaam Bombay, and the effect was stunning (though I admit that Boyle's take is more uplifting and perhaps Bollywoodesque). It takes a lot of courage to make a film on an unglamorous subject--the story of two Muslim boys from Bombay's slums, who are orphaned in a communal riot--and how one of them grows up to become a millionaire through a TV show--at the cost of the sacrifice of his namazi but criminal and trigger happy elder brother. Boyle had the guts and the wit to make a movie like Slumdog Millionaire. Bollywood's filmmakers should take a lesson from this win.

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