The blog world is abuzz with Slumdog Millionaire. The only blog which probably missed it was Blah blah blah..., so I thought what the heck! Let me put an entry! Please note that this is not a film review that I am writing here. I haven't seen the film as of today, neither have I listened to the music. I have only read and read about it. Whatever little I got, I am sharing here.
A lot of buzz is on about the film. It has already received 4 Golden globes and now has its name glittering for no less than 10 Oscar nominations. People who have seen the film are already pitching high hopes on it! But I just wonder, is everything still okay? Should we consider this as Hollywood embracing Bollywood (which like Mr Big B, I prefer to call The Indian Film Industry)? Remember that the film's director is not an Indian. The film is only a snapshot of a foreigner's views of India - Its poverty, the lifestyle of the common man, India as a poor third world country dreaming to make it large! And voila! It makes its mark on the world platform!
But I am worried. You know why? There's a typical category of Indian (or pseudo Indian, like Slumdog) films which get nominated for the Oscars year on year. I do not mean to say that Bollywood masala movies should be there where a Slumdog is! No! I mean to say that there's more to India than the slums, the cricket, the freedom movement, the Gandhi, the poverty, the snake charmers, the tantriks and the pottery! Where the world is reeling with recession, India still has NOT buckled under economic pressure! This has some meaning! There are developed countries where the GDP is running a negative temperature till date! In India it is not the case (as yet)! Forget Satyam, that's an anomaly. It would bounce back!
Getting back to films, somehow the western world still feels good and realistic to think of India as a poor third world nation. The things that Lagaan and Slumdog Millionaire have in common are: poverty, illiteracy and struggle. The keywords only portray a sorry picture of India and its people. And the world viewers gobble up every bit on display like a hot cake! I do not intend to say that India does not have poverty, India does not have its people struggling for bread, India does not have snake charmers...
What I intend to say is, there's a lot more to India than just that! It's time that the Oscar juries (and the world population) admitted that! Slumdog may win an Oscar this year. But am I happy? Are you happy?