One interesting point to note is that while Slumdog Millionaire has been nominated for as many as 10 Oscars, movies like 'BLACK' and 'TAARE ZAMEEB PAR', a sensitive ‘Bollywood’ film dealing with a middle-class, dyslexic child’s struggle to cope with this competition, and widely toasted as the best mainstream offering from the Hindi film Industry in a long while, didn’t receive a single nomination in the Best Foreign Language Category at the Academy Awards. Is it just me here, or is there a certain prejudice towards only one particular ‘reality’ of India, and ignorance towards other equally harsh realities, or is it because the director is a white westerner?
Let me clarify here that while it may seem so, I’ve nothing against the film – I found it to be entertaining and quite worth a watch. Neither do I have anything against the subject or the depiction of life in Mumbai – in fact, I would have found it more memorable had it given some more screen time to the dark undercurrents of the Mumbai underbelly, which were easily the most believable and fascinating parts of the film, greatly assisted by a rousing score from A. R. Rehman. My only grouse is with the perception that the Indians have some kind of a sinister agenda to not allow this film to succeed, because we don’t – as the film highlights rather well at the end of the day, it’s just a way of life out here, so why the hype?
After seeing Boyle's much talked-about film, it's crystal clear why this murky and squalid portrait of Mumbai has the Americans preening in delight. At one point after being thrashed mercilessly for impersonating as a guide, our hero Jamal tells a couple of American tourists, "You wanted to see real India? Here it is", in reply to which the American lady promptly replies, "Now we'll show you the real America," and hands Jamal a $100 bill. This, without any apparent sense of irony.
About the Author: JB
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