Monday, February 23, 2009

The Curious Case of Slumdog Millionaire

But seriously, how many of you thought the movie was good? These are some of the reasons why I think SDM won so many Oscars.. and why I do not have a high opinion of the movie.
  • People's desire to feel optimistic. A heartwarming rags to riches love story during times of financial trouble? It is bound to do well. But cinematic excellence that deserved 8 Oscars? Maybe not. I would have certainly liked this movie more, if he had not 'won' in either love or the game show. That would have been more realistic... if 'realism' is what was appreaciated in the movie. 
  • Overblown references. To answer a questions like "What is Rama's weapon of choice?"... you really dont have to go to your childhood, where your mother was killed by 'Rama' activists to get than answer? All you have to do remember is the Dussera or the Diwali celebrations that happen every year. Such things looked very contrived to me. Almost as if the author of the book wanted the answer to reference to something innately shocking. 
  • Since I have watched other Boyle movies, and liked them, and man have I tripped on AR Rahman songs! This movie was below par... Boyle has done miles better with Trainspotting and even The Beach. And Rahman has done millions of light years better. So there is the average fanboy cynicism... Oh yeah ? You think THIS is good ? Wait till you watch / listen to his earlier works. Weak. I know. But what the hell !!
  • Pet peeve that there were other movies released this year that deserved the oscars more than the 'Bollywood Realism' that was SDM. The Curious Case of Button, was frankly better in everything except music. Plus, SDM was too partisan to deserve 8. It just proved that Hollywood is the same as Bollywood. In everything except special effects. 

I am not the person who would say this movie showed India in poor light, or that it was offensive to Indian sentiments. The last thing the movie did was make fun of, or offend Indians. I feel after watching the Beach and Trainspotting, it was Danny Boyle who was making fun of Hollywood... for their idea of what 'good movies' are. 


Gokulakrishnan said...

Oscar award shows were loosing viewership at an astounding rate for the last three years. I think down by 40% or something.

So lets say you were an organizer or the Media rights holder and you wanted more viewership. Where could you turn to? China? Sorry, english is a barrier. They tried it with "Crouching Tiger" being nominated for the Oscars and viewership did not increase. So the next best thing would be to attract Indians. And what better way to target the misplaced nationalism we all boast off :) Nominate a movie which strikes a chord(however remote that might be) with an Indian and then give the award(s) to the most favourite son (ok, it is still Sachin, but ARR not too far away). Brillianto move, won't you say.

The ratings are not out yet, but I am guessing a huge jump in the viewership.


Escape.... Great Escape said...

I cannot but agree with your logic. The Miss * Pageants had tried it with tremendous success... and now it is the turn of the movie studios. 10 years late... i shuold say.

Lets hope we do not have "Sakkarakatti" kind of movies being nominated for best soundtrack... from next year.

Kaushik said...

Honestly, I don't care about realism if it is believable and not contrived. SD was a tad believable, but appeared infinitely contrived.
As for the music, it's the curious case of averages when summed up...Individually, neither would've made this impact, but they join and become something as big or bigger than what either Boyle or Rahman has accomplished wrt awards/fame.
Aside, me PSBB TP-Nungambakkam, 2000-passout of Std 10. U the what?

Escape.... Great Escape said...

There was no explanation given to revolver question. Just by using it.. he would know? By that rationale, I wish I knew who invented beer.

Global recognition for Rahman was a long time in the coming. Now he has got it.

Boyle had that shit idea even in Trainspotting... someone in desperate need would even crawl through refuse to get what he wants... In Trainspotting it was a drug addict. Here it was a fanboy.

Do you think Boyle has crawled through shit figuratively to make this trash? SDM seems stupid when compared to his other works.

Sarang said...

The inherent fact that makes this movie what it has become, is the times in which it has released.

The trying times that people are going through warrants a movie to feel good from, and love and money makes the cut :). So, SDM made it.

Also, all this talk about SDM being Bollywood representative is nonsense. When the movie needed support, no-one came forward. It did not get much support from Hollywood too. Moved from a WB productions to Fox Searchlight.

Anil Kapoor refused to act when he read the script. If not for his son who was a big fan of Boyle, he wasn't interested in the role. Not filmy enough for the guy.
Now he is all over the place saying how wonderful this movie is.

Even after its realease, nothing happened (publicity wise- referring to the morality touting and saving Indian Media), but when it started making movey in USA and also started getting awards, everybody wanted to cash in.

I agree with the idea of your post and as it has happened a lot of times, artists are not necessarily 'awarded' for their best work :).

Same is the case here.

Oscar is as local as Aascaar..

Escape.... Great Escape said...

Yes. Oscars has a major issue that is comfortably forgotten every year. It reflects American taste... and ONLY that. So it is kind of their American football champions being called world champions. By no means is it the best movie of the year. My peeve is that it could at-least have been half decent. Burn after reading was a better movie. Button was a better movie than this.

Getting recognized for your best work, is possible only for the worst of the worst performers. Like Jamie Fox. His one chance at the Oscar was rewarded. He can never reach that level again, nor has he reached before. BTW.. that Ray Charles movie.. was total bullshit again.