I finally watched Slumdog Millionnaire. Last week. Only, I have not had the time to blog about it. Let me take a deep breath before I give my opinion. I did not really like the movie. It was believable. It was certainly not overplayed, like some of the reviewers said. It showed the “murky underbelly of Mumbai”. But, it was still optimistic. In spite of all these positives, it did not work for me. Maybe because I expected a lot more. Maybe because I expected profound thoughts and perhaps some solutions to the problems plaguing the country. But, on the whole, the movie was a disappointment.
I might have liked it had I not built so many expectations around it. It is a good movie, but as Lekhni points out, there have been better movies. She lists Swades, Chak De and Salaam Bombay. I would list Pithaamagan, Sethu and the numerous Balachander films alongside. Or Mr. and Mrs. Iyer.There are too many good movies around to cite them all. Unfortunately, Balachander is never recognized for the legend that he is by our pan-Indian, let alone foreign audiences. Makes me wonder why.
To conclude, Slumdog is a movie I would watch once. It drags in some places. The casting of Lathika did not impress me. Nor did the interminable questions and police torture. But, I would not complain because I know it’s reality. I was also left wondering how someone who has grown up in the slums of Mumbai has a better accent than most well-educated Indians. In all, it would be a huge bonus if it did go on to win the Oscars. But, I don’t think I would be too surprised if it did not. I can’t judge because I haven’t seen the other entries for the awards.
Finally, I read that article that explained why Slumdog could only have been made by a foreigner. I don’t agree. Anyone could have made it. It only got noticed because a foreigner made it. Anyway, I am glad that our very own A R Rahman finally got some recognition. Three cheers to that!