Bollywood and culture in an emerging India
On a recent house-hunting trip in the suburbs of Mumbai, an enthusiastic real estate agent opened the French windows of a tenth-floor apartment and stepped aside to let us enjoy the view.
I have covered the ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ “phenomenon” since December, when it first caught everyone’s attention.
I have followed it through the Golden Globe win, the Oscars, the “poverty porn” allegations and all the controversies that have hit the film after the original blaze of glory.
Boyle told reporters on Wednesday he would love to make more films in India and was in fact in talks with filmmakers Anurag Kashyap and Shekhar Kapur. He didn’t give any details but he did mention how much he loved working in Mumbai.
For this woman from a Mumbai slum, the Oscars were coming home.
I was there at Rubina’s (the youngest Latika in the film) cramped quarters, located in a slum by the Bandra train tracks, since six in the morning.
Imagine falling off a running train and slithering down a rocky slope even as swirls of dust and grime envelop you. Most people would land up with a serious hospital bill or at least a broken bone or two. Jamal and Salim, two of the “three musketeers” in Danny Boyle’s “Slumdog Millionaire” just get up, shake off the dust and move on.
It might seem a little unbelievable or incredulous, but in the midst of watching “Slumdog Millionaire” (or ‘Slumdog Crorepati’ as the Hindi version is called), you shake off that nagging feeling and move on with Jamal and Salim, simply because you want to believe in their story. It’s not a believable story and yet the film makes you want to believe.
If you are wondering why “Slumdog” and why not “Slumboy”, there’s a story behind how Danny Boyle’s Golden Globe-winning film got its unusual name.
Turns out screenwriter Simon Beaufoy was wandering around the slums of Mumbai researching the film, when he saw cats and dogs apparently asleep in the alleys.