Why Slum Dog Millionaire and Rehman should never have won the Oscar

26 Feb

 

I am going to take the risk of falling in to that minority group of people who thinks and believes that Slum Dog Millionaire should not have won the Oscar.

First,

HOW THE HELL DID WE ALLOW A BRITISH GUY CALL AN INDIAN SLUM DOG, in the first place?

What went wrong, guys?

The movie is by a firang and SLDM movie has a hero born and bred in slums speaking British accent. How ridiculous can that be?

There are scores of movies made which showcased India in much better way. When AR rahaman has made much better music where did all these awards and recognitions go? Laagan , RDB , Roja were all from India sent for Oscar nominations. Why dint the world take notice then ?

Are we saying that Slum D M movie was better than Tare Zameen Par or Laagan in terms of direction and music ?

Only cos the movie was made by a British bloke with immense PR backing cum excess Media hype did the movie come up… This was the movie which so badly received by the American and British audience that it was all set to be released in DVD! 

Therefore ,I stick to my opinion that SLUM DOG M doesn’t deserve an Oscar .. AR … definitely doesn’t deserve an Oscar for this movie.

Let’s take it one by one shall we ?

SDM movie dint deserve the award cos it was not up to the so called Oscar standards (if we consider its past as a benchmark). The music was mediocre compared to what Rehman churns out for Shankar and Mani Rathnam. It definitely dint deserve “best director” when you had heavy weights like “the curious case of BB” and  “Doubt” and “milk” 

Between Smile Pinki and SDM . SP dint get any PR, dint have newspaper/TV/radio coverage. No one knew such a movie was coming out which had Indian background. None cheered for Pinki? Not a single “jai jai” for Simile Pinki . And yet it won an Oscar.

A real  underdog performing! Not a movie which was wining bafta, golden globe.. And all that jazz on sheer media hype and on merit. 

It was going to be a DVD release cos Warner bros (the original launch company) closed down their speciality division for low budget movies named ‘Warner independent’… it was ‘saved’ by Fox cause they obviously saw the potential and launched it.” – The movie dint not even give a whimper to survive in theaters.Fox saw the potential of a “marketing gambit under the recession cloud”….

That’s why it escaped the DVD gallows and was given a chance to survive and pumped it with huge PR campaigns… No one has ever heard of Danny Boyle in India before that.

 I bet no one in India had heard of Danny till SDM movie came along.

 Why doesn’t AR deserve an Oscar for this movie?” – Because “jai ho’ is a mediocre song in every sense. Do tell me that western audience so loved this mediocre song and decent background music that they gave him an Oscar?

That would be that “Oscar” in itself is a cheap version of our national award which recognized AR R 4 times for his music. Imagine the taste of the western audience who enjoyed jai ho… If that was the case, AR R should be given an Oscar for every Mani Athena movie he scores music for. 

Laagan and Rang De Basanti went for ” best foreign movie” and that too had AR R music. And the music was much better that SDM. How come the world dint  notice of his greatness then?

 Someone told me in an online discussion , ” Vikas trust me anyone who has lived in Bombay will stand by the depictions in the movie . “

Huh? Why Bombay? I am from Chennai and I stand Bombay what was shown in the movie. The director indeed has the guts to show the rawness of slums of Bombay.. But then Chennai has slums too , so, we have a National Image problem not something to celebrate about ! One British comes in and shows it to the world and he becomes the best director around? He exploited our image problem and made tons of money and got an Oscar.

“A Wednesday” also showed the plague India is witnessing  … no one recognized the director! 

That same person in the online discussion told me , “The director used actors from slums and Indian actors where he thought were appropriate..Dev Patel got the role cos most Indian protagonists he auditioned were beefy, slick Sallu and hritik wannabes.. He basically wanted someone who looked like a wanker…” 

A wanker is a guy who ” masturbates” or ” a stupid person” . Let us for the sake of argument take the second meaning… 

Does it mean Danny Boyle couldn’t find a single actor who looked like a wanker in India? Ridiculous! 

Every actor in India wants to act in a Hollywood movie. Cos it would look good on their CV! Check out PINK PANTHER 2 – aish rai gets the smallest role and yet the media is jumping like rabbits in heat to cover the story. The movie is flop and is sinking… Here the protagonist gets all the scenes in the movie and yet you mean to say Danny dint find a “wanker” looking guy?

Abbhay Deol in Oyez Lucky Oye .. Doesnt aim to be a Sallu or amir or whatever. He is not beefy either! 
The hero of the movie ” Aamir” doesnt look beefy nor has aims of becoming a Sallu or whatever .. Incidentally, Aamir (one the lowest budgeted movie” went on to win critical acclaim and box office hit and it was the same year when almost all movies of Sallu sank without a trace. 

Sheryas talpade doesn’t aim to be a Sallu or mallu or whatever .. Danny could have chosen him – he speaks Hindi, English and he is a better actor than dev Patel and definitely doesnt look beefy .. 

Still not convinced? head south and I can show you some really talented guys who can speak him and look great on screen and do a better job than dev Patel ( check out Evam Karthik) ..

Meaning: Danny delib chose a British Indian and suddenly he is the toast of the town. 

I am not taking any credit away from Dev , of course!

I say it again .. 

SLUM DOG MILLIONARIE never deserved an OSCAR ..

It aint worth it ! 

The original ” Q and A” by Vikas Swarup dint have a British accented protagonist, either ..

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11 Responses to “Why Slum Dog Millionaire and Rehman should never have won the Oscar”

  1. sanjay February 28, 2009 at 2:13 pm #

    Prof. Ruth Vanita writes in The Missoulian “Slumdog Millionaire’ lacks warmth, accuracy” (article and link pasted below). Salman Rushdie is not impressed by the triumph of Slumdog Millionaire at the 81st Academy Awards and says the movie “piles impossibility on impossibility”. Here is a partial illustration of what they are talking about:

    1. what is the chance of an indian living in Dharavi? 0.001 (1 million Dharavi residents out of a total population of 1.2

    billion)
    2. what is the chance of a Muslim living in Dharavi? .03 (assume the percent in Dharavi is twice the percent of Muslims in

    all India)
    3. what is the chance of a Muslim child in Dharavi being orphaned due to parents being killed by a trishul during a communal

    riot: 0.001 (assume 1 out of every 1000 dharavi muslims has been orphaned in such manner)
    4. what is the chance that a muslim from dharavi makes it to Kaun Banega crorepati: 0.001 (assume 1 out of every 1000 dharavi

    muslims has participated in Kaun Banega crorepati)
    5. what is the chance that an orphaned muslim kid in dharavi has a buddy whose eyes have been gouged out by a spoon: 0.001

    (assume 1 out of every 1000 dharavi muslim orphan has a buddy whose eyes have been gouged out by a spoon)
    6. what is the chance that a gameshow contestant in India gets tortured by police for alleged cheating: 0.001 (assume 1 out

    every 1000 gameshow contestants in India do get tortured by police for alleged cheating)
    7. what is the chance that a gameshow contestant in India needs to answer at least 4 eurocentric questions in the same

    session: 0.01 (this one is tough – I’m assuming 1 in a 100)

    One can go on and on but the chance of all these events happening to the same person as depicted in Slumdog: 3X10^-20 or approx 0.00000000000000000003!!!! Even if every single event “shows the truth about India” in isolation, taken together the picture painted by Boyle is so improbable that it makes Superman the movie look like a hard-hitting documentary.

    What is the chance that in a true Indian movie all the corrupt people including the policemen, the gameshow host etc would

    have been received their just retribution by the end of the movie? 100%. This is why Slumdog is a foreign film, not an

    Indian one.

    Salman Rushdie slams Slumdog Millionaire
    IANS | Tuesday, 24 February , 2009, 12:04

    India-born Satanic Verses author Salman Rushdie is not impressed by the triumph of Slumdog Millionaire at the 81st Academy

    Awards and says the movie “piles impossibility on impossibility”. In a speech at Atlanta’s Emory University, Rushdie called

    the book and movie nothing more than “feel-good”. He also complained about various portions of the narrative, from how

    characters manage to acquire a gun in India to how they mysteriously wind up at the Taj Mahal, 1,000 miles away from the

    previous scene.

    This isn’t the first time that Slumdog Millionaire has felt the lash of Rushdie’s tongue, Examiner.com said, noting that in

    January he told the New York Times: “I’m not a very big fan of ‘Slumdog Millionaire’.”

    “I think it’s visually brilliant. But I have problems with the storyline. I find the storyline unconvincing. It just couldn’t

    happen. I’m not adverse to magic realism but there has to be a level of plausibility, and I felt there were three or four

    moments in the film where the storyline breached that rule,” he said. The Reader and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button –

    other movies that bagged Oscar trophies – didn’t fare any better with Rushdie.

    http://sify.com/news/fullstory.php?id=14861027

    Slumdog Millionaire’ lacks warmth, accuracy
    Monday, Feb. 23, 2009
    By RUTH VANITA
    http://www.missoulian.com/articles/2009/02/23/opinion/guest/guest71.txt

    Gandhi famously termed Katherine Mayo’s book “Mother India” (1927) a “drain inspector’s report” because it focused

    exclusively on atrocities, and seemed to assert that “the drains are India.” “Slumdog Millionaire” is that report updated. At

    a paradigmatic moment in the film, an Indian boy brutally beaten by an Indian adult tells a horrified American couple, “You

    wanted to see the real India n here it is.” Holding him tenderly, the American woman gives him a hundred-dollar bill, and

    replies, “Here’s the real America, son.” No irony is indicated. The real India is a place of horror, the real America a place

    of compassion, and it takes a Britisher to see what no Indian director could.

    After witnessing Jamal tortured by policemen, orphaned in a riot, nearly blinded by gangsters, nearly killed by a middle

    class family on a train, betrayed by his brother, repeatedly derided and beaten, and his girlfriend raped and almost

    prostituted, I wondered what was next n a battered wife, perhaps? Sure enough, his girlfriend appeared with a black eye

    bestowed by her live-in master. That such horrors occur in India is tragic. But when all of them befall one person in
    the course of 18 years the result is unwittingly farcical, recalling the sufferings inflicted by Tom Sawyer on Jim in

    “Huckleberry Finn.” It’s as if a black child in the U.S. were sold by his parents, lynched by the Klan, sodomized by a

    priest, caught in a school shooting, mutilated in a race riot, and beaten by the police, all in 18 years.

    Unsurprisingly, the film is controversial in India and is running to near-empty theaters there, even while it is acclaimed in

    the West. Early in “Slumdog,” Jamal is locked into an outhouse and wants to get out to see a film star so he jumps in the pit

    and emerges unrecognizable, coated in excreta. As an Indian, I felt as if the film poured excreta on much I hold dear. For

    instance, the beautiful song “Darshan do Ghanshyam�” (“Show yourself to me, Krishna, dark as a cloud; my eyes thirst for

    you”) by blind medieval poet Surdas is familiar to schoolchildren in north India. But when Jamal, on the show that makes him

    a millionaire, is asked who wrote it, he knows only because gangsters taught it to the children they blinded.

    Unbelievably, his school in the slum, instead of teaching such poems, teaches “The Three Musketeers” in English! Perhaps

    that’s where Jamal learns the English that enables him to communicate perfectly with the American couple? If so, he’s a

    uniquely lucky slum child.

    It is one thing to use the cinematic grammar of fantasy and quite another to repeatedly violate internal logic. Jamal is

    asked what Ram holds in his hand. Every Indian knows this, just as every American knows that Christ died on a cross. But

    Jamal knows it only because a Hindu mob set fire to his home. This is like an American who has never encountered the cross

    except when the Klan burns one.

    In the novel “Q&A,” on which the movie is based, the hero Ram Mohammad Thomas (symbolizing secular India) is called Ram.

    Director Danny Boyle, in the interests of political correctness, makes Jamal a Muslim. In “Q&A,” the TV show host’s

    antagonism to Ram is explained by a previous association; in “Slumdog,” his unexplained hostility is typical of nasty,

    classist Indians. This hostility defeats the purpose of such shows (the myth that anyone can succeed) and is untrue to

    reality n both hosts of the real-life Indian show were friendly with all competitors, regardless of class. If they had got
    one arrested and tortured, as the host in “Slumdog” does, the show would have shut down.

    Boyle denies being inspired by Bollywood, even though Bombay movies have consistently developed the rags-to-riches narrative

    as a paean to human endeavor. Bombay movies are just as gritty as “Slumdog” in their depiction of violence; what they have

    and “Slumdog” lacks is warmth. The Hindi movie hero typically has a girlfriend, one or more close buddies, and a community in

    the slum. Boyle’s hero, Jamal, obeying the modern heterosexual imperative, acquires a girlfriend, but the unremitting

    nastiness of every other character (with the partial exception of his brother) leaves him in a chilling isolation
    uncharacteristic of Indian cinema and society.

    Ruth Vanita is a professor of liberal studies at the University of Montana, and writes from Missoula.

  2. Whatever March 1, 2009 at 9:47 am #

    You are just another insane mind trying to be ‘different’. I hope you have an ‘image’ problem. You keep talking about ‘image’ … SDM is a brilliant movie … slamming it wont make you a hero overnight nor will make you a ‘different’ guy.

    FYI, Rahman’s Roja was considered in Top 100 movies OST of all time. Chaiya Chaiya was rated in Top 100 songs of all time …

    Get your facts right ! You are just another WANKER ! Get a life !! Loser

  3. Karthik Krishnamoorthy March 7, 2009 at 2:02 pm #

    Guys, give it up… I understand this wasnt the best score nor the best movie. But believe me neither are other nominees or winners.

    Now we have been to the podium, our quality movies will now be viewed as a potential winner in the future, breaking the years of Indian cinema ‘low’ in western eyes;

    I dint fully complete watching the movie, neither did I like it, But I am happy a movie with an Indian theme got an oscar. The increase in donations are a damn good side effect as well.

    Lets all agree and accept we have 26% of Indiansunder poverty line earning less than 320$ a year!! We have slums, we have riot, we are not in any “Age of mass comsuption” like our western counterparts. Lets quite being in a state of denial and accept it. I dont want all Indian movies to project a false sense of Indian poverty for the sake of donations, but lets be real in rare circumstances, maybe even over expose justlike Slum Dog

  4. spartanvikas March 7, 2009 at 6:27 pm #

    Karthik,

    I disagree with you . Milk , Reader and Benjamin Button were great movies. Either you haven seen the movies or you don’t enjoy good cinema.
    I don’t understand you logic of celebrating a movie where an Indian is called Slum Dog and yet win an Oscar. More importantly why do we need such a recognition in the first place?

  5. k March 10, 2009 at 2:34 pm #

    this SDM movie exposed one corner of India to western cluture. this is not good, bcks there are good part in india too

  6. Ajay March 13, 2009 at 11:43 pm #

    Dear ‘Whatever’ my reaction to your comments…WHATEVER!!…if u know what I mean.

  7. spartanvikas March 14, 2009 at 5:03 am #

    No Ajay, I dont know what you mean . care to explain ?

  8. sandhya April 6, 2009 at 10:15 pm #

    Come on ,don’t be so baised.If this movie might not have got an award i wonder what the comments might have been.Agree that it’s an insult for Rehman to get an award in this movie.But the direction and screenplay is wonderful.Only after watching this i understood why Lagaan did not get the oscar.The costumes of lagaan are not a reality.And the movie itself could not strike our hearts.Where as SLDM did.Well,we all know it’s a novel and written by an Indian.Thank God.Otherwise this might be an another issue.What do u expect when a movie is based on slum?That it should be taken in posh locality?that might have probably made us all proud of India.Actually the movie itself made me feel proud.Inspite of India being like that ,still it made a place of it’s own in this world.Didn’t rahman mention that the essence of movie is hope and optimism.What are we really ashamed of?is it that India is shown the way it is?OR the is slum something that one should not show to the world.If u might have ever noticed the legs and hands of a child beggar that touched ur feet for a penny, u might wonder “he might have done sin to be a child in third world countries.”.Didn’t u ever noticed how a poor child gets a beating when he just stole a mango from your neighbors gardening.Poor child just might have wanted a day off from his begging.And i wonder how many anti-SLDM might have thought about this once in their life time.This movie touched a lot many people and it far from racism. it’s the humanity there.The movie is a hope for even a slumdog.I know u argue the reality of slumdog going to the damn TV show…but i say ,that’s what the screenplay and direction is about..making it look real and the flow of narration.It’s a very sensitive subject and loved every part of the slum that he showed.

  9. Nas January 30, 2010 at 11:27 am #

    What made me laugh was the accents that Boyle gave ‘The slumdogs’

    Think of the The Royle Family’ sitcom speaking with accents form the ‘The Manor Born’. Utterly ridiculous!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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    […] Here is my previous post on Why Slum Dog Millionaire should never have won the Oscar award. […]

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    […] Why Slum Dog Millionaire and Rehman should never have won the … […]

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