Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Slumdog millionaire: Desi maal Videshi packaging

Danny Boyle's Slumdog millionaire was released in selected theaters around United States on 12th of November. It is receiving rave reviews and is considered strong contender for Academy awards.

I have yet to see it, but i read the book it is based on. From trailer it is extremely clear, Slumdog millionaire is based on 'Q & A' by Vikas Swaroop, a story of an illiterate slum dweller called Ram Mohammad Thomas(why such a strange name forms a part of narrative, however movie changes it to Jamal Malik, how can u expect an American audience to grasp the uniquely strange Indian diversity) who is resident to dharavi zoppadpati in Mumbai, he gets chance to play Kaun Banega Crorepati and to everybody's surprise wins crore rupees. How he does that, is what the story is all about. Very interestingly the author unfolds that how all the incidents in the boy’s life has helped him to answer all the questions.It is story about destiny and hope. And like all such stories they make great reading.

I read the book more than a year ago, and no sooner did i realize how brilliant the premise was, i knew it had a potential for a great cinema, especially Bollywood cinema. Search Fox Light and Danny Boyle too realized that and made a Slumdog Millionaire and now they would laughing to the bank and awards ceremony. Soon some Sanjay Gupta or Kunal Kohli from india would grab a cd from church gate and remake slumdog millionare which would fail drastically. That would complete the circle.

Danny Boyle is a smart director, he knows movie based on Q & A cannot be uprooted from India (although when Kunal Kohli remakes it we'll have couple of romantic songs shot in Switzerland and Mauritius). I am skeptical about how Boyle captures the Indian essence. I know technically he is unbeatable but that was true for all his predecessor Hollywood film makers who have ended up making caricature of Indian way of life.However, the promos look amazing and I am awaiting its release.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Movies are only for Fun!

I have always believed that movies, the medium as we know, is not meant to inspire or change perspective. i feel like scoffing people who say watching lage raho munnabhai changed the way they thought about the mahatma and now they believe in philosophy of non-violence. Not getting much into it, i strongly believe LRM depicted Gandhiji in an extremely shallow light, just to fit him in the premise of the movie and i am totally allergic to the way the actor enacted mahatma. I have similar feelings for Rang De Basanti or Swades . I enjoyed all the three of the movies as a entertaining cinema and had great time watching them but never saw them as a life changing experience.

Call it my callousness or conventionalism, I believe that change in perspective or belief system is an outcome of serious effort put by an individual to cleanse his thought process that can be aided by literature and history books and often demands coming out of the comfort zone of ones belief system challenging the accepted thinking , rather than 2 and half hours of pop corn cinema seen in the comfort of cozy multiplex, whose basic objective is to reach to as large as possible audience by cratering to the accepted beliefs and tastes.