Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Insecured, are we?

The recent backlash against Slumdog Millionaire's portrayal of India did not come as a surprise. The same overtones were heard when Arvind Adiga won the booker last year.

Why are we so distressed when being discussed? Is it an insecurity that stems from being subdued for many years? Or is it simply a lack of competitive spirit? Why do we get angry if someone shows us the mirror and more so if the person is not an Indian? Getting back to the movie, can anyone say that the portrayal was incorrect? So why crib saying that it did not depict the complete India, modern India, etc. The fact remains that Mumbai hosts both Lokandwala and Dharavi. The sooner we turn honest the better for us.

Slumdog was all about story telling and the only point is garnering maximum audience.
Boyle took an Indian's book and converted it to a motion picture and he did it brilliantly.
I have no second opinion about it. I am not even perturbed that he showcased India, rather Mumbai, thru slums and beggars. That's a truth about my country and I want to change it not deny it.

In my review blog I had accepted that I did not think Rahman's music for the movie to be his best but that does not mean I am not happy at his Golden Globe win. Neither do I want to think why doesn't any other movie, with a better Rahman music win the coveted prize! For me, the music is great and I am glad it's recognized even if it's not his best.

I personally feel that people all over the world connect to the concept of hope triumphing over odds. Have you seen the 2004 Hollywood film Crash? If not, pick a DVD. The movie clearly shows the racial discrimination issue in the US. Didn't that movie dent the image of our so called Big Brother. No, it does not! It showcases a fact about a country in the form a story and ends it with a warm feel good climax. That's what movies should do. They should end on an optimistic note. It makes you feel good.

Aren't we as a country changing every minute? We are no longer the land of snakes and elephants. We are a country that's elected women to the two highest offices of our country. We are a country that's built an IT sector strong enough to have the firangs crying hoarse. I know we have our set of problems but we will solve them.

Let's not bother why the jury chose the movie. They may have their own logic, their own prejudices too! Lets just rejoice for an Indian(for god's sake 80% of the film was Indian, the cast, story, music, etc) movie making us proud. Let's not raise fingers or question their intentions. Let's just be confident and accept the accolades as they keep coming.

As Eleanor Roosevelt rightly said - Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent.


Anoop Kunchukuttan said...

I agree with you. Its a cause for celebration. At its soul, the movie is completely Indian. Its basically a Bollywood movie with a simple feel good story - probably executed better. That makes a strong case for Bollywood movies abroad. Amitabh should be happy about that.

Pappul said...

You have made a valid point.

I agree to ...
We are not just a land of snakes and elephants
We have taken the IT sector by storm
Boyle has captured India extremely well

I think the anger or frustration of most people who complained was not because how India was shown ... but maybe coz Westerners have only one picture of India in their mind ... its not so much to do with how we as Indians feel that we are doing so bloody well in every field ... but its the constant negligence of the Westerners to acknowledge that ...

For them, we are still a land of beggars, slums, Swamis ... pick any random Firang movie and most of the Indian characters are either a snake charmer, a Swami, a priest or a poor man ...

I am still looking forward to some one making a movie on an India which has taken the world by storm ...

this is not to deny any points you have made ... all points were immaculate ... its just that I think only Indians know about it and no one else ...

Cheers ... !!

Vikash Kumar said...

Very well said.. I couldn't agree more :)

Prameela said...

Pratik, I personally feel that many people know more of india than what you said. As far as depictions are considered I think they dont cater to the exact sensibilities always :) Too many Indians in diff arena make India a buzzword today.
And the westerners who actually know nothing about India, theres no point in even mentionig them. Its a simple case of horrible GK and current affairs ;)