Friday, February 13, 2009
jhopadpattikutta karorepati.that would be the literal translation of the title into hindi.but when i first read about this movie, i looked up the oxford dictionary to get the meaning of slumdog. it wasn't there,so i tried wikepedia. and i got the answer. the word is new.coined by simon beaufoy who has done the script for the movie. it is made up of two words slum and dog. the dog here refers to the underdog.one who is is not favoured to win a competition. one million is ten lakhs and ten million makes a crore.a crorepati pronounced as karorepati is a millionaire.
there was a hue and cry for the reference to the word dog for the poor slumchildren.as usual some even went to court to get a stay on the film's release.but they didn't get any relief.i decided to see the movie as it had won so much approbation.awards galore.and the 'real thing',the oscar almost there,if you believe in the law of probability.my verdict. well deserved.danny boyle and his team have done a marvellous job.
right from the start of the movie,it grips your attention.no dull moment.it portrays the life in a mumbai slum like no other hindi movie has ever done.true.hundred percent.no exaggeration.even to the extent of showing the young would be millionaire jamal(dev patel) sitting in the loo and when he hears that his favourite film star amitabh bacchan is landing there in a helicopter,he tries to run out to meet him and take his autograph on a photo of his that he has preserved.finding the door of the loo bolted from outside by a mean guy,he jumps vertically down into the shit and runs and succceeds in getting the autograph.that grit perhaps helps him to face all odds to win the coveted "kaun banega krorepati?"
adapted from diplomat swarup's novel titled 'q and a', an award winning book by itself,simon beaufoy has made the story look so compelling.for every question raised in the gameshow,the answer to the uneducated slumboy comes out of experience.the host(anil kapoor) is awestruck at jamal's capability and is sure that it is a case of fraud. the police(irfaan khan and saurabh shukla) step in. jamal is harassed and tortured by but finding no evidence of any wrongdoing he is released for the final round.
the kidnapping of young children in the slums,their torture to make them handicapped and to be used as beggars is vividly shown.the perpetrators initially treat the children well,feed them and once they win the innocent children's confidence,they go about their ruthless task.jamal,his brother munna and their friend latika get caught in this racket.jamal and munna escape,but poor latika remains behind.jamal can never forget latika(then rubina ali).he yearns to get back to her.over the years she has been trained to sell her body. and be the object of pleasure.according to danny boyle there are as of now 26,283 latikas in mumbai alone!
jamal's brother becomes a member of the underworld.latika(now freida pinto) works in the house of a don(mahesh manjrekar).jamal establishes contact with his brother and later latika who is now the object of pleasure of his brother too.taking all this in his stride,jamal goes for the final show sure that latika his childhood sweetheart will be watching and will come to meet him from wherever she is.he answers the last question on the names of the three musketeers correctly and wins the competition.latika and jamal are together.the don has been killed and so too his brother.
the finale is the dancesong "jai ho". beautifully picturised at cst(vt) station,brilliant music by rehman,well choreographed,it was a treat to watch this dance alongwith the credits rolling at the end of the twohour movie. to sum up,sm is a very realistic portrayal of mumbai slum life and shows how the spirit to fight against all odds finally triumphs.
what i admire about danny boyle(aaram se is his favourite expression) and christian colson,one of the producers of sm,is their plan to pump significant profits from the film back into the mumbai slums where the film is set.they want to give back to an extraordinary city which has helped them produce an extraordinary film.the objective of the fund would be to help deprived and underprivileged children and to distribute money to projects in mumbai and the rest of india. a good lumpsum amount would be paid to the slum children actors once they reached 18 and completed their studies.they are giving them an incentive to finish school.how many indian producers have ever put back their profits into mumbai and their slums? when some of the slumchildren were asked about the movie they said that it gives an accurate picture of their kind of life."we like it better than the usual bollywood movies".that should answer all the critics.
partly funded with american money,directed by a british director and an indian rags to riches and gut wrenching story has done so much for bollywood than any other locally produced movie has done.the movie is dark and gloomy and also funny,breathing happiness and optimism.it is a fastpaced film with everyone putting in outstanding performance.the unknown young actors take the cake.the young protogonist jamal(dev patel),the humble callcentre chaiwallah(as he is ridiculed by the show host) still hangs in there and does not collapse under the weight of the mind games played by the showhost and the trauma of torture by the cops. all just to win his sweetheart back.
the winner is also mumbai slums like dharavi and the one at juhu.dharavi was a fort and a fisherman's hamlet and now asia's biggest slum occupying an area less than half of new york's central park with ten lakhs people cramped in there.
will the $10 million sm win the top honours next week in the academy awards or will the $150 million dollar benjamin button? is it a million dollar question? or is it a no-brainer? i had earlier mentioned about the law of probability. that is in sm's favour.also the odds offered by the bookies in india and abroad is also some indication.while sm gets 1.53 odds in india,the international community's is 1.16.and for bb it is 6.50.that is surely an indication of things to come.