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Monday, March 16, 2009

A New Angle to the Slumdog discussion

This is an extension to the Slumdog post I had put up earlier on the blog.

My argument was the biased representation of India in a film like 'Slumdog' and the resultant acclaim that the film gets. This acclaim, in my opinion, directly comes from an attitude to look down upon the third world countries.

One of the interesting comments that I read for my blogpost was from Abhijeet. He said, "Would you still dislike the film if the film were set in Colombo, Sri Lanka or any other country apart from India?" While my first reactions were "Err... maybe.. uhmm...", I did gather myself to say, "Yes, I would still dislike the movie."

There's another angle to the whole discussion that I can think of. I bash 'Slumdog' up for negatively portraying Indians. What about the portrayal of foreigners in Indian films?

The foreigners in Hindi films of the 70s were the villians or their smuggler friends from abroad. Or they were the drug peddlers/the hippies.

There is one thing that has just never changed - all our Hindi movies like to force it on us that all western women are promiscuous and hence, there's always an easy way 'to get them'.

Isn't this a generalization/ a negative portrayal enough? If the poverty shown in 'Slumdog' encourages a tourist to tell a guide, "I want to see the slums of Dharavi", on the other hand, atleast 70% of men who go abroad the first time are utterly scared/utterly excited thinking of situations when they will be proposed by a drug peddler or a lovely white girl.

If non-Indian film critics have bashed up Indian movies for being immature and we say, "Yes, it s true to an extent.", why can't we say that Euro-American movies are highly generalized?


  1. I do not want to debate here (for I have already done a lot of it) but in my opinion the movie is one of the greatest ones set on Indian land... "Truly deserves Oscar!" were the words that I said after watching the film a few months before the Oscars...!

  2. adi.. i observe u've started thinking in diff angles.. :)
    i very much relate to ur views... nice post!

  3. I think one should not forget some of the gr8st hits like Jurassic Park, Evil Dead, Seven Pounds, Die Hard, Men in Black and many more on the list. If one compares Indian films with these then yes I feel Indian films are immature as there is not much of effort put in by most of the actors even. But some films like Lagaan, Krrish, Black Friday, Wednesday were truly gr8 attempts by Indians... But still the ratio is 70:30 for Foreign films!!