Sunday, November 16, 2008

Slumdog Millionaire

Just saw "Slumdog Millionaire" and I can honestly say that it's the best movie I've seen since maybe "The Namesake". The story about a kid from the slums who makes it onto India's version of "Who Wants to Be A Millionaire" a moving personal story with pop culture and realistic drama. Plus the A.R. Rahman + M.I.A soundtrack was dope.

Not to mention that for some reason I had this vibe that the story's main star, Dev Patel reminded me of "Superbad's" McLovin (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) for some reason. Maybe it's their protruding ears...

...But that's neither here nor there.

The thing which got me is that for the life of me I couldn't understand two little things...

WARNING Slight spoiler alert...


1. When the Hindus destroy the Muslim slum during the Bombay riots, why didn't the Director make any reference to the fact it was a part of the riots. It's a subtle point but otherwise non-desi watchers are left with the viewpoint that the stupid violence happened without any context. I'm not saying the context justifies what happens but it seems that Muslims are just rounded-up and viscisouly killed everyday. At least they could have the boys walk by some newpaper stand which has the headlines showing how outrageous these attacks were

2. During this same scene, the boys are running from the mob and they cross upon a boy painted in blue ala Ram holding an arrow. The significance of this is to show that this is how Jamal knows the answer to the "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" question "What does Lord Rama hold in his hand." But the question I have is why was there a boy just sitting in that room in blue to begin with? It's one thing if the boys had spotted a picture of Lord Rama...but to have a kid dressed up like that? I just didn't understand why the boy was in that room.

These are of course two minor little points for a pretty fantastic, moving, terribly disturbing, and uplifting movie. I guess my first question doesn't really have an answer, but the second one I'm sure someone has a view.

For the love of God speak...or the love of Rama anyway.

[to the Top of the Blog!]

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Regarding point 1.

I was thinking that it was nice that Jamal said "Because of Ram and Allah, we don't have a mother". He didn't just blame Lord Ram. It was a subtle but well-taken point, for those who wish to see it.

Rush

Shakes said...

I didn't catch that before and frankly it took me a few seconds to appreciate the distinction. I'm guessing too that it was intentionally done that way

Pat Martin said...

I really appreciate your perspective, Shakes. This is a very culturally rich site. Thanks for blogging!
Pat

Anonymous said...

Ejoyed the comments. I was thinking the boy was dressed in blue and brought by the attackers as their 'protector'.

Ammar said...

Muslism DO face regular violence from Hindu mobs, especially in Gujurat and Mumbai area. Not to mention the fact that in many of these areas, Muslims are denied employment and even forced to go to the worst schools available. It is this reality which the children of Muslims in India face daily. Discrimination and outright murder at the hands of extremists, who unfortunately are given government support. i.e. Narendra Modi saying about Gujurat massacres "we took the decision not to take the decision [to end the violence]"

We cannot ignore the oppression of the downtrodden Muslims in India. This is what the director wanted to show. Unfortunately for most of us Muslims, we are painfully aware of the realities of the violence which has killed thousands and left many more orphans. This was only a glimpse of the world which Muslims are forced to live in India.

Anonymous said...

hey.. the kid was blue in color dressed as a hindu god coz then the angry mob who were targeting muslims would think he is hindu and leave him, i.e not hit him.