Thursday, April 16, 2009

An Indian fairytale

After getting two comments on 'Slumdog Millionaire', one ok, one devastating (too much violence), of course I had to go and see for myself.  I liked it!

So the story, as everyone knows, is about a young man who wins the Indian version of 'who wants to be a millionaire'. It's interesting because each question triggers some memory from his life, thus spinning together his biography. It might have been better not to run this link consecutively - that's a bit too much of a coincidence, but it's interesting, not least psychoanalytically.

Have to say that the bits about the violence, intercommunal, sexual, against children, what happens to that poor child in the orphanage, almost has documentary character in terms of what happens to poor children in India. Anyone who has read Rohinton Mistry's 'A fine balance' knows that. In addition I have spent the last fortnight assessing bids for donor funding for projects to reduce violence against children, worldwide, and some Indian bids were among them. Yes, the violence is awful, but it's what many poor children in India experience every day of their lives (and not only in India). And then there's the corruption....
The child actors were gorgeous, as were the others. Also enjoyed the bit of pure Bollywood at the end; I had expected more of that, but those mass dances tend to go more with festivities (from what little I know about Bollywood films), of which there were few, if any, in the film.

It was a bit funny having the Hindi (?) words subtitled into Lithuanian. Interesting that the word for 'I' - 'me' is the same word as in Georgian. Also liked the little Indianisms, 'computerji'.

I can see why it won those Oscars, what with the story line (a political win perhaps), the lovely children....