I am almost bored of talking about Slumdog Millionaire with firangs…cos that’s their recent tryst with India and obviously it is a very powerful movie, so it is not easy to forget. But I doubt anyone who is not a Mumbaiyya will get the movie. Not too many people outside Bombay can see past the slums, the filth and the poverty to see the spirit of survival in the kids’.
So when people see the movie and comment on how authentic it is, they are only seeing the topmost layer. It is authentic is many more ways and quite false in many other. Did they show any great locations? Hardly. Only crowded stations, mud roads, pits and jhopdas? Is that what people see when they see Mumbai in the movie? Unfortunately YES.
I remember when I was younger, I hated BBC for showing India as a land of elephants and snake-charmers. Well, the truth is that stereotypes sell better. So unless you have lived in Mumbai, you cannot take the movie at face value. Yes, these things happen, but considering most firangs have never seen a movie based completely in India, these are not the only things that happen in Mumbai.
Its no surprise that it gives me whiplash to talk about the joy of someday going back to Mumbai and in the same breath to discuss the slumdog millionaire as if it really happenned. Its just a movie people! Jai Ho.