Friday, January 23, 2009

The Attitude of Slumdog Karodpati

I think every good film has its own soul/ attitude and that attitude has a direct relationship with audience - and Slumdog Millionaire has its own - the dark side of slum's harsh reality, bitter truth, its disgusting, its ugly, surprising, revealing and making audience never to settle down. This has direct relationship with audience... make audience uncomfortable and make the story move forward with rapid speed. I wont reveal the story here because its worth watching (at least once) Do not go with pre-concieved notions...its vivid. I was tempted to watch this (over hyped) film on a CD and I did not succumb to that temptation. because I wanted to watch it in big screen and ended up watching Hindi version - Slumdog Karodpati! I am thinking if this movie without the hype and recent awards... could it have still been a great film? Yes ! because of the director (Danny Boyle) and the screenwriter (Simon Beaufoy). Nothing great about A R Rehman work in this film. What is an attitude? An attitude is a hypothetical construct that represents an individual's degree of like or dislike for an item generally positive/ negative views of a person, place, thing, or event - in case of Slumdog, the director Boyle plays very smartly with childhood observation of central character Jamal, life in slum, his love for Latika, and yes the one in a million event and the basic plot ...Can a person from slum goes on to win the contest and be millionaire? The film begins with question...How did Jamal win 2 millions and in the end of film there is title "Its Written". The first half hour of the movie runs very fast, it begins in jail and in seconds you are in a game show with Jamal! and the story starts fast and unsettles/shocks you... there is growth of Jamal from a kid to a teenager, his journey with Salim, wanderings in slums, trains, to Taj - again every shot is telling two stories (since its fast paced, every scene/shot has multipurpose effect both for present and for future story to unfold). It is rags to riches - an underdog character from minority community, a love story (Jamal love for Latika), the sub-plot angle of salim and his gangster boss, the police interrogation, and in between the game/quiz show interwoven (good editing Chris Dickens to maintain edit continuity) Credit must first go to Vikas Swarup's novel Q & A, because everything originated from Vikas's imagination. I wonder if this was not a novel first, and Vikas might have written a screenplay to go to a production house, will this film be ever made? And would any Indian director fancy it? It looks more like a Hindi film with all its masala...rags to riches, love story and gangsters. But when the book was out (now people are reading it) and got noticed by others, they make it into a film. What works is the casting because all the actors are apt for the role - Dev Patel as Jamal Malik... there is Irfan Khan, Saurabh, Mahesh Manjrekar, Shruti Seth ect but another guy who has great attitude is Anil Kapoor. He is really Lambi Race Ka Ghoda in Indian Cinema. I thought he would just be a quiz master in the film but no he has a grey shaded character and his body language in crucial moments holds the story well, he really plays the host of the show well even with his eye movements. He really is superb and I guess hugely under rated actor but I have never found a bad performance by Anil Kapoor ever. I dont think any critic has ever has said he is not a good actor in long list of films he has done till date. Now the Oscars...the media is bombarding this film with feel good factor, interviews of cast and crew and everything about it since last fornight. Many people even before Oscars nomination were announced predicted how many Oscars it will win and that too without even knowing what other films are selected for nomination. Even today, many have not seen other films that are in category. If Slumdog gets oscar, its good...if not still its good. This film will open eyes of many film makers to make better films...films that have its own attitude, its own style of its soul, its own characters, its own logic and not restricted to item numbers and other cliches. Watch Slumdog because its a good film, do not watch with Oscar in mind...because it will trouble you when you're watching it. Its written! :)