During the Samuel Johnson days, they had big men enjoying small talk; today, we have small men talking big.- Fred Allen
After my last post, I had twittered about having run out of ideas for my post titles. This post did not have any such qualms attached to my choice of title, though there was a long, cogitating pause before I finally decided what title to go with for this post. And since the root of it all seems to be (at least) a movie, I decided I could borrow my post's title from another Hollywood flick. On to it... No wait! We have BREAKING NEWS here on iNFINITY! Arindam Chaudhari is possibly considering making another movie, starring, you guessed it right - Amitabh Bachhan and he wants the Big B to cut down on his price for the same. And, he is leaving no stone unturned to make AB do that. And no, this isn't Aaj Tak, so I don't have video proof from a sting operation to prove it. You'll just have to... read on.
My friend told me of a review that Mr. Arindam Chaudhari had written for Slum dog Millionaire on January the 25th, on his very own blog, which, interestingly, is called - Passionate About India. Nice name, coming from someone who seems to be more passionate about his ponytail and free-laptop-for-the-hapless-student B-School, than India. I could buy that from him someday, you know he's got almost thirty times the readership, that my blog has. But, that's for the sometime later. The movie for now...
The review, if you could call it one, starts with this description for the movie "A phony poseur that has been made only to mock India for the viewing pleasure of the First World!!" Now, I don't really know how many people who have seen the movie go on to read my post, but if you could trust me, (I'm really sorry, but the why-you-should-trust-me piece that I promised in my last post will have to wait some more time. We could do with blind faith in the mean time.) it's anything but a mockery of our motherland. Mr. Chaudhari admonishes us against watching the movie, branding it the "Emperor's new clothes"! [?]
He question's the movie's 'hard to spot brilliance'. (Does every movie need be brilliant?) Can't some movies be brilliant for the sheer joy that watching them brings to you? And anyways 'Slumdog...' has it's flashes of brilliance, if only, they are flashes.
"Had this film been made by an Indian director, it would have been trashed as a rotting old hat, which literally stands out only because of its stench, but since the man making it happens to be from the West, we’re all left celebrating the emperor’s new clothes." says, the conceiver of IIPMs. I believe, we do have really talented directors in India today, who could have done a better job, but yes, maybe even then it wouldn't have been noticed like now, for being a Bollywood flick. And, that sums up the brilliance of Slumdog Millionaire - something that Mr. Chaudhari could not have spotted.
He calls us "shameless fools" for "gloating over its success without realising that it makes a caricature out of India". Sir, if you could have looked it over from an artistic perspective, which I sure supposed, you did have after watching The Last Lear, few nations, and that too as vast and diverse as India, have a defined comic undertone which runs through each nook and cranny, so that they can be 'caricatured'. I'm not as good with watching and especially understanding movies, but, of whatever Hollywood I have had the opportunity of grasping, I sometimes find it funny, being centered around NY, Vegas, California or at the most... a Texas for that matter. At least I was proud (yes I was!) of the caricature that it depicted India as. You - I guess, are a bit too Passionate About...
There's a lot more about "Slumdog..." that Mr. Chaudhari has to say. But iNFINITY I guess, has gone beyond providing easy publicity to quirks.(OK. that was just going overboard with attitude!) So, you better check out his blog if you are so very interested in a first hand read.
One more thing, he's a bit too concerned with the age old cliché of snake charmers and elephants being replaced by slum dogs and their dream stories of turning millionaires. Think again, sir. Isn't life when viewed from a bird's eye view, all about perspectives, which in turn, boil down to clichés.
And lastly, if the movie has been nominated for the Oscars, it isn't really a masterpiece. Not all movies that go the distance are masterpieces... they are just those, great entertainers.
He signs off, by urging us to spend our precious time watching an Amitabh Bachhan starrer instead of wasting it on "Slumdog..." which 'he believes' - sucks. We'd do that any day Mr. Chaudhari, but sometimes you need to embrace the new to discover something good about it. And, I'll advise you, not to make a multilingual, the next time you plan on making a movie. Apparently, your review on "Slumdog..." rants a lot about "jarring dialogues delivered in cumbersome manner in a language which doesn’t come naturally to most of the actors."
Mr. Chaudhari, by the way, writes here. Do me a favour if you plan on visiting. Don't come back without reading the comments. On iNFINITY, your comments, are always sought after, as usual.
Dedicated to: Our slums and their spirited dwellers.