Monday, January 12, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire: Or it is murder & mayhem in Mumbai?

Girish Shahane in his blog talks about the sensationalist novel Q&A (2005) - note the amount of sodomy involved - which inspired the sensationalist movie Slumdog Millionaire.

People need gritty stories to write novels and make films. But I wonder, what happens when the films and novels crossover, and people watch it without any context of the place or people.

A couple of years ago, I bumped into an Indian-American over free booze at a book festival. He had arrived in Mumbai a few months ago and was working for some global think-tank. He said he actually was hoping to write a novel. When I asked him if he had found his story, his face fell. He said he thought he wasn't living in the "right" Mumbai. Because nothing ever happened in Goregaon, he yelped.

That is what happens when you come to Mumbai armed with Shantaram under one arm and Maximum City under the other. You keep trying to find the gritty, edgy, murder and mayhem-filled Mumbai - and instead find the bucolic charms of Goregaon (East).

Here is a rather interesting trailer of Slumdog Millionaire.

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