Some Realism

Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian gave the film three out of five stars, stating that “despite the extravagant drama and some demonstrations of the savagery meted out to India’s street children, this is a cheerfully undemanding and unreflective film with a vision of India that, if not touristy exactly, is certainly an outsider’s view; it depends for its full enjoyment on not being taken too seriously.”

Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle states that, “Slumdog Millionaire has a problem in its storytelling. The movie unfolds in a start-and-stop way that kills suspense, leans heavily on flashbacks and robs the movie of most of its velocity…. [T]he whole construction is tied to a gimmicky narrative strategy that keeps Slumdog Millionaire from really hitting its stride until the last 30 minutes. By then, it’s just a little too late.”

Finally, a fourth argument is that a “happy ending” film about slum-dwellers is inherently misleading. For example, Sudip Mazumdar of Newsweek wrote:

“People keep praising the film’s ‘realistic’ depiction of slum life in India. But it’s no such thing. Slum life is a cage. It robs you of confidence in the face of the rich and the advantaged. It steals your pride, deadens your ambition, limits your imagination and psychologically cripples you whenever you step outside the comfort zone of your own neighborhood. Most people in the slums never achieve a fairy-tale ending.”

Shyamal Sengupta, a professor of film studies at the Whistling Woods International Institute for Films, Media, Animationa and Media Arts in Mumbai, criticized the film for its stereotypical portrayals of Indians by calling it a “white man’s imagined India. It’s not quite snake charmers, but it’s close. It’s a poverty tour.”

Similarly, novelist and critic Salman Rushdie, in his essay on film adaptations, “A Fine Pickle,” argues that the plot of Swarup’s novel, Q & A, is “a patently ridiculous conceit, the kind of fantasy writing that gives fantasy writing a bad name. It is a plot device faithfully preserved by the film-makers, and lies at the heart of the weirdly renamed Slumdog Millionaire. As a result the film, too, beggars belief.”

– From Wikipedia

I do not understand the significance of the opening question either – fitting and rather enjoyable film soundtrack though.

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