Slumdog Millionaire and India

Quick last post before my hard disc is formatted and before I leave for my trip!

As most of the movie going world knows by now, Slumdog Millionaire has won 8 oscars. That’s right, EIGHT. That is quite an achievement.

For those living under a rock, it is about a poor Indian teen who lived all his life in a slum winning the “Who Want’s to be a millionaire” equivalent show and hence winning a million rupees.

So the movies is related quite a bit to India. Okay, it is entirely in India. However, the director and most of the crew of the movie is not Indian; the actors all are.

Among the eight oscars, 3 were won by Indians – AR Rahman, Gulzar (Shared wiuth Rahman) and Resul Pookutty. They won for Original Score, Original Song and Sound mixing respectively. However, none of the actors were nominated for any of the awards and so obviously, none won. The director was not Indian, the movie itself is classified as British. So how is this a win for India as it is being claimed by all most news channels?

I have nothing against the winners from India. But that does make it a win for India. An Indian win would be for a movie directed by an Indian (No, M. Night Shyamalan does not count or any of the other NRI or directors of Indian origin. Shekhar Kapoor does though :P ) or made by an Indian company.

Please folks, cut out the hype. It is NOT an Indian movie, it is not a win for India.


  1. sweta February 24, 2009

    I agree. Worst is very few critical comments from India as to why should it be termed as a good film?

  2. AJ February 24, 2009

    Thanks for commenting Sweta :)

    I will not comment on the movie quality itself since I have not watched it yet to form an opinion. I have read the book though and I did like it. Not because it is a very believable story or a tightly written one but because the story is quite fantastic and draws you to the lead character.

  3. Sidharth Kuruvila February 25, 2009

    There are a lot of reasons why indians should be happy with this movie. The cast, the material, even the culture is Indian. I think it’s sad that we insist on an Indian auteur to apreciate an Indian movie.

  4. AJ March 2, 2009


    Yep I read that today. I’m not sure of those since I’ve still not watched a movie. I was out of town and so well no movies during that time. However, I suspect all those points are valid points..


    How IS it an Indian movie? Would an american movie, about America, played by say australian and british actors and crew make it a brit or australian movie? Nope, it would still be an american movie.

    Importing hundreds of crew members (let’s leave the cast aside) is not sensible or feasible. So one obviously recruits from the local worker pool. But that does not make the movie a local movie

  5. Purely_Narcotic March 13, 2009

    No, M. Night Shyamalan does not count or any of the other NRI or directors of Indian origin.

    But NRI’s are still Indian. The time I have spent in India is negligible but I hold an Indian passport and would ordinarily be referred to as an NRI(for the lack of any better abbreviation). Non-Resident Indian is still Indian, only not residing in India which is different from PIO.

    • AJ March 13, 2009

      Purely_Narcotic, I am not debating the nationality of NRIs or anyone else. No, what my contention is that even if films are made by NRIs or others of Indian origin, it is NOT termed as an Indian film.
      In the same vein, Slumdog Millionaire is NOT an indian film and should not be considered as such

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