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Slumdog December 3, 2009

Posted by Prof. RR in Uncategorized.
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How should we characterize Slumdog Millionaire? It’s an American film, made by a British filmmaker (Danny Boyle), co-directed by an Indian director (Loveleen Tandan), with British-Indian (Dev Patel) and Indian (Freida Pinto) actors as well as non-actors, set entirely in India. What made this film a worldwide critical and commercial success? What do we even call this hybrid production? What is its relationship with Hollywood? With Bollywood?

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1. kellyparry111 - December 3, 2009

In light of this hybrid question, I think a comparison of the films clips that have been posted is interesting. When Aishwarya Rai goes on Letterman, she and David Letterman joke about the multitude of recognized languages in India and English of the US. They talk about her career and how it began, she gives insight into the ideas of Bollywood… all in a joking and fun way. She is wearing a leather jacket and high leather boots and her hair is down and wavy and big. On the other hand, when Kajol is on Koffee With Karan, she is wearing traditional clothes, her hair is pulled back, and she discusses how she felt that her marriage was the right choice, despite its apparently interesting timing with her career. I think in watching these two clips it is interesting to see the differing ways that the two stars act when they are being themselves instead of movie characters. It is also interesting to compare the way that American TV is jolly and curious to learn about Bollywood while the Indian TV seriously contemplates the career of one of its biggest stars.

2. bri66 - December 8, 2009

I think this film was such a success because the emotions portrayed were so universal: love, frustration, hate, greed, envy, etc… Everyone can relate to these emotions, applying them to oneself. Also, the film is not one particular genre. Going into the film you know the basic plot synopsis, but not what its specific genre is. Even leaving the film, you’re not quite sure. There are elements of romance, drama, some action. This keeps the audience on its toes which effectively keeps their attention centered on the plot.
Also, as I mentioned in class, I feel this film draws on both Hollywood and Bollywood because of the universal emotions mentioned above. It has the common emotions, a focus on family life (between the brothers, which is very important for Bollywood) and suspence which Hollywood likes.


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