Jan 13, 2009

Slumdog who touched hearts - A.R Rahman


The spectacular success of the talented Hollywood director Danny Boyle’s film Slumdog Millionaire at the Golden Globe awards, where both the film director and its music director, A. R. Rahman, walked away with the coveted Globes, and the buzz this small budget film has created around the world, reflects the keen interest the world is suddenly showing in the underdog.

Mr Boyle’s film tells a simple and yet stunning story about Jamaal, a lad from a Mumbai slum, and his brother Salim, who, growing up in Dharavi, are subjected to some of the most traumatic experiences that millions of Indian children undergo in slums.

Scores of Bollywood films have been made on the subject but Mr Boyle’s treatment of the story is nothing short of magic. The film also picked up two more Golden Globes, for best screenplay (Simon Beaufoy) and best motion picture, in which category it competed against films such as the Brad Pitt starrer The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

Slumdog’s huge success — incidentally, Mr Rahman’s award is the first ever Golden Globe honour picked up by an Indian – has made it a hot favourite for the Oscar awards to be presented next month. The novel, written by Indian diplomat Vikash Swarup, has been transformed brilliantly by the director.

Released last month in the US and Europe, for some curious reason this Hollywood/Indian film is yet to hit Indian theatres. But the film has got rave reviews from across the world – several blogs are buzzing about the amazing and heart-warming story of Jamaal, the underdog, who comes out of nowhere to land up in the ‘hot-seat’ of ‘Who wants to be a millionaire’, and emerges with big winnings.

But the near-universal dream of making megabucks is not what really draws Jamaal back to the show’s finale. Jamaal’s main mission in going back to the game show is to find his childhood sweetheart, Latika, another slum kid to whom he had offered shelter on a rainy night, and who had ended up inhabiting, for a while, the world of the two brothers.

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