Slumdog, Bas!


My Bollywood loving fans-ji. I think you’ll appreciate this funny podcast from BBC Radio’s Adil Ray regarding what he’s experiencing from the Slumdog Millionaire Academy Award’s win fallout, not to mention the SAG and Golden Globe awards as well. It’s a slumfest! As a Bollywood fan I bet you’re experiencing Slumdog fallout too. Mahesh Manjrekar and Anil Kapoor are both interviewed in this clip and are a lot of fun to hear. Anil-ji speaks of his mustache and stubble being his only real contribution to the Indian Film Industry.



Adil becomes a Slumdog Millionaire expert and tracks down actors Mahesh Manjrekar and Anil Kapoor from the film. Pablo from Love Bollywood gets the wind up treatment and even Akon gets in on the Slumdog action. (podcast)

Remember fans, we were on the Indian bandwagon first. :D I suppose I can’t say that, since it makes me sound like a jerk, but you’ll understand, right? How many people come up to you at work or out and about, knowing you like Bollywood and say, Now YOU must have seen Slumdog Millionaire? This is what I want to say:

Hey but it’s not really Bollywood. It’s only taking the best ingredients of Bollywood and that’s why you like it hai! If you liked Anil in that you’d love him in a real Bollywood film. What about those 2 littlest ones from the slums? Yeah Fox or whoever is going to pay for school and apartments of the wee slumdogs and family, but then will people in their home be kidnapped and held ransom for $? Will those tikes seeing Disney Land warp them? I mean to see Disney Land and then get dropped back into Mumbai, everyone knowing you’re a star now…won’t they be continually harassed for money, even though they’re like 5 or 6? And A.R. Rahman is fantastic, but he’s done so much more and so many songs I like so much more! I mean that sound track to Bombay is so beautiful. Jai Ho is cool, but I mean come on, he’s so much more! Rahman himself even says that’s not his best work in THIS ARTICLE. And did you know when A.R. Rahman got his award and quoted and Indian movie saying Ma mere pas hai , that it was from Deewaar ? (Thanks theBollywoodFan for letting me know what movie it was from in his post HERE.) I mean if you wanna see real Bollywood, you ought see Deewaar! Plus the dancing at the end was OK, but I thought it was sort of making fun of Bollywood. I wanted to see more gusto in the dancing! And Irfan Khan! Did you even notice how HOT he is? And, and, and…

I don’t say that though, I only smile an say stuff like, “Yeah it was great!” Sometimes I manage to work in, “Well if you liked that then you’d love real Bollywood films.” Yet then I hear, “But isn’t that Bollywood?”

On a more positive note, I predict that Bollywood will soon no longer be highlighted in spell check with the popularity of Slumdog, even though it’s not Bollywood.

Watch a bit of Irrfan and Anil HERE.


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20 thoughts on “Slumdog, Bas!

  1. Oh My god! You have no Idea how much this Slumdog Millionaire thing is driving me crazy. I was an o.k. film but not an 8 academy awards great film. Oh god, what is the world coming too? I have no clue why people like it so much, the music isin’t that good. A. R. Rahman has done so much better. And would it have won if the director would have been indian? Of course not! It would maybe have been nominated for best foreign film but that’s it. Anyway, I share your pain. Yes , I know people think this is Bollywood. One girl even asked me : “I didin’t know Bollywood films had dancing in them”? What? Anyway, I will stop or I will go crazy.

  2. Stella_ji!
    I know! I agree with you. I wasn’t even going to write this post, but I needed to get it out of my system. :) I liked Danny Boyle’s Millions better, but that’s just me. I’d written a post on the film back in November talking about how it took some of the best ingredients of BW, but it’s not Bollywood. I bet it’s driving Bollywood pagal hai! Where is that girl who said that to you about the dancing? She needs a tight slap to the face. Bring her to me!

  3. Thats exactly what’s happening w/ me”I only smile an say stuff like, “Yeah it was great!”
    its making me do the opposite thing- watch 70s-80s masala which is nothing like slumdog :)

  4. shweta-ji
    We are not alone! Exactly! And listen to this podcast I linked if you haven’t already. I love Adil’s and Anil’s sentiments. They are hilarious. I especially like Adil putting on the accent very think on that prank call and claiming to have tickets to a filmfare event and lamenting over Hrithik’s attitude, and dropping info. about Priyanka’s party and how Abishek’s going to with for Dostana, “but really shouldn’t.” Love it! And all the stuff on Akon too!

  5. Sigh, I’ve been having this conversation for the last week with my bollywood loving friend. We find that we can’t really talk about it with anyone but each other, lest we come off sounding pompous or callous. But yes, i agree with you 100%.

  6. Adab Sita-ji: ROTFL at ‘the Indian bandwagon’ comment. I must say, though, that almost every time Slumdog’s been brought up this week by someone I never recommended a Hindi film to (and the number of discussions have peaked this week, of course), I have tried, and often succeeded at, selling Lagaan.

    Of course, it helps to throw in that Lagaan was nominated for an Oscar, had music by the same dude. It’s even part of my office decor, LOL. So I cannot deny it has only contributed to my Bollywood outreach efforts, and I wouldn’t mind keeping at it for another couple weeks at the very least. :)

  7. Slumdog got noticed for Hollywood existence. There are so many Indian Movies much much better than Slumdog but those are failed to get Oscar.It doesn’t mean that the movie Slumdog isn’t good,it’s a movie to be worthed watch.Yeah You are this is also not the best work of A.R .Rahaman,he gave some tremendous compose that are superlative if those compose musics are compared to JAI HO.Anyway It’s our PRIDE.Hats off to Rahaman and Gulzar Shab.

  8. I much appreciate this post :) and, like Stella commenting above, I thought Slumdog Millionaire was overrated. I especially thought it paled as social drama about poverty and crime, etc., compared to, say, the Bollywood movies of the Golden Age.

    Double the irony for me, because I was on the M.I.A. “bandwagon” quite a while ago, too, and my enthusiasms for her have also been fading a little of late (though they were so high a couple of years ago, I guess even at 50%, I’m still kind of a fan :)…

    Anyway, thank you all for helping me not to feel like such a terrible snob for wishing this Slumdog business would be over already.

    Meanwhile, I’d like to see Smile Pinki.

  9. summer-ji,
    That’s really the perfect solution to the slumdog problem. I know i didn’t want to sound pompous or callous or even worse smug, but once I heard the podcast, I felt free to bring it on. :) I did enjoy the film, but I think knowing what else there is out there that’s truly Bollywood makes us nutty with the confusion out there, and the adulation and attention is like salt in the wound. It’s causing me Dard e Disco! :D

    Namaste Crazy on Bollywood-ji,
    Yes you are completely correct in saying Hats off to Rahaman and Gulzar Shab. Thanks for stopping in.

    You make a great point about the comparison between the older films and their powerful social commentary. Yes I think of your double dilemma with MIA thrown into the mix, which would make it even more tricky. Hard not to think, “Look I’ve been trying to tell you guys since waaaaay back.” I knew you’d get it. :D

  10. Interesting to see that you too weren’t too overwhelmed by Slumdog Millionair.

    I loved the book… and probably for that reason I object to many changes Boyle made to the script even though on a writer’s level I understand them. Still don’t like them. I really wish the book had been picked up by an Indian director.

    For my taste Boyles adaptation was at the same time too weak and too strong.

    And the dancing at the end was dreadfull :p. A far cry from the sense of fun one gets in a proper Bollywood film. But enough of that.

  11. B. Rohrer-ji,
    I did not read the book, in fact it took a commenter here to point out back when I made my first post that there was a book that it was based on. I will have to read it though and am sure I will share your ideas about changes made for the film. I have to point out that I did indeed like the movie, just not the confusion in its aftermath that it’s considered Bollywood. It sure would have been fun to see such a film made by an Indian director. I did love Boyle’s Millions a lot. Glad we’re in agreement with that ending dance, either do it like you’re really loving it and trying or don’t do it at all. It was cute, but not enough!

    I hate to say I told you so…but I told you so. Well not YOU readers, but everyone else who didn’t already know that the fall from fancy parties and clothing and 5 star hotels and Disney land back to the slum is a hard one, as I mentioned in the post above. My “predictions” have come to fruition:
    Slumdog Millionaire child actors return to abject poverty in India

  12. Why you guys are calling Slumdog a Hollywood movie? It’s British

    Aren’t you guys glad that some people are going to start watching Bollywood films because of Slumdog?

    I’m pretty sure there are other Indian films that are far more superior *SPELLING* but that does not mean Slumdog was not a good movie. It was very inspirational and brought tears to my eyes.

    Can anybody list some of A. R. Rahman’s best songs?

  13. SlumdogMillionaireFan-ji,
    Thanks for your visit and clarifications. I think people are sticking “holllywood” to it since winning hollywood’s big awards. I think generally people know it’s Brittish and that it was directed by a Brit resident, Boyle, who is Irish. I think many people visiting here were frustrated that Slumdog was being confused for Bollywood, but not ever saying that it wasn’t a great film. :)

    As for the music, I’ll send you to AR Rahman’s site:
    and you can sample some music there. I really like the Bombay soundtrack and also the ones from Taal, Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na, Jodhaa Akbar, and Kandukondain, Kandukondain. I’m sure others have more enlightened selections. I like just about everything I hear from him, so I’m maybe not the best to ask. Here’s a great blog on A.R. Rahman that you may also like:

  14. Thanks Sita :)

    I’ll recommend watching Tekkon Kinkreet( Which is an Anime, but not a cliched one with giant robots. It’s somewhat like Slumdog Millionaire you’ll see what I mean when you watch it), Garage Days,and Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later and Sunshine. They are all beautiful films with amazing soundtracks.

    Do have any Bollywood film recommendations?

  15. SlumdogMillionaireFan-ji,
    Thanks for that recommendation, I’ll give that a try. :)
    I loved Boyle’s “Millions” from a few years back and I’ll also check the others you recommend.

    As far as Bollywood recommendations, go ahead and try any that I listed in my comment above, since they are all great and represent a wide range of films, but all have great Rahman music.

    Here’s one from Jodhaa Akbar, which won a lot of the India equivalent of the Academy awards (filmfare) this year.

    Here’s a sample from Kandukondain, Kandukondain:

    One from Bombay:

    And 2 from Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na:

    and Taal:

    Now after seeing these you will get a feel for some of Rahman’s music. All these films are great too.

  16. Thanks again Sita, you are very kind unlike some people around the web.

    I haven’t had the chance to see “Millions” yet, but from what I hear it’s good.


  17. The reason Slumdog Millionaire made such a splash in the US was because it distilled all the parts of Bollywood that are digestable to a wide audience. It’s like what happens when music group goes “mainstream”, they lose all the stuff that makes it really good and makes it digestable for everyone.

    I sat down and watched My Name is Khan with my sister one afternoon and she said she was depressed for weeks afterwards. And MNiK wasn’t even a “real” Bollywood film in my mind, it was somewhere between Slumdog and, I dunno, Veer-Zaara.

    After watching just a few good real Bollywood films, it basically redefined what “Five Star” means to me. Only a few American films like Schindler’s List come even close to making the same kind of emotional impact as even weak Bollywood films.

    • Aaron Stackpole-ji,
      Welcome! I apologize for my very late response here to your thoughtful comments. LOL at “And MNiK wasn’t even a “real” Bollywood film in my mind, it was somewhere between Slumdog and, I dunno, Veer-Zaara.” I was repulsed by much of MNIK, but did like SRK’s acting. In fact I was so shocked at how unrealistic, presumptious, and racist much of it was and anti-American in sentiment, that I started my own “Mama Jenny” account on twitter.!/search/iammamajenny
      Shhhh, no one knows it’s me. ;) I has helped in the healing process from being exposed to MNIK. You’re right on about touching on what Bollywood often does so much better than many other films: emotional impact! I know that’s part of why they’ve captured my attention so over the past few years. I think their emotional nature serves as a great escape and release to real life tensions. Thanks so much for stopping in to comment, and I hope to hear more from you. :)

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