OPINION

Slumdog Takes Home The Millions And The Oscar!

February 23, 2009
Seema Dhindaw

Slumdog Millionaire took home all the major awards including best director for Danny Boyle and best film at the Oscars tonight. The show was laced with a Slumdog theme from the very beginning. The songs, a performance by A R Rahman and a Bollywood dance routine during the ceremony all built up anticipation of the finale. It was heartening to see the child-actors from Slumdog Millionaire who had been flown in by Fox Searchlight for the ceremony. They were interviewed by CNN and in their adorable voices gave details of the excitement of their first flight. Freida Pinto looked ravishing and she and co-actor Dev Patel graciously pulled cameras and microphone towards the child-actors crediting the little ones with the film's success. This victory will hopefully bring more attention to the cause of street children.

The Oscars for a while have been struggling with translating a good show into great television. A R Rahman's catchy tunes and the drums made me sit up and take notice after watching Hugh Jackman peddle lukewarm comedy and sing a somewhat clumsy medley with Beyonce. The night's obvious favorites were The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button and Slumdog Millionaire and all bets were off once Danny Boyle won for Best Director.

When I watched the film a while ago, I was struck by both, the depiction of extreme poverty and the utter adventure of a street-child's life. Having visited Mumbai, I noticed that Danny Boyle had zoomed in on the slums and left a lot of the city out. This seems purposeful. In my opinion he may have done so simply to underscore the ultimate victory and rise of the underdog in a shorter duration; the harsher the protagonist's beginnings, the greater the altitude of his ultimate success at the film's finale. Plenty Hindi films use similar trends in their escapist success stories but since a Hindi film is longer and has fewer themes within the plot, the transition from the rags to riches is not as speedy or as drastic as in Slumdog Millionaire. This likely makes the initial scenes of Jamal's misfortune in Slumdog Millionaire much too dire for the taste of the Indian audience.

In current times of economic recession and hopelessness the victory of the underdog seems to have translated into a global message that one is thirsty for in every part of the world. Some Indians blogging about the success of Slumdog have commented about how the film may damage Indian tourism and the international image of the nation's commercial capital once foreigners see the slums and grime. As an American, I found it interesting that not many of these writers directed their angst towards the system that allows such dearth to stagnate in the midst of a city that has risen from terrorist attacks and floods in the past few years. I came across only a few bloggers who have documented what Slumdog's success would mean for the numerous charities that aid street children in Mumbai. Every member of the Slumdog Millionaire team who won in tonight's Oscar had the highest commendations for Mumbai. I watched both the film and the Oscar ceremony with fellow-Americans who immediately expressed an interest in wanting to visit Mumbai and in contributing towards organizations involved in the education and rehabilitation of street-kids. Towards the end of the show it was clear that the message of hope showcased in Slumdog Millionaire resounded in Hollywood and seems to have captivated the Academy as well. As a major buff of Hindi films I am hopeful that Slumdog Millionaire's success will open up new avenues for scripts and roles for Indian actors here in Hollywood. Considering the immense talent that the Hindi film industry houses, Hollywood could only benefit from being able to borrow themes of romance and escapism from this colorful and lively film industry across the seas. This shout-out for the largest film industry in the world from Hollywood has been long overdue and may be the beginnings of a fruitful collaborative bridge between the two industries.

A R Rahman was humble as ever in accepting two awards for best soundtrack and best song (with Gulzar) for the foot-tapping Jai Ho. His acceptance speech may very well be the answer to all the Slumdog Millionaire haters out there who weren't able to get over the portrayals of poverty and destitution in the film.

"In life I have always had the choice between hate and love" Rahman said, his face remarkably calm in the face of such achievement, "I always chose love and now I am here" he concluded, victoriously raising his golden statuette.

Seema Dhindaw is an American Born Smart Desi. She is a psychobiologist, a biomedical researcher and an instructor. She has experience in both writing and with tutoring children. She loves reading, watching movies and debates and discussions but detests prejudiced, judgemental crap and ad hominem.
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#1
smallsquirrel
February 23, 2009
06:50 AM

lukewarm comedy? seriously? jackman was amazingly good with that opening number!!! it was funny, and he sang well. was not paying attention to the number with Beyonce, tho.

#2
commonsense
February 23, 2009
07:38 AM

Seema:

"Freida Pinto looked ravishing"

absolutely!!

#3
Aditi N
February 23, 2009
09:35 AM

Nice article Seema. That last quote by Rahman was so simple and yet profound.

Btw SS I hated the comedy too :) Jon Stewart, Billy Crystal, Whoopi have raised standards for the kind of comedy presented at the Oscars. That opening number gave me a headache. But Hugh Jackman is hot...so its all good :))

Pinto did look nice but could have done without the lace sleeve on that pretty gown.

#4
smallsquirrel
February 23, 2009
09:48 AM

aditi... really? you did not like it? Oh well, takes all kinds. LOL! :) :) :)

and yes, I forgot to mention that although I disagreed with the Jackman bit, I did enjoy reading this article. Nice job, Seema.

The only thing I wanted was more camera time for the kids from Slumdog. I wanted to see them, see their reactions, see their PARENTS reactions. Hrmph!

Was also thrilled that "Smile Pinki" won for best short documentary, as I was really touched by that story.

#5
commonsense
February 23, 2009
11:24 AM

Aditi:

"Pinto did look nice but could have done without the lace sleeve on that pretty gown."

she always looks nice and her gown was great too!

#6
Aditi N
February 23, 2009
12:01 PM

ok commonsense we get it...you think pinto is hot. but I really hope you are not going to keep repeating it every time anybody has any opinions about her :)

#7
kaffir
February 23, 2009
12:37 PM

"As an American, I found it interesting that not many of these writers directed their angst towards the system that allows such dearth to stagnate in the midst of a city that has risen from terrorist attacks and floods in the past few years."

=

From what I've read, some attempts were made to rehabilitate slum-dwellers into apartments with better amenities, but their new homes were far away from their means of livelihood, and the relocated people were missing the community that they found in the slum among their fellow slum-dwellers.

Maybe Deepa can shed some light on this issue, as my information is second-hand based on what I've read.

Point is: it's a complex issue with no simple solutions, and it's fruitless to blame only one party or the other, even more so based on incomplete information mixed in with certain ideologies.




Merit-wise, I thought "Slumdog Millionaire" fully deserved the awards it got for editing, cinematography, music, song and possibly screenplay, but not for direction or best picture; case in point - it had no nomination in any of the four acting categories, one of the essential ingredients that makes a movie great and worthy of a prize, and it proves that actors were nothing more than props in the film which was an advertisement for the TV show.

Then again, certain movies ride up on the zeitgeist (e.g. Dances with Wolves, Titanic, Forrest Gump, Braveheart, Gladiator) and win the top honors, but 5 years down the line, make people scratch their head as to why such average movies were awarded the Best Picture award. "Slumdog" falls in the same category and rides on the bling-bling and hype factor, unlike a film like "The Godfather" which stands the test of time and if watched today, more than 35 years after it was released, one can still appreciate the brilliance of that film and nod approvingly at the awards it received.

#8
kaffir
February 23, 2009
12:44 PM

And it was a joy to see those kids who played the childhood versions of the three main characters be on stage at the end, and all smiling and happy. Finally, they got some recognition that they deserved, instead of the constant drumbeat about Dev Patel and Freida Pinto, whose acting was quite wooden in the film. And FP should consider herself quite lucky as she's riding the coat-tails in spite of appearing for only 15-20 minutes of total time on the screen, and that too, nothing to write home about in terms of acting chops.

#9
kerty
February 23, 2009
12:59 PM

""In life I have always had the choice between hate and love" Rahman said, his face remarkably calm in the face of such achievement, "I always chose love and now I am here" he concluded, victoriously raising his golden statuette."

SM has gone thru endless arguments what it is all about, why it is porn and not love and how SM elevates hatred of India as love. That debate will go on.

It is easy to mistake porn as love and hate as hope. And nobody exemplifies it better than AR Rahman himself

Here is a Hindu who rejects his faith, not out of religious convictions, but out of economic compulsions faced by his family. Out of rich tapestry of spiritual avenues offered by his own faith, he couldn't find any he could live by, so he rejects them all. In stead, he chooses a religion of Peace and Love, that has made India a religious battle-ground.

Here is a Musician, who rejects musical traditions of India, not out of musical convictions, but out of commercial allure. Out of rich tapestry of musical mosaic offered by Indian musical traditions, he can't find any he can live by. So he rejects them all. In stead, he chooses street and pedestrian music from western pop, hiphop, ghetto rap.

SM is not the best of Rahman's music. So he knows why he is standing there on the award podiums. It is precisely because what he and SM have chosen to embrace and what he and SM have chosen to reject. Many Indians simply disagree that what Rehman and SM have embraced is love or hope.




#10
Slime_id
February 23, 2009
01:20 PM

A r Rahman says

http://music.ndtv.com/Music_Story.aspx?id=ENTEN20090083932&type=musicindia

"A R Rahman: Well I think it has something to do with the South Indian tradition also. Mothers are very possessive about their sons. Though my sisters will complain that no she did not show that much love to them. It is not true. I think it is much more because I was the only son and only male member in my family and had three sisters and she. We were just five of us. So in that way I think there is more focus in what she was doing for me and for the family. I think she also went through - she knew exactly how everything worked in the music field or in the movie world. Father overdid, overworked and probably exhausted himself and fell sick and lost his life because of that. Probably she wanted to correct those things, which were a mishap in my father's life and she exactly knew what was right, what was wrong in the way of working, in the way of many things actually. So that is one of the reasons even I started doing very limited films. When a composer used to do 30 films in a year, I started doing probably 4 of 5. I said this is enough for me because I do not want to lose. I do not want to be in the same boat as my father and overworking and you know probably destroying yourself. I knew that somewhere if somebody--nobody cares when a person dies. I think it is just the very few days of asking- How are you? And what is going to happen? And then everybody has his or her own lives. Life is a big kind of a challenge for everyone. So that is what happened. Probably that also made me more firm in deciding that all of us have to take care of ourselves and we have to be mature enough to do that"

#11
Aditi N
February 23, 2009
02:06 PM

music, art and creativity have no religion or nationality and they are a universal language. rahman's statement is a resounding slap in the face of everything prejudicial, hateful and divisive one could say. it is only amazing that he managed to do it with eloquence and simplicity when some of us would so like to use a very literal, hard, well-aimed slap in the face of all the hateful crap some commentators spew every once in a while on DC be it about religion, politics or culture.

it is people like these who bring shame to a nation...not musicians, muslims or dirty underbellies. it is these very people that have turned nations everywhere into religious battlegrounds with their prejudice.

#12
kaffir
February 23, 2009
02:17 PM

kerty,

AR Rahman's decision was personal based on his experience. I don't see why that should be turned into an issue.
You can also listen to Lagaan where you'll find all the rich musical traditions of India.

#13
Ayan Roy
February 23, 2009
02:44 PM

I am utterly gobsmacked after reading this:

"Here is a Hindu who rejects his faith, not out of religious convictions, but out of economic compulsions faced by his family. Out of rich tapestry of spiritual avenues offered by his own faith, he couldn't find any he could live by, so he rejects them all. In stead, he chooses a religion of Peace and Love, that has made India a religious battle-ground."

Kerty, if people like you are advocates of Hinduism, then most sane people would run away from the very thought of anything "Hindu". I really don't know what personal grudge you have against muslims and Islam; just for your own sake, please broaden your small heart a little bit and stop being so negative and cynical about everything just for the heck of it. (Or maybe you get some kind of weird sadistic pleasure out of being hateful and negative). You'll be much happier and healthier.
As for A.R.Rehman's music, you and I are light years away from him in terms of any kind of musical talent; it is embarassing and stupid to try to criticize him for his choice of music which has been proven to be of high quality and has been extremely popular over a number of years.

It's just sad that there are still a large number of people in India who have such mean, narrow-minded, hateful and negative mentalities. Maybe that's why we have not been able to progress and develop properly in these 60 years.

#14
kerty
February 23, 2009
02:49 PM

"music, art and creativity have no religion or nationality and they are a universal language"

If they were universal, how come Lata or Kishore never won any Oscars or got embraced in the west? How come?

How come only that body of work that trashes something in India gets embraced and lionized by the west and its running dogs?

Who says western music or art or culture are the only 'universal' ones? That only they stand for love and hope, and those who reject them are for the hate and divisions?

One can not reject art, music or culture of India and yet proclaim to be for love or peace. The jihad and hatred are implicit in the rejection of them. Battlegrounds get created when they are rejected and hostile alien ones imposed in the name of 'universal', love or hope.

"some of us would so like to use a very literal, hard, well-aimed slap in the face of all the hateful crap some commentators spew'

Yep. Cracking the coconuts is an age old Indian tradition.

#15
Aditi N
February 23, 2009
03:01 PM

"If they were universal, how come Lata or Kishore never won any Oscars or got embraced in the west? How come?"

Umm, the best soundtrack/ singer awards are for the national (meaning American) entries since Oscars are an American award; just as a Filmfare Award for best playback singer wouldn't go to say Dolly Parton. I don't remember these 2 singers singing for any films in that category. They weren't even submitted for consideration. Lata Mangeshkar for that matter has felicitated and honored by several international organizations, American, French, British etc.

"Who says western music or art or culture are the only 'universal' ones?"

I don't know. Who did you hear it from?

Ayan: I love the word gobsmacked...I'm going to use it to describe how I feel after reading practically everything kerty has to say. :)

#16
kerty
February 23, 2009
03:04 PM

Kaffir

"AR Rahman's decision was personal based on his experience. I don't see why that should be turned into an issue."

He made a big punch line out of it at the Oscar that he rejected hate and chose love. My response was to the post that made a punch line out of this quote for her article.

#17
kerty
February 23, 2009
03:26 PM

Ayan

"It's just sad that there are still a large number of people in India who have such mean, narrow-minded, hateful and negative mentalities. Maybe that's why we have not been able to progress and develop properly in these 60 years."

That is one thing we agree on.

It should be easy to reject hatred, meanness, negativity, narrow-mindedness, self-destructiveness. But they fool us all the time because they get nicely packaged in the media and politics as love, hope, shame, broad-mindedness, progress-empowerment, personal choices-freedom-rights etc.

#18
kerty
February 23, 2009
03:38 PM

Aditi

"Umm, the best soundtrack/ singer awards are for the national (meaning American) entries since Oscars are an American award"

In that case, what has SM or Rehamn got to do with national entries or awards of America? I brought up my point only because a claim was made that music and art have no nationality.

""Who says western music or art or culture are the only 'universal' ones?"
I don't know. Who did you hear it from?"

My #14 was in response to #11's opening comment as under:

"music, art and creativity have no religion or nationality and they are a universal language
to music and art not being national"

#19
kaffir
February 23, 2009
03:44 PM

kerty, oh that!!

I thought it was a message from Rahman to his co-religionists to choose love, who are busy choosing hatred instead, the latest example of which in India being the intimidation of The Statesman's editor-publisher.
*laughing*

I guess everyone's going to see what they want in that statement of his, since it's so generic and could apply to so many situations, just like those astrology blurbs based on the 12 zodiac signs in newspapers.

#20
Kerty
February 23, 2009
04:30 PM

Kaffir #19

Why would he choose an Oscar podium to make make a provocative religious statement? I consider the religious take you articulated to be an unintended interpretation. It is still a valid interpretation - because ultimately, how spoken words are interpreted by the people is what counts, not what was intended, which nobody would know for sure.

I think his comment spoke about SM, how the movie has received constant negative criticism and opposition, a negative campaign against it to undermine it at the Oscars, and SM still made it, as the academy chose to embrace it and reject the opposition - and its victory as triumph of love over hate. Its like a SM enacted in surreal real life - like Jamal, the movie had no hope, was destined to be a made-for-DVD oblivion, had insurmountable odds and distractors staked against its success but it overcome all the adversities to make it to the final round and win it conclusively - a victory fought with hope and determination, and lots of labor of love and perseverance on the part of its players, and a lot at stake in terms of personal fame and fortune. So persons making such statements on victory podium makes sense.

#21
kaffir
February 23, 2009
05:32 PM

I'm reminded of how certain sections of Indians went ga-ga over Sunita Williams's achievement and her connection to India, and others were puzzled by this and/or poured scorn over this celebration as nothing to do with India and nothing to be proud of.

The roles seem to have been reversed when it comes to Slumdog, with the same section that was puzzled in the first instance, now celebrating a British film, directed by a Britisher (with some Indians being part of the team), and awarded by the Academy which is American.

Go figure.

#22
kerty
February 23, 2009
05:53 PM

Kaffir

In case of Sunita, Indians looked at her as a NRI, as an Indian woman who did something that made Indians look good and feel proud. There was no put down of India or demeaning of India in her achievement. Her success didn't come at the expense of India or any section of indians. It was easy to identify with her and feel proud of her success. Now if she had won acclaims in the west by dissing or demeaning India, she would have met the same fate as SM.

#23
Aditi N
February 23, 2009
06:18 PM

comment 18:

"In that case, what has SM or Rehamn got to do with national entries or awards of America?"

What does this even mean? Are artists supposed to only work for national films and not international ones? If this is true then the first person who should haul their ass back to India is you.

The entry was not in an international category since the track was composed for a film nominated in the national category...not international/ foreign category. If Lata Mangeshkar would've sung a song for an international film, she too would've won an award.



And..

""music, art and creativity have no religion or nationality and they are a universal language
to music and art not being national"

And how does universal mean "western". You have made that connection. Not the above statement. The above statement means art can have global appeal and can cross boundaries. It doesn't have to be western or oriental.

Is this so hard for you to fathom?!

#24
kaffir
February 23, 2009
06:56 PM

kerty,

I know that. My comment was more of an observation on the cultural divide in India, and how certain (different) sections of people react differently to Indian-connected global events, and the underlying subtexts of such responses - what is praised, what is criticized, and why, and that thing about taking pride in one's country/culture that SD had mentioned in his comment in another post. Fascinating stuff.

#25
kerty
February 23, 2009
07:11 PM

Aditi

The points I raised were response to the claims that art and music are not supposed be national but rather universal. In that case, why should there even be categories like national and international and foreign in recognizing the excellence in art and music? Why should Lata or Kishore be required to sing for the international or American in order to win Oscars - why not recognize her music because it is a great music with universal appeal? I know, I know. Some would argue that she can not have universal appeal unless she sings in some western movie.

""how does universal mean "western". You have made that connection.""

How can we not make that connection? When that is the only way to get recognition and acceptance in any category, be it national, foreign, international or universal. Unless Indian or oriental is voted or not vetoed by the western, it can't be deemed global or international or universal.

"the track was composed for a film nominated in the national category...not international/ foreign category"

How did a track composed in Hindi, by the Indians, in a movie that is filmed in India and acted by Indians, that is dialoged in Hindi, authored by an Indian, directed and produced by British became a national category for America?

#26
kaffir
February 23, 2009
07:39 PM

"Umm, the best soundtrack/ singer awards are for the national (meaning American) entries since Oscars are an American award"
===

Aditi, Danny Boyle is a British director, not American. Movies like 'Life is Beautiful' and 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon' were not American films but were nominated in the Best Picture category. 'Shakespeare in Love' was directed by a Brit.

#27
Aditi N
February 23, 2009
07:45 PM

kerty: Awards and recognition may be national or international...that still doesn't restrict art, its appreciation and its outreach. Art is also is not bound to recognition. The recognition that some artists receive is only one of the many testimonies of their achievement. Rahman's Indian tunes were appreciated in the West. Similarly Michael Jackson's beats and the hip-hop craze fascinates the East. You can argue this to bits but fact remains that art does not have boundaries. Innovation, creativity and talent from one part of the world is and can be appreciated in another. Simple.

You are arguing for the sake of arguing and if having the last word is what you want...so be it. I've said what I had to say.

"How did a track composed in Hindi, by the Indians, in a movie that is filmed in India and acted by Indians, that is dialoged in Hindi, authored by an Indian, directed and produced by British became a national category for America?"

I have better things to do than give you a tutorial in Oscar's submission process. How about you read up a little?

#28
Seema
February 23, 2009
07:49 PM

thanks for all your comments!


kerty/ kaffir: do you guys not know what an Oscar entry is? it has nothing to do with the nationality of the filmmaker. do you guys really not know this or are you joking? if this were true how would penelope cruz, kate winslet win? they are not american nationals? a film can be submitted in a certain category. what an odd bunch of people you are!

#29
kaffir
February 23, 2009
08:12 PM

Seema, please read my comment #26 before you jump to conclusions about me. Seems like you just skimmed the comments here.

#30
kaffir
February 23, 2009
08:25 PM

Seema, the first part of comment #26 which is enclosed in quotes ("") was written by Aditi and I was responding to it - my response was BELOW the divider, indicated by (===).

The mere fact that I mentioned all those movies should be enough to tell anyone who put in the effort to read, that I do not think Oscars only honor American movies/music. Are you sure about that replacement of "C" by "S"? ;) :p

#31
Anon
February 23, 2009
09:39 PM

Nice cartoon about SD's Oscar win!

http://www.dc-epaper.com/DC/DCB/2009/02/24/photographs/010/24_02_2009_010_012_004.jpg

#32
kerty
February 23, 2009
09:45 PM

First, it was the Booker prize, and now the Oscars that have endorsed the same theme this year. I think they both have lowered their prestige and credibility in the eyes of Indians. I think they are bunch of lib/lefties with their own agenda that color what they choose to bestow their honor upon.

Academy is made up of 6000 members that are from the field of performing arts and movies. They vote and decide the winners and losers. As Seema pointed out, it is a horse race that one has to enter in a particular category in order to win, and one has to lobby those 6000 members for their votes to win - if you do not have access to American critics, American media and Holywood movie fraternity, than you can kiss your Oscar hopes goodbye no matter how good may be your talent or movie. So most movie-makers do not even bother to enter the horse race. And those who do, try to position their entry where they have best chance to win against the potential contenders. These 6000 Academy members are mostly lib/lefties, and their agenda and tastes are not necessarily those shared by general public. But to the artists, Oscars represents the highest level of peer-to-peer appreciation and recognition that creates bridges for them within Holywood industry and its power structure. That is why Oscars mean so much to the artist fraternity. Why should 1+ billion Indians give any hoot or get worked up over what these 6000 American lefties think or like? That would be exhibit of slavish colonial mentality.

At the after-Oscar party, one could see that it was Kate/Penelope/Sean Penn that had to act like the host of the night while SM crowd simply sulked in the sidelines [EDITED:RACIST EPITHET]. Some of them were collecting autographs. Talk about Gangadins sucking up.

#33
Seema
February 23, 2009
09:51 PM

kaffir: I did just skim through the comments and I am so glad you know that the Oscars honor only American movies/ music. I was just really surprised that people wouldn't know that...kerty doesn't seem to. I re-read comment 26 and I'll tell you which part confused me. I honestly still don't understand why you would clarify that Boyle was British w.r.t Aditi's comment. From what I can tell she is referring to the awards being American, which is right...the Oscars are an American award (her comment does not state that only Americans are given the awards). I am pretty sure about the S :) but am also equally sure that some of the comments above do confuse me. But generally I am not a confused soul, am a pretty smart one. Hey but you know what maybe they should change the American Born Confused Desi to American Born Confused By Desis! :))

#34
Seema
February 23, 2009
09:55 PM

...oops! I meant "you know that the Oscars don't honor only American movies/ music" in my above comment :))

#35
kerty
February 23, 2009
10:07 PM

Seema #33

It is the same argument made by Aditi in #11 and my response in #14 - how come Lata, Kishore, Burmans and Kalyanjis never got any honors at the Oscars - that led to the subsequent discussion about the Oscars.

#36
Seema
February 23, 2009
10:10 PM

The last paragraph of comment 32 is actually far from the truth (I didn't read the rest of the blather). I saw plenty pictures of the SM crowd and they were on Oprah today too!! Oprah had a special Jai Ho performance by Rahman. But here's a juicy inside detail for all of you: the kids and the SM crowd couldn't stick around for long at the after Oscar party....guess why???...because the kids and the rest of the SM group had a special invitation at the Governor's Ball!!

And I would request the editors to please remove the usage of a blatant racist term by kerty in his above comment. My country is proud to have moved away from such stereotypes and would not want them to be reinforced. What a bitter irony that it would be by an Indian immigrant.

#37
Seema
February 23, 2009
10:14 PM

It is my personal and urgent request to the authors and commentators on this website to boycott commentator kerty for using a racial stereotype and most shockingly using the n-word in comment 32. Stop responding to him. Such a prejudiced person does not deserve any decent person's address or heed. This loss of credibility might teach him to evolve.

#38
kaffir
February 23, 2009
10:28 PM

Seema, here's the relevant snippet from Aditi's comment: "..awards are for the national (meaning American) entries.."

As for "confused by desis" - how does that make anyone smart if they are so easily confused by others? ;)

#39
kerty
February 23, 2009
10:29 PM

Seema

That comment is a reference to another Oscar winner 'Guess Who's Coming to Dinner'. It won 2 oscars.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0061735/

#40
Seema
February 23, 2009
10:38 PM

kaffir: I still don't get it. national entries does not mean nationality of the person nominated. National versus foreign entries are 2 categories on Oscar.

also I didn't realize your comments were seriously meant to question my intelligence...over comments on a thread, really?! I just thought you were being funny when you said that and so I responded with humor.

I honestly don't feel the need to explain and rationalize with you about my "smartness". Go ahead and think what you will of my intelligence.

I am just surprised that some of you cannot comment without getting personal.

#41
Seema
February 23, 2009
10:41 PM

#39: nice try but I think you definitely haven't watched that film if you think your RACIST comment is in any way a reference to that film from 1967.

#42
kaffir
February 23, 2009
10:46 PM

"also I didn't realize your comments were seriously meant to question my intelligence"
===

Seema, I used emoticons in both my comments - which implies my comments about your S were tongue-in-cheek and not serious. Nothing personal, just some leg-pulling. :)

#43
kaffir
February 23, 2009
11:06 PM

"I still don't get it. national entries does not mean nationality of the person nominated. National versus foreign entries are 2 categories on Oscar."
===

Yes, I know. But it wasn't me who wrote that comment - it was Aditi. Please go back and read the comments to follow the conversation.

#44
Ledzius
February 23, 2009
11:11 PM

"Jai Ho" is pretty average by even Indian standards ("Dhoom machale" would give it stiff competition).

Surely both ARR and Gulzar had come up with way better stuff in the past and everyone knows that.

These Oscars mean almost nothing to the serious Indian movie lover.

#45
Seema
February 23, 2009
11:28 PM

Gosh I don't know how you managed to pull up the one song that I absolutely hate :( Dhoom Machale I think is terrible. That tune is so annoying and the English version has hideous lyrics. The only thing I liked about it is Sunidhi Chauhan's beautiful voice. By the way, isn't the director of that song someone accused of plagiarism. Someone even had an article up on DC about his copy-cat techniques.

That being said I do think Rahman's finer works were Dil Se and Lagaan and those were unfortunately not nominated in the song categories or even submitted. Jai Ho was terrific too because of Sukhwinder's glorious vocals and Gulzar's unique lyrics. I think what made the song better was the use of very novel sounds. Such sounds and lively drums may be common in Bollywood but for Hollywood it was a new treat. Everybody I know was just very taken by the drum beats in that song.

I really really hope that one will get to hear more of Rahman's music in Hollywood films! Oh that would be so cool. I cannot wait :)

The trend has already started what with Pussycat Dolls having made a cover version of Jai Ho already! :)

Ledzius: You cannot possibly speak for every serious Indian movie lover but more importantly, the Oscars may mean more to just serious movie lovers: those who love all kindsa movies, not just Indian or Hollywood.

#46
commonsense
February 24, 2009
01:37 AM

Seema:

"It is my personal and urgent request to the authors and commentators on this website to boycott commentator kerty for using a racial stereotype and most shockingly using the n-word in comment 32."

Seema, welcome to the world of kerty, who of course, surprise surprise, is the first to level the charge of racism at others. Indians you see, are incapable of racism, so to accuse him of racism is, according to him, a delusional rant.

#47
Deepti Lamba
URL
February 24, 2009
02:01 AM

I actually liked Taare Zameen Paar's songs more. The song - 'Ma' still makes me sniffle.

Probably what happened is that people got so carried away by the enthusiastic spirit of the movie that Jai Ho seemed like an appropriate ending to celebrate the teeming humanity of India.

#48
Ravi Kulkarni
February 24, 2009
08:13 AM

Awards like Oscar and Filmfare are farcical. It is just another way the movie makers find to reward themselves and showoff. Often the awards are given for political and ideological reasons. The whole spectacle is nauseating, I don't know how people can stand to watch it for so many hours.

I have not watched SM, but I have heard the music. It is not bad, but certainly not the best from Rahman. In fact I don't even consider Rahman as the best Bollywood musician. He may figure in top ten at best.

Regards,

Ravi

#49
commonsense
February 24, 2009
08:46 AM

Ravi:

"Awards like Oscar and Filmfare are farcical. It is just another way the movie makers find to reward themselves and showoff."

Ravi, true. the same goes for any such spectacle. what is truly farcical is people over-analyzing and complaining that the "best" pic did not get the oscars, or the most attractive woman did not get the Miss Universe title etc. etc. What takes the cake is people complaining that the Olympics, Christmas etc. are commercialized etc! I agree that it is all nauseating. (Except for the fact that Freida Pinto is super-attractive and she should have gotten all the Oscars!!)

#50
Aditi N
February 24, 2009
09:21 AM

Ravi: I used to think on the same lines...that award shows are farcical. And they may very well be. But it is the one night that the entertainers behind the scenes:the directors, producers, musicians, documentary filmmakers, script and screenplay writers etc get to be stars and shine on television. The big stars are there to draw attention. Also I don't know how many of you saw this year's Oscars but they used a different and interesting format for the all the various acting awards. 5 great, legendary film stars who had won Oscars in the past came out on stage and one by one each offered a personal tribute to the nominee instead of the short film clipping. As the tribute was offered the camera was on the faces of the nominees. When I saw the expression on their faces as these legends praised their role and their acting, I wondered what it would be like for me to get a tribute from a legend in my field. It would be the highest point of my career. And then I thought maybe what appears farcical to us is their graduation ceremony where they get to be appreciated. There is so much pressure for them to be pretty, fashion conscious and politically correct at all times but in this tribute their one skill that should be exalted: acting, is finally appreciated. We get promotions, graduate, receive diplomas etc. Similarly they get awards which ensures that people put their best into entertainment.

#51
kerty
February 24, 2009
09:24 AM

Seema

"Ledzius: You cannot possibly speak for every serious Indian movie lover but more importantly, the Oscars may mean more to just serious movie lovers: those who love all kindsa movies, not just Indian or Hollywood. "

How could 6000 members of academy possibly speak for every serious movie lover, be it Indian, American or Dutch?

Now if you were to say that Oscars mean a lot more to cine artists and professional junkies, not just Indian or Holywood, than it would make lot more sense, though most of the Indian artists have long written off Oscars - that is, they would be happy if some of their peers aspires for it, but they are not losing sleep over who gets it and who does not. They know such awards are rigged and motivated.

#52
kaffir
February 24, 2009
10:04 AM

#49: "what is truly farcical is people over-analyzing and complaining that the "best" pic did not get the oscars, or the most attractive woman did not get the Miss Universe title etc. etc."
**********

cs, so what is the correct amount of analyzing and who decides what is "over-analyzing"? When others have some valid points which you disagree with and dismiss by calling it "over-analyzing"? ;)
You thekedaar! :) :)

#53
Seema
February 24, 2009
10:14 AM

Ravi: they may be farcical but they are fun! :)

#54
kerty
February 24, 2009
10:55 AM

Oscar show is a lot like an internal election eve at a party headquarter, where party member would congregate with a palpable air of anticipation, jubiliation, anxiety and comradery. They all would be anxious to find out how their voting turned out. After all, they are the voters and they all have their favorite horse in the race they have betted on. The the world outside the party HQ do not get to vote, but they get the free show and since they too would have their own favorite pick in the race, they too would get glued to find out if their own pick won or lost. Imagine all these served over a gala event full of song and dance and glamor and celebrities and media circus. Except that Oscars have been losing audiences in droves. They are now adding entries from foreign countries just to add additional audiences to their dwindling shows. The other award shows like Golden Globe, BAFTA etc steal all the thunders, and by the time Oscars arrive, there are no surprises left. So Oscars have become predictable, boring, jaded, and as silly as list of best and worst dressed at the Oscars. No matter how they change the format or hosts or venue, it is still a dead horse no matter how it is decorated.

#55
commonsense
February 24, 2009
11:12 AM

i agree with aditi and seema too! all these spectacles are farcical of course, but fun too.

kaffir, please don't over-analyze me yaar :) unless you are training to be be personal thekedaar :)

#56
kerty
February 24, 2009
10:06 PM

Can Slumdog... save the Oscars?
IANS | Tuesday, 24 February , 2009

"The Oscar ceremony itself also still needs a revamp, despite the best efforts of Hugh Jackman to instil the moribund ceremony with some youthful vitality. Though ratings were up by six per cent over last year's show, critics were pretty unanimous that it was hardly worth tuning in."

""I guess reinventing the Oscars is harder than it looks," noted Oscar guru Patrick Goldstein in the Los Angeles Times."

"Goldstein's verdict was that the show was an unmitigated flop, an "over-scripted evening that made Hollywood's oldest award show feel even older and more in need of reinvention than ever".

"The big question is whether any new format or presenter can really save the Oscars. "

Full article
http://sify.com/movies/fullstory.php?id=14861124

#57
Kaiser_Soze
February 24, 2009
11:46 PM

Oscar has long lost its sheen. An end result of deluded punks who took over reins from their grand-daddies, who in turn had presided over Hollywood's golden era forever past.

American public has lost interest in Oscars. They are just filler blurbs in newspapers. Last years show had touched the nadir, with lowest ratings ever.

Oscars is now in limbo and has become irrelevant. It neither represents masala movies(which it used to) nor can it match the Europeans in choosing elitist, arsty-fartsy fare as candidates for awards.

#58
Kaiser_Soze
February 24, 2009
11:49 PM

Oscars has long lost its sheen. An end result of deluded punks who took over reins from their grand-daddies, who in turn had presided over Hollywood's golden era forever past.

American public has lost interest in Oscars. They are now just filler blurbs in newspapers. Last year's show had touched the nadir, with lowest ratings ever.

Oscars is now in a limbo and it has become irrelevant. It neither represents the masaala movies(which it used to) nor can it match the Europeans in choosing elitist, arsty-fartsy fare as candidates for awards.

#59
kaffir
February 25, 2009
12:42 PM

"kaffir, please don't over-analyze me yaar :) unless you are training to be be personal thekedaar"
------------------
cs,
Why? Are you concerned about competition and cutting into your thekedaari turf? :)
I'm just using the same argument you've used in terms of thekedaari.

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