Slumdogs are not Dogs

Well, for a start, the previous post is supposed to be a movie post as YTSL has pointed out but alas! I am too much into Go nowadays ;-) Anyways, I have managed to publish the Introduction to Go in pdf format and as such have mitigated the problem of formatting for different machines. If you are interested, please download it here (Introduction to Go – Malaysia Weiqi Association Study Pack Module A. Just right-click the link and choose “Save as”.

Now, for movies. I think what one indulges in really depends on the people that one mixes most with. It provides the environment for mutual support and encouragement. When I was in the movie and entertainment business, I was very much into watching movies and was really, really serious about it. It is not that my Go friends were lesser then, it was about the same, but my passion for movies exceeded Go at that time.

Now that I am in the furniture business, I do miss my movie buddies but because they are not really “around” me like they used to be, my passion for Go took over. Add to this the fact that we have much more Go activities in the association recently and the brutal fact that I have no interests at all in the furniture industry, it is not surprising that Go became the main focal point for me to spend my hard-earned free time.

Now, SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE is all the rage now. It is now shown in the GSC International Screen and last checked, it was very much full house despite the fact that the pirated copies are everywhere. Indeed SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE is a very engaging and interesting story, not one of those common run of the mill movies that is littering our cinemas nowadays, especially those junks that are coming out of Hong Kong (but recently watched BEAST STALKER starring Nicholas Tse and Nick Cheung and it is a really good movie, so please do watch it if you can).

I like SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE but being the counter-pop person that I am, I am going to write about what I dislike about it. First of all, it gives me a feeling of fakeness. Of course it is fake because it is fiction, you might think. Not really that. I mean, for those who has some experience of India, you will know that the slums depicted there and the children’s suffering there is not fake at all.

To better explain what I mean by the feeling of fakeness, let’s compare this to Mira Nair’s SALAAM BOMBAY! which was also nominated for an Oscar but for the Best Foreign Language Film category back in 1989 and not the main Best Film category as is SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE.

The thing is that after watching SALAAM BOMBAY!, there is a very real feeling that emerges for the kids, of their plight and suffering, and the little joys of their life. One does not feel that the story is made-up at all but it is as if one is a voyeur, peeping into other people’s life, and feels for the people that we are peeping, sometimes even sharing some of their feelings and pain. But I don’t seem to be able to find this feeling in SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE.

The kids in SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE are really great. I love to watch them. But the grown up kids are so NOT slum-like products. I don’t know but from whatever observations I made from my 6-month stay in India, those poor kids won’t turn out to be like the grown up guy in the movie. Neither will the girl, both in terms of looks and temperament. I don’t recall, just for example and am not saying that they are from the slums, our office chaiwalla and driver being anything remotely resembling those two fellow, both in terms of looks, thoughts, temperament, etc.

So in the end, although an interesting story well executed, there is a feeling of fakeness around it. But I do hope that it wins the Oscar though, although I thought THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON is a better movie. I have not watched MILK and NIXON.

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5 Comments

Filed under Movie Awards, Movies

5 responses to “Slumdogs are not Dogs

  1. BB

    I knew you would write something after Oscar ‘boss’…c.c.c

    I’m also very happy that Danny Boyle and A.R. Rahman won the awards. And I think I know what you mean by ‘But I do hope that it wins the Oscar though, although I thought THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON is a better movie’, as after watching BENJAMIN & SLUMDOG back-to-back in two days, I was worrying how are they going to judge. But than I think SLUMDOG deserves the Directing, Music, screenplay and cinematography the most.

  2. Hi Ho —

    Looks like you got your wish re SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE and the Oscars.

    Have to say that I’ve yet to view the film myself and don’t feel particularly inclined to as, somehow, there’s something about the film that just smells fishy to me. (It also doesn’t help that I’m not a fan of its director — TRAINSPOTTING absolutely did not entertain me.) :S

  3. fallingstones

    Hi BB! Long time no see ha. Hope ur new job is working out great ;-)

    Yeah, Slumdog is a good movie, I also like it a lot but I like Benjamin Button a lot more, actually. The movie as a whole and the general feeling after it. Benjamin Button has a good aftertaste but Slumdog’s aftertaste is not so good. Even up to today, the feeling of Benjamin Button is still with me but I have no such feelings for Slumdog. Well, to each his/her own I guess ;-)

    YTSL, yea, I wish Slumdog to win because it is something that is different although I really thought is is not as great as in sweeping the top two awards. Anyways, am happy for it though. I don’t know what your fishy feeling is but for me, just something is lacking…. I tried to explain in my post.

    Trainspotting…. ahhhh…

  4. hey ho, where u normally watch movies?

  5. fallingstones

    hi waqi, normally i watch in gsc signature gardens midvalley and it is my preferred choice for mainstream cinema-going. i watch a lot of movies on dvd and imports massively from yesasia.com plus some from amazon.com when yesasia doesn’t have it. sometimes i watch it in kelab seni filem at HELP institute but now extremely rare after i changed jobs. when there is a film festival, i go to gsc international screens in midvalley.

    but mostly, i watch lots and lots at home with my precious dvds. ;-)

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