Mumbai-Slumdog Synergy?

As shallow and Hollywood-centric as this may sound, I’m wondering (as others have since yesterday) if the Mumbai terrorist attacks will have any effect on Academy voter thinking regarding Best Picture contender Slumdog Millionaire, which is set in Mumbai and does an excellent (and at times almost too persistent) job of capturing the chaotic sociological and temperamental stew of Mumbai (particuarly the social caste system) over the last 20-plus years.

I suspect the attacks will have either no effect or perhaps (cynical as this sounds) help the film a little bit because the horrible news pushes all kinds of how, why and what-the-hell? questions into everyone’s head, and Slumdog Millionaire is now a kind of touchstone — a movie at the center of the hurricane, although not one that touches even slightly on the subject of Muslim militancy.

Slumdog is a Dickensian fable that portrays, yes, hard times and much cruelty but also projects an optimistic fantasy that couldn’t contrast more strongly with the mindset and tactics of the Muslim wackjobs who yesterday shot and bombed that town all to hell.

  • eoguy

    “Slumdog Millionaire is now a kind of touchstone — a movie at the center of the hurricane, although not one that touches even slightly on the subject of Muslim militancy.”

    True, but it does briefly demonstrate the conflicts faced by Muslim Indians in Mumbai — in fact that’s the motivation for murdering the mother at the start of the film.

    While nobody knows if Slumdog will be helped by the latest news, the film manages to capture the soaring spirit of the city, despite its poverty. There’s something about the human spirit in there that COULD connect with viewers even moreso now, on more than a human level, but also on a cultural one. Maybe I’m being slightly too optimistic.

  • bachelorcool

    Since the fanatics responsible for this atrocity apparently targetted both Americans and British, could those same audiences be turned off from seeing the film rather than supporting it?

  • TVMCCA

    bachelorcool wrote:
    Since the fanatics responsible for this atrocity apparently targetted both Americans and British, could those same audiences be turned off from seeing the film rather than supporting it?

    Saw it Wednesday night and really enjoyed it–this generation’s ROCKY.

  • eoguy
  • D.Z.

    bachelor: I think they’d be turned off in general, since it’ll be perceived as white-washing the tragedy, kind of like “A Mighty Heart”. Plus, if City of God didn’t make much dough here, I doubt there’s much hope for Slumdog.

  • Chicago48

    Just saw it, kind of a City of God picture. Very well made. . 75% full theatre. There is hope for this picture.

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