Monday, May 3, 2010

Jai Ho !

'Jai Ho'

If you know the meaning of 'Jai ho' must know which movie I am talking about....

Yes, the much hyped, over-publicized 'Slumdog Millionnair' it is.

When it was released in India, the regular movie going crowd was divided into three camps...

Camp no. 1 : Slumdog is amazing....very inspiring and brilliantly made movie. etc.

Camp no. 2: It's a pathetic movie...The visuals are mind numbing and there is nothing to be seen in this one

Camp no. 3: Its an average masala movie , shot from a western point of view...nothing special about it, except few moments that really shine in the movie.......

Well, I belong to camp no. 3 for obvious reasons......

If you look at the movie from the global perspective, it can be an interesting movie for western crowd who know Mumbai as a city that has the biggest slum in Asia, a city with 'dabbawallas', a city of bollywood and Taj Mahal Hotel....not to forget the 'Dhobighat'!!!

For them, the sheer exposure to so much of poverty as showcased in the movie and such an unimagined plot of a chai wala making it big is really new.......

Where as for Us, we have already seen hundreads of movies with estranged childhood lovers and poor guy (hero) making it big by chasing his dreams.........Not to forget the mesmerizing tale of a small town boy who makes it big in the world of cricket in a Nagesh Kunknoor movie , Iqbal.

At this age of globalition where global and local markets are dependent on each other movies cannot remain merely a pursuit of art. Today , Bollywood has emerged as one of the biggest industries of India , with annually more than 600 movie releases to its credit. Its not just about art now, its about money……and serious money…..!

Today movies with big budgets are made not just for the Indian crowd but also to cater to wide range of audiences like the NRI’s and other Asian countries. Bollywood stars are global stars. On this backdrop, hollywood production companies like Warner Brothers, Sony motion pictures are putting in serious money into bollywood industry.
So many Oscars to a movie based on India, cant just be a plain coincidence!

Remember how big cosmetic brands became popular in India after Sushmita Sen and Aishwarya Rai became Miss universe and Miss World??? How ‘Beauty’ became the spotlight in India???

That is exactly what is happening after this ‘slumdog’ wave…….
I recently came across tourist companies in Mumbai who are promising to provide a ‘Walking tour of Asia’s largest slum – Dharavi’… foreign tourists
They offer the following :
· Tour of a unique shanty town dharavi
· conducted in a private, chauffeur driven, luxury car
· Walk Through the Narrow By-lanes and Peek Into the Lives of the Slum Swellers of Mumbai

And all this in 3 hours for just 4000 Rs.!!!

I am not trying to call it good or bad…….but the question still dwells in my mind how anything and everything is commercialized…..?? Isn’t it ‘Poverty Tourism’?

Likewise after 26/11, cafĂ© Leopold has become another tourist hotspot…….

But more on that in some other post…….

Till then,

Jai ho!!!

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