Friday, January 23, 2009

Slumdog makes its debut in India

Slumdog Millionaire, the Mumbai-based movie nominated for 10 Oscars including best film, has finally opened in India.

The rags-to-riches tale, which has already won four Golden Globes, is being given as big a release in India as any major Bollywood film.

The film has won much praise in reviews in India but has also earned some criticism for exploiting poverty.

A fully dubbed Hindi version of the film has also been released to reach rural and small-town audiences.

Slum fund

The film, which was made on a budget of £7m ($9.6m), has already raked in nearly $50m at the box office in the US and Britain. The film's music director, AR Rahman, has become the first Indian to get three Oscar nominations.

Rahman told the Times of India: "I'm at the top of the world. Everything is a blur."

The film has created discussion in India about whether it exploits "poverty chic".

But the Times of India said film-goers should forget "the twitter about aggrieved national sentiment" and enjoy "a piece of riveting cinema".

The producers have announced that a portion of the box-office proceeds will go a welfare fund set up for the betterment of slums in Mumbai (Bombay).

The film revolves around 18-year-old Jamal Malik, played by Dev Patel, who wins the jackpot on Kaun Banega Crorepati, the Hindi version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?

Jamal participates in the game show not for money but to reach his missing girlfriend Latika, played by Freida Pinto, who watches the programme without fail.

The film stars well-known Bollywood actors Anil Kapoor and Irfan Khan.

Kapoor said at the Thursday night premiere: "We are really, really emotional. All of us just can't stop hugging each other."


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