By Ajay Gehlawat
“The ‘Slumdog’ Phenomenon” addresses a number of concerns on the topic of “Slumdog Millionaire” and, within the procedure, presents new methods of taking a look at this debatable movie. all the book’s 4 sections considers a specific element of the movie: its relation to the state, to the slum, to Bollywood and its reception. the quantity offers a serious evaluation of the major concerns and debates stemming from the movie, and permits readers to reexamine them in mild of the anthology’s a number of perspectives.
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Extra resources for The Slumdog Phenomenon: A Critical Anthology
Jamal and Latika can Jai Ho the triumph of love and of the nation after the nation has been globalized by integrating its domestic economy with the global one. In an India thus translated, Jamal is celebrated as a hero by the urban poor – whose pastime is not cricketing or rioting but getting hooked to reality TV shows broadcast in a global Hinglish (or “Engdi”) – because he has won his lady love via media a million rupees cash prize. After he answers the winning question correctly and steps out of the studio in a daze, a crowd of urban poor swoop on him and sweep him off the ground, Jai Ho-ing his dogged yet fortuitous arrival into a form of modernity whose framing parameters are largely economic.
It is not that Salim’s kind of pulp-patriotic machismo, bent on legitimizing Indian centrality, has not been heard before; for where the business of discursively constituting India as an exemplary nation is concerned, Bollywood is no stranger to idioms of hyperbole and melodrama. Regardless of whether Bollywood (mass) cultural productions have troped India as the chaste body of the eternal mother, whose innate virtuosity stands resplendent in contradistinction to a morally decadent West, or as the glittering “dot” on the forehead of the global bride, beautifying the world by its presence or, more recently, as a “shining” and “rising” geopolitical and economic entity in the THE EMERGING CENTRALITY OF INDIA 13 world, primed not only to exert hegemony over traditional regional rivals like Pakistan but also to aggressively outbid powerhouses like China and America as producers of global capital, they have routinely resorted to a rhetoric of bluster and sweeping sentimentality.
Simply put, even if one were to discount Salim’s patriotism as goofy rhetoric, one cannot help being seduced by the feeling that SDM casts a very twenty-first century gaze on a very twentyfirst century India, by presencing its distinctive brand of disparate modernity through an unflinching and a seemingly unfiltered eye. The India of SDM, in other words, is not the Othered/Orientalized and dehistoricized India one typically encounters through the lens of Hollywood. The film, one can argue, is an instance of a Western cultural mediation where the East is apparently represented on its own terms, in the sense of being represented ‘convivially’, and is in the process transformed from being an object to a subject of history.