[How] will SLUMDOG’s Oscar sweep affect Indian cinema?

Computer-ji, lock kiya-jaye!

And then Slumdog Millionaire wins Best Adapted Screenplay. Best Sound Mixing. Best Film Editing. Best Original Score. Best Original Song. Best Cinematography. Best Director.

Best Picture.

I’ve heard it several times, when people would express their amazement at how a “Bollywood” film was able to garner so many Academy Awards. Each time I would have to correct these people for their blissful ignorance: Slumdog Millionaire is NOT a Bollywood film. It was set in India and starred Indian actors, but the production staff in its majority is British. It was directed by Danny Boyle, a British director, and the executive producer was Christian Colson, also British. Besides, Slumdog doesn’t have the melodrama, or the musical numbers (for the most part, at least) and, of course, the conservative nature of Bollywood films: there’s a kiss scene.

So one could ask whether or not Slumdog‘s worldwide success could have an effect on the way that films are made in India. I can’t really tell, but I hope not. India is known for its unique film industry, and the traditional characteristics of Bollywood films have been present since the industry’s inception. Bollywood, in my opinion, is one of those key aspects of Indian culture, and I surely hope that a seemingly deviant film such as Slumdog Millionaire won’t change that.

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One Response to “[How] will SLUMDOG’s Oscar sweep affect Indian cinema?”

  1. smritiss Says:

    Yay Kaye! I’m glad you get that it’s not a Bollywood film! A lot of people watch Slumdog Millionaire (sorry, I don’t know how to Italicize in comments) and think that they’ve seen the Indian film industry, but they haven’t! It’s just a film involving Indian people, with a very Indian-esque plot- since it was written by an Indian.
    I don’t think that this movie will affect how films are made in Bollywood, because people there have a pretty tight idea about what they want to put into the cinema, but it may affect Bollywood’s popularity overseas. I’m sure heaps of people are more interested in watching more “Indian movies” after watching Slumdog Millionaire (Italicize Italicize).
    And if it did? Well, I can’t say whether or not it would have a ‘bad’ effect. Bollywood is changing extremely rapidly, getting more and more modern as the days go by. In fact, there are some movies now which actually do feature kissing scenes! (Ironically, I think there was first a sort of “sex” scene before an actual kiss in the Indian theater. I don’t understand.) Is this change a good thing? Well, a part of me misses the conservative joyful singing-on-the-hills always-a-happy-ending sort of stuff, because that’s what makes Bollywood Bollywood. But hey, this change helps them, and that’s all they really want, right?
    Besides, I’m sure I’m in the minority here. Most people (Indians) are probably thrilled to see our cinema all up-to-date and competing with Hollywood. Well, that’s just my guess.

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