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Showing posts from March, 2009

The language of cinema...Slumdog speaks English

This is a short post which I know is my third post on Slumdog Millionaire. Still I thought I must put my two bits. And no, I don't make any money blogging yet, which means no commissions from Danny Boyle.

I just chanced upon an interview of Amir Khan where he said that Slumdog left him cold. One key reason for this was that he apparently wasn't used to seeing Indians speak English in films...especially slum kids or the cop.

I obviously won't even be foolish enough to question Aamir Khan's understanding of cinema. He positions himself as one of our cerebral stars after all. But I don't buy this argument for not liking the film.

The film was not a Hindi film! Do all films need to be in the language of the story/ context? I am sure a million examples can be cited to the contrary. And I am not talking of Tom Alter and Bob Christo.

By that logic, Devdas, a Bengali book shouldn't be made in Hindi especially with the odd atrocious Bengali in the Bhansali version. Didn'…

Mr and Mrs Smith-wallas

I last wrote about my angst and alienation (I studied sociology in college) with the socio legal system. This was with specific reference to the housing society which wasn't allowing us to rent out our place.

That's when we decided to unleash our trump card - my in laws. Let me clarify before you get the wrong impression. They are not WMDs or something. Nor do they belong to the underground (don't get fooled by my pa in law's shaven head). But they, especially my mom in law, are every tenacious in getting things done. They don't give up that easily.

Their track record gave me a lot of confidence. The first time I saw my Mom in Law action was with a couple of insurance policies that were misselled to Kainaz and me. This was from one of the financial groups in India in whose hands we have often suffered. Their (the group's) service and efficiency levels are quite abominable. We have lost interest because we had started a fixed deposit with them but the cretin on th…

The impotence of middle class morality

We studied George Bernard Shaw's 'Pygmalion' in school. I remember a character, Mr Dolittle (not sure of the spelling), who made a compelling argument against what he called middle class morality. The crux was that the rich can do whatever they want, the poor are desperate and therefore have no standards to match up to. It is the middle class who get screwed (I am paraphrasing heavily here) because they have to live up to certain norms of morality without the means to do so.

Closer home was this serial called 'Waglekiduniya'which used to come on telly in the eighties . This was about a middle aged, middle class man, Mr Wagle, and his struggle for existence. There was an episode where he had to give a bribe to a government official. Nothing new about that. But the twist was that straight laced Mr Wagle had no idea about how to give a bribe!

I remember our then school principal, Mrs Kapper, gave that as an example of how all of us should be good, honest, law abiding hu…