Monday, February 23, 2009
This from Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi, and I quote "We are proud that in the conducive environment of good governance by the United Progressive Alliance with special emphasis on inclusiveness, we have been an achieving India." This was part of his statement congratulating the cast and winners of Slumdog Millionaire. This has to be the most outrageously shameless attempt to bask in someone else's glory, ever. What has the UPA government done that could contribute to Slumdog's victory? I can only think of one thing. This government has done absolutely nothing to relieve the common man's poverty and misery and has thus perpetuated the slums in Mumbai maybe even contributed to its expansion. Besides how does a victory for Slumdog become an example of an achieving India? It is after all a Hollywood production and the fulfilment of director Danny Boyle's vision.
Yes, more Indians have managed to get on the winners' list on Sunday, than in all the previous years put together. And our Hindustani hearts beat with furious pride in the light of our fellow countrymen's achievement. But make no mistake about it; this is their achievement and theirs alone. Neither society nor government has played any part in it. So while we savor their moment of glory, let's also remember that this is after all an award... for a movie. Nothing more.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Slumdog Millionaire continues its relentless march to Oscar glory. After astounding critics and experts at the Golden Globes and sweeping the BAFTAs, after a long time we now have true Indian representation in the Oscar nominees list. This fact alone makes the 81st Annual Academy Awards due to be presented next week more highly anticipated than it usually is. But for a movie that has so thrilled the West,
The arguments against the movie are many. It exploits Indian poverty. It portrays
So that’s how it must be judged. Slumdog Millionaire is a rollercoaster ride and it’s easy to see why the Western audience would take a liking to it. It’s like nothing seen before in
So this 22nd I will be cheering for Slumdog and hoping that the musical genius of Rahman will be rewarded with a statuette. What could be a bigger validation of our style of movie making? And that would be something that should cause all of us to shout out, “Jai ho”.
Monday, February 2, 2009
Rafael Nadal is now the new Australian Open champion, the first man since the legendary Andre Agassi to win Grand Slams on 3 different surfaces and, it seems, the undisputed number 1. His 5-set victory was typical of his style of play; unrelenting and brutal. That it came after an even more exhausting and thrilling semi-final victory, only shows how strong Nadal is, both physically and mentally. But what of his opponent? Roger Federer was on the cusp of history at the start of Sunday’s final. He would’ve equalled Pete Sampras’ record of 14 Grand Slam titles had he won. But in the end the Spaniard prevailed, and convincingly so. So is Federer now on a downslide? Can he be written off in the face of a bullish Nadal?
Nadal’s game has all the brute force of a bazooka. He can outrun and outhit just about anybody on a tennis court. And he never ever gives up. His current number1 ranking is a testament to his impressive run last year. But he still has some way to go before he can be compared to the Swiss maestro. Federer on song is a delight to watch. His game is nothing less than poetry in motion. The grace of his backhand, the accuracy of his forehand, the effortlessness of his court coverage all of this and more has been eulogized many times. But the man’s greatness lies in his remarkable consistency. He has spent a record 237 weeks as world no.1 and has every appeared in at least a semi-final or more in a Grand Slam tournament for the last 19 attempts dating back to Wimbledon 2003, winning 11 of those. Even in 2008, the year most critics say he had his biggest slump in form; Roger reached the semis at