Feast for Thought

Not pontificating. Only trying to bat on the side of the environment. And ethics. And simple living. And slowing down. (And trying to learn and practise before preaching or teaching...)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Darshan Do, Ghanshyam Naath...

Granted that enough and more has been said about SM (स्ल-क in Hindi).
- what the director did, and did not,
- what the co-director did not,
- what ARR routinely does much better (DB got his musician right),
- how RP got world-recognition for his techniques,
- what the media Overdid.
For a very balanced take try K Hariharan's, titled 'Orientalism for a global market'. "For the majority of western audiences who are writhing under the excruciating weight of a global meltdown, a fairy tale about the ugly side of India should certainly come as an orgiastic catharsis! “Slumdog Millionaire” should be considered as one of the most gratuitous fantasies to be created about India in the 21st century. Over 200 scenes whizzing past in 120 minutes leaves one completely anaesthetised and incapable of registering the complex layers that make up the garbage dump presented in “SM” called India..... as an Indian and a Mumbaikar I am not ashamed to accept the image of slums, criminals and gangsters that dominate the text of SM. They are my reality in the same way as homeless Blacks and quarantined native Indians are a reality to North America and cheap African labour, a reality of Western Europe. This reflects in the way Indian audiences choose to watch only those films from Hollywood which show crashing cars and sizzling pyrotechnics when the reality of the average American city is far from it."

As to personal viewpoints, Soordas'(?) plea to his Lord is a regular evening bhajan chez nous, and one can't help having mixed feelings that the underworld used the lyric for their sleazy dealings - even if that was in someone's imagination (artistic license or some such).
Listen to the bhajan -

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8 Comments:

Blogger RAJI MUTHUKRISHNAN said...

Yes, Swarna, I too thought the article was very well-balanced. In the meantime have you heard protestations that 'Darshan do Ghan Shyam' is not Surdas' bhajan at all, but some film lyricist's creations?

17 February, 2009  
Blogger Swarna said...

Yes, I ave been hearing that. Hope we get the right info soon...

17 February, 2009  
Blogger D Herrod said...

Thanks for stopping by.

17 February, 2009  
Blogger Indrani said...

Soothing bhajan, Swarna!

18 February, 2009  
Blogger Ashutosh Didwania said...

Absolutely...people like what they want to watch n there's absolutely no harm in accepting the facts...Despite of all the hype of India being a fast moving economy, the fact remains that 70% of our population resides in villages, most of which do not even have 24 X 7 electricity till date..Instead of criticizing people who are trying to portray reality, we would to well to accept the flaws and seriously start working on them.

22 February, 2009  
Blogger Mojo said...

I haven't seen SM yet, but I don't see what's so new about the theme. Bollywood's been doing this for years: Sholay, Don, more recently any one of several RGV offerings. SM sounds like it's similar to RGV's Satya in many ways (other than being shorter).

The only difference I see is that SM has gotten more widespread exposure in the mainstream media here in the West.

But I suppose I'll have to watch it now to see what all the fuss is about.

03 March, 2009  
Blogger Shefeeq said...

Hi, I don't want to be like the stupid kid who screamed "the King is Naked"... but yet since I cant help it I wish to ask a question: DID SM REALLY DESERVE IT?

All due respect and admiration to the sheer talent of ARR, however I felt he had composed far better and overwhelming music in the past and there were many scores which deserve an Oscar or a Grammy.

As far as the story line is concerned I could watch the movie once but there were hardly any scenes which invoked excitement, suspense or a thought.

Not worth a second watch for a guy like me - I would have watched Forrest Gump at least 15 times, Lord of the Rings (all 3 parts) around 7 times, Philadelphia, Gladiator, RA's Gandhi and many more several times.

Can someone help me to figure out whether I am wrong all over.

17 March, 2009  
Blogger j said...

Shefeeq Saab,
Most of your points are well taken. I think, it is not the product alone but how you sell it/market it, makes the biggest difference.
I recently read an article by Ms Hathangaddi (Kasturba in Gandhi) where she talked about this among other things.
Let's just say, our Indian filmi formula has cut across the seven seas and has dazzled them Westerners in a big way. More power to them.. More power to us!
-Cinemaargi

17 March, 2009  

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