My friend Jai and I went to go see Slumdog Millionarire yesterday in Greenwich Village. It was very good, and in particular the images of slum life in Mumbai and Indian city chaos in general were far more faithful and true than in any other movie I have seen. It is especially interesting to put this movie up against something as trite as Darjeeling Limited for comparison. Slumdog has a much more authentic take on Indian life. Darjeeling was nothing but someone’s fantasy version of India, the one Wes Anderson (the director) wishes existed in place of the real.
There were also several scenes in the movie that depicted things that I always imagined happened in India while I was there (like refilling old mineral water bottles with tap and resealing them for resale, for example). I was left wondering how much western audiences would be able to connect with this film (if the film’s success is any gauge they apparently very much are) as it seemed to me greatly enhanced by my previous experience of Mumbai.