Slumdog millionaire: an appraisal of the fiction and the film
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Slumdog Millionaire directed by Danny Boyle has finally proved to be the best movie of 2008 bagging eight Oscars, adding to its haul of various other international awards
including seven BAFTA (British Academy Film Awards) and four Golden Globe
trophies. In the backdrop of global recession and gloom and doom, Slumdog Millionaire
brings in hope and optimism. Danny Boyle, the jubilant director, regards the film
having a universal theme ending not in prize money, but in love. The fairytale story of Mumbai is steeped in human emotions and humour surrounded by murder, thieving, extortion, communal conflict, prostitution, beggary and mafia rivalry. The film may well be studied from the subaltern perspective as the term denotes the entire people that is subordinate in terms of class, caste, age, gender and office (Sen 203).
The fiction and the film reflect life in Dharavi, Asia's largest slum of about 520 acres,
at the heart of Mumbai and populated by over a million people. It is known for its vibrancy with entrepreneurial activities that generate between US$50 to $100 million annually. The slum dwellers have also organized themselves into cooperative societies that provide basic facilities and protection to residents. "Dharavi is an economic success story that the world must pay attention to during these times of global depression. Dharavi's messy appearance is nothing but an expression of intense social and economic processes at work. Most homes double as work spaces: when morning comes, mattresses are folded, and tens of thousands of units form a decentralized production network rivaling the most ruthless of Chinese sweatshops in efficiency" (Echanove 2009).