Mumbai may be reeling after the terror strikes, but Slumdog Millionaire, a film about a Mumbai slum kid rising to the top of Kaun Banega Crorepati, is making waves in the West. Sandip Roy meets its director Danny Boyle
Anil Kapoor was nervous about his first English film. â€œHe kept saying, donâ€™t be frightened to tell me to tone it down,â€ remembers director Danny Boyle. â€œBut I like big performances. I like it full on.â€
Boyle also gives it full on in his new and critically acclaimed film Slumdog Millionaire. Itâ€™s loosely based on Indian diplomat Vikas Swarupâ€™s novel Q & A â€” a rags-to-rupees plot about a slum kid rising to the top of Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC) and then being accused of cheating. The film hurtles back and forth through time, like a jam-packed Mumbai local train, stuffed with everything you can imagine â€” hookers, pimps, mafia dons, Hindu-Muslim riots, orphans, maimed beggars, open latrines, the Taj Mahal and a big dance number at Victoria Terminus station.
Itâ€™s Bollywood meeting Dickens in Maximum City. â€œYou can call it melodramatic but we respond to that on a human level,â€ says Boyle. â€œItâ€™s no coincidence that Dickensâ€™s work came out of that Victorian explosion of opportunity and wealth creation. Suddenly a mass of poor people had a little bit of purchasing power. And they wanted to be entertained. Dickens provided that. And Bollywood does too.â€ (more…)