The Secret Recipe of Slumdog Millionaire

  • April 19, 2009

After numerous friends and colleagues recommended Slumdog Millionaire, I finally got a chance to check out this award winning movie last night. Watching a movie with high expectations is usually a terrible idea, as more often than not your expectations are going to let you down. I have to say the movie exceeded my expectations and the soundtrack that I had been listening to on Rhapsody certainly added to the viewing experience.

However it felt like I had seen this movie before. Slumdog Millionaire seems to be one part Salaam Bombay! (the life of kids in Mumbai slums), one part Satya (the gangsta portions) and one part any Bollywood romance blended together to achieve impressive results. The connection between Slumdog and Satya runs a little deeper. Saurabh Shukla, who played the character of Seargent Srinivas (the fat nearly bald cop who tortures the hero at the start of the movie) in Slumdog was not only one of the characters in Satya (Kallu Mama) but was also one of the writers for Satya. As I dug deeper into Mr. Shukla’s history, I came across this article in The Independent where Danny Boyle, the director of Slumdog, claimed that Satya was one of his reference points while filming Slumdog Millionaire.

Salaam Bombay!

+

Satya

+

Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na

=

Slumdog Millionaire

For anyone who watched Slumdog Millionnaire and enjoyed it, I highly recommend checking our Mira Nair’s Salaam Bombay!, which was nominated for an  Oscar back in 1988 and won the audience award at the Cannes Film Festival. The portrayal of Mumbai’s slums is even grittier in Salaam Bombay. As for Satya, it could be easily considered the Godfather of Indian cinema and my brother was so enamored by the movie that he watched it nearly 18 times in the summer of 1998.

I am still shaking my head in disbelief that after the Slumdog Millionaire’s original distributor Warner Independent Pictures (TWX) dropped it, Lionsgate Films (LGF), which has often done a great job of finding independent films with a lot of potential, still did not pick it up.