Saturday, 24 January 2009

Every conversation I've had or overheard in the last two weeks has, at some juncture or the other, moved towards a critique of Slumdog Millionaire.

"Slumdog is farrking awesome dude. What sin-mat0-graphy, man"

"Slumdog Millionaire is Danny Boyle's best movie, I think so"
"Arre chutia, not seen 'Beaches', what?"
"Wind beneath my wings?"

"Slumdog is nothing compared to Satya. It's too stylised with not enough content to back it. Or so I read."

"We broke up last night."
"Before or after watching Slumdog Millionaire?"

Yeah. So alot or generic opinions flying about. But it's a whole other story as far as the women junta is concerned. Their personal loathing and envy is specifically directed towards Freida Pinto. Mine too, actually. More envy than loathing, now that I think of it.

On the way home tonight, fresh out of nearly an hour of discussing why Freida's current notoriety is unwarranted, I realised something. Apart from clearly being motivated by envy, its the incredible odds that've caught our imagination.
Here's a girl who every sixth person I know, knew before the movie. Went to Xavier's, spotted regularly at Mondy's and hails from the epicentre of catholicness, Malad. Small time model variety and occupies the samre part of the cranium that Genelia does: cute but entirely forgettable.
Happens to hear of a casting call from an agency she seemed quite likely to fire (even did, methinks), happens to land the female lead a movie set in Mumbai that requires a pretty-but-plain girl familiar with the city, directed by Danny Boyle. During publicity for the movie, she provides the only female appeal, so she gets indiscriminate coverage even though she's in all of 5 frames in the movie and has cringeworthy lines like "I thought we'd be together only in death."
Suddenly she's hobnobbing with Hollywood and Bollywood royalty, chatting with Jay Leno and switching her Lacroixs for her Lepores like Aishwarya switches accents. (Speaking of which, you think Her Better-than-all-of-usness is smarting just a bit? I think so.)

Like I said, envy.

Although, if not by her acting prowess (no, 5 frames are not enough to tell), I'm impressed with how honest she is. I think she's been fairly humble about this being nothing more than a brilliant stroke of luck, has represented Indian women very decently abroad and has resisted all urges to roll her Rs and Ls. That's huge given who goes before her.

Plus there is the reaffirmation that crazy shit is still possible. I could get off my ass and write a book this year! You never know!It must be awesome to be her and her family right now. I do hope they enjoy the moment - they'll soon be flooded with lucrative offers or the deafening neighing of a one-trick pony.