‘Slumdog Millionaire’ Tanking in India
The critically acclaimed “Slumdog Millionaire” is not doing well in its native India, Madhur Singh reports for TIME.
For many Indians, the film’s subject and treatment are familiar to the point of being banal. A lot of Indians are not keen to watch it for the same reason they wouldn’t want to go to Varanasi or Pushkar for a holiday — it’s too much reality for what should be entertainment. “We see all this every day,” says Shikha Goyal, a Mumbai-based PR executive who left halfway through the film. “You can’t live in Mumbai without seeing children begging at traffic lights and passing by slums on your way to work. But I don’t want to be reminded of that on a Saturday evening.” There is also a sense of injured national pride, especially for a lot of well-heeled metro-dwellers, who say the film peddles “poverty porn” and “slum voyeurism.”
I’m quite unlikely to get around to watching it any time soon for a different reason: the subtitles. I like reading. I like watching movies. I despise doing them simultaneously.