Monday, February 23, 2009

Clinching Evidence of Slumdog Malice

Here's the clincher that Slumdog Millionaire deliberately sets out to be poverty porn. The scene in which the kid dives into a pool of shit is not in the original book by Indian diplomat Vikas Swarup. it was invented for the film by the Brits who directed the movie and wrote its script.

In fact, the kid's early childhood is not spent in Mumbai at all but in a Delhi orphanage run by an English Catholic priest.

Some other interesting departures from the Indian story-line that indicates prime facie malice.

The children's "Muslim" mother is not killed by "Hindus" in a "communal riot." Her religion is unknown, and she abandons the newborn at a church.

Torturing Ram Mohammad Thomas (the name of the protagonist in the book), is not the idea of
the Indian talk-show host. The suggestion that the boy cheated comes first from an American representative of the game show, and that mainly because the Russian who owns the franchise does not have the prize money. (In real life the franchise owner is British, and he bankrolled the movie.)

The heart-rending scene of the three abandoned children in the pouring rain is also not in the book. In Swarup's story the hero and heroine do not meet till they are teenagers, and then they're not living in a slum but in a tenement.

The book does not have any of the gratuitous slanders laid on India in the film (eg: "This is the heart of the new India" says the gangster Salim surveying the high-rises that have replaced the slum of his boyhood; "and I am at its heart").

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