AR Rahman picked up 2 Grammy awards today for Slumdog Millionaire
This is an astounding achievement. Slumdog Millionaire sweeping the Oscars, just as it had done at the GG and Baftas. Its a true story of survival, of destiny and of dreaming big.
I am not talking about Jamaal and Saleem, I am talking about Rahman and Resul and all other Indians involved with this movie. These guys, from a humble background, on the dint of their hardwork, committment and dedication to the art, grit and determination, went on to win international awards and accolades. And unlike Jamaal, who took a wild guess at the last answer to become a millionaire, they have come up the hard way.
AR Rahman – We all know of Rahman’s struggling days, how after death of his father his family had to put musical instruments on hire to make ends meet. Here’s your true story of a boy who starts playing those very instruments to make a living, who converts to another faith to make peace with himself and find solace, who starts off as a musician creating jingles, then gets a big break in Mani Ratnam movie, moves to Hindi film music, then conquers the imagination of west with his Bombay Dreams and finally wins the GG, Bafta and Oscar … there’s your movie. A man with love in his heart, music in his soul, dreams on his mind and destiny on his forehead. AR Rahman, the flagbearer of Indian film music, winning two Oscars, one for Original Score and the other for Original Song, this is a dream come true.
Resul Pookutty– an FTII product, who moved to Mumbai to work in sound-mixing and did some great work in Black, Bluffmaster, Saawariya, Gandhi My Father[his self-confessed best work until now] and finally SDM. From anonymity to stardom, but it has not changed him a wee bit. He won the Oscar for Sound Mixing, shared the honors with Ian Tapp and Richard Pryke.
Gulzar – a poet, a wordsmith, a man with some brilliant thoughts and the conviction with which he pens his thoughts, is one of the best writers that Inida has produced. He started his career way back in 1960’s, assissting Bimal Roy, writing dialogues, penning lyrics, then went onto write some fantatsic stories which he directed and brought to light with his wonderful screenplay. His volume of work speaks for itself, ranging from social issues to political battleground to soft and sensitive children’s movie to the subtle romantic moments which we remember long after time has faded all other memories. His command of urdu, phaarsi and hindi is just amazing. From winning a dozen awards back home to winning an Oscar for Original Song, he shared the honors with AR Rahman, he come a long way.
Anil Kapoor – born in a chawl in Tilak Nagar, Bombay in 1958. He was educated in Chembur. His father was a film producer and so was his brother, but they always seemed to be unlucky with their production house becasue they bandked on the wrong movies. After tasting success with Mr.India and other works like Lamhe, Tezaab etc they produced RKRCKR which was a disaster. To make-up for the financial losses he made some really crappy movies like Andaz and Mr.Azad. But he came out of that bad patch with some really good movies like 1942ALS, Virasat, Taal etc. He has seen the ups and downs of the film industry, the dust behind the stars. Though he was neither nominated nor won any award, he danced and celebrated the most whenever SDM picked an award. His enthusiasm was rubbing off on everybody and created really good vibes.
Irfan Khan, Saurabh Shukla – fantastic actors in their own rights. Irfan said in some interview that his role in SDM was chopped for the benefit of the movie, that’s how non-interfering and unselfish he is, just lets his work do the talking. A brilliant actor who has made his mark in the west as well, with movies like The Warrior and Namesake. Saurabh is a terrific writer himself, and his effortless acting is wonderful. Whether he is playing kallu mama of Satya or the chomping-glory boss in Dasvidaniya, he does it with such ease and finesse. Their contribution in the movie might have been small, but was noticeable.
Dev Patel, Freida Pinto – they have just started out and this comes as a shot in the arm for them. From hereon, they can choose their career and movies, as well as their bf’s and gf’s.
And finally, Danny Boyle, the man who made all this possible. Though I have my own issues with the movie, nevertheless, he deserves every bit of the success that has come his way. He made it possible to bring together these talents under one cinematic vision. Although I do believe that, had the movie been from an Indian production house, it would not have been noticed so much, but yet, its the content that matters too. He took his chance, shot the movie in India with total conviction, over-played a few things, but still the end-product was endearing. Its a proof that hardwork always pays off, albeit a little late. The moment his name was associated with the movie, it started going places. His credibility drove the movie, brought-in the audiences, entralled the masses and the critics and made history.
Smile Pinki was another entrant which won the Best Documentary/Short Subject award. They made it to the red carpet all the way from UP, fairytale stuff. Awesome stuff !
Its a red-letter-day for us, we should mark this day in the annals of film history and otherwise…3 oscar winners bring glory to India, make us proud. Jai Ho !!!
This post was first published on PFC