Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire

I have been eager to see the film "Slumdog Millionaire" for many weeks. I am very drawn to India and its culture, and have been since I was very young. Seriously, if it weren't yoga Tuesday at work, I would so call my friend Tonya and beg her to meet me at our lunch spot, Maharaja of India, that's how much I feel it.

My mother worked with a physician from Bangladesh (which I guess technically isn't India) when I was in high school and he had a daughter who was my age. She was a lovely girl and I used to see her around town and always found her cultural diversity so fascinating. I think that's why I love the reiteration of that feeling in the books I've read by Jhumpa Lahiri.

In typical Robby fashion I also signed right up for an art history class when I was a sophomore in college with zero research or preconceived notion. Hey, I'm artsy, I like creative things, what's to fear? "History of Indian and Southeast Asian Art" sounded exotic enough and sure, the class consisted of nothing but a barrage of slides and lecture on the intricacies of periods and styles (I remember the "gupta" period but the rest has sorta gone hazy - please no quizzes) and we of course were tested using slides. It was hard for many people, and yet I made one of the few A's because it was so engrossing.

I think the biggest theme I take away from my impression of India is that it is beautiful, brilliant, and routinely challenged to maintain its existence by invading marauders who seek to dampen the flame. And yet the omniscience of its people seems to always rise above, and I find that really cleansing.

The film could not have been any better, or illustrated this thought more vividly. There was so much beauty that emerged from the many complex layers of the story. The accuracy of the portrayal combined with the fantasy of the plot and the overall theme that love conquers brought a few tears down my cheeks and put a big smile on my heart.

Go see it.

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