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Indians Talk Oscar and ‘Slumdog’

On the streets of Mumbai, what some real folks think about the hit movie’s chances and and credibility — and what they’d rather see win.

Vivek Kaul, finance analyst: “I’m a Bollywood freak and hate seeing foreign films. Slumdog is the only English film that I have seen this year. So I don’t want any other film but Slumdog to win. It may not be an Indian film, but a film made in India winning the Oscar is good enough for me. Isn’t India the flavor of the season?”

Kanika Raj, student
:Slumdog has a good chance of winning the Best Picture Oscar, only because the entire world is going gaga over it. That’s about it. It’s not an amazing film, but people have been seduced by this so-called exotic Indian poverty. Just the hype could pitch the film ahead. Benjamin Button is the only other nominated film that I have seen.”

Deepanjali Singh, student
: “Benjamin Button and Revolutionary Road would be the hot Oscar favorites. Slumdog was a nice movie, but not Oscar-worthy. There’s nothing about Slumdog that you can go ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ about, except for the music.  The transformation of the slum boy was so jarring.”


Nakul Lajami, merchant navy officer: 
”The current global meltdown makes it imperative for the Academy to be politically correct and hand over the golden man to a non-American film. Milk, Slumdog and The Wrestler are my toss-ups for the Best Picture Oscar.  I am all for the rags-to-riches stories.”

Kishenchand R Dubey, chauffeur: “Oscar Foscar! I don’t know the other films at all, and I’m not interested in any awards. I saw Slumdog Crorepati in Hindi, and imagined myself in the hot seat winning all that big money. Alas, such stories happen only on screen.”