The 81st Oscar Academy Award ceremony was special for all Indians. The first reason was that Slumdog Millionaire, based on Mumbai’s Dharavi-Asia’s largest slum, was the major contender for the Oscars. Most of the star cast of this globally acclaimed movie were Indians, including its leading lady, Freida Pinto. The second obvious reason was the 10 nominations for this film at the Oscars, which include 3 Indians-A.R Rahman, Gulzar, and Resul Pookutty. On the morning of 23rd February, India rejoiced at Slumdog Millionaire’s win at the 81st Oscars. Bagging 8 Oscars, the film turned the global spotlight on the talent of Bollywood.
The person who made us proud the most was none other than A.R Rehman. This music maestro from Chennai bagged two Oscars- one came for the best music score and the second for the best song “Jai Ho” which he shared with the lyricist Gulzar. Although, Rehman is one of the world’s best-selling recording artists, his win at the Oscars will take the Indian music on the international stage even more prominently than before. Another Indian who made us proud the same day was Resul Pookutty who won the Oscar for the best sound mixing. His win further emphasized the fact that there is no dearth of talent in Bollywood. If given a chance, Bollywood too can make a deep impact on the whole world.
The global acknowledgment of the excellence with which Slumdog Millionaire has been made changed the lives of all the people associated with the film. While Anil Kapoor and Irfan Khan walked the red carpet at Oscars for the first time in their lives, the leading lady, Frieda Pinto got the opportunity to be the cover girl of Vogue Magazine. Labeled as the new style sensation, she has also bagged a role in Woody Allen’s next film. The success of the film also changed the lives of two child artists- Azharuddin Ismail and Rubiana Ali Qureshi. Both, presently, live in Garib Nagar Slum, an area surrounded by open sewage, rubbish and narrow alleys of shanty homes. While Rubina lives in a small room, Azhar lives with his family in a makeshift cloth shelter. They both can now hope for a better living as the Maharashtrian Government is planning to give them apartments from a specially reserved batch of government properties.
However, the success of Slumdog Millionaire at the Oscars may prove to be a threat for the Bollywood producers. Like Danny Boyle and Christian Colson, there are many big Hollywood production companies that have already expressed their eagerness to make films in India. The presence of extraordinary talent coupled with low cost may prompt many international producers to try their luck in India. This could be a major blow to the Indian producers who may not be able to shell out as much money as their counterparts.