'I'm sure Slumdog Millionaire will be nominated for Oscars'
Irrfan Khan is a familiar face internationally, thanks to films like The Namesake and A Mighty Heart. But it took a Slumdog Millionaire for him to be a part of an award-winning film. If the film's luck hold, it may even take him to the Oscars.
Irrfan plays a policeman, investigating Jamal Malik (Dev Patel), who is suspected of cheating at the gameshow Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.
He talks to Patcy N about the film's Oscar chances, and Amitabh Bachchan's controversially blog post.
Do you think Slumdog Millionaire will go to the Oscars?
I'm sure Slumdog Millionaire will be nominated.
Are you happy with the fame and success this film has got?
I am happy about the way people are talking about the film, and the way media has appreciated it.
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Amitabh Bachchan has said in his blog that the film shows India's poverty. What do you think?
This film is not a documentary. It is a film with drama; a story of the human spirit. The slums are just a backdrop. What you have to take away from the film is its spirit.
This film is based on a book written by Vikas Swarup. The slum backdrop was already there in the book. It's not that the movie was based in a five star hotel and Danny Boyle deliberately changed it to a slum story.
Why do people not understand that a slum kid will stay in the slums, not in (posh locality in Bandra, a Western suburb of Mumbai) Pali Hill. His friends will not be from Colaba (in South Mumbai). They will also be from the slums.
The writer is not looking at the poverty angle of the film but the spirit of the boy who makes it big from nowhere. Let's face it, we are a poor country. We have to learn to deal with it. We should not try to hide it. We should show these things in our stories. This type of reality should creep into our dramas.
I haven't read what exactly Bachchansaab has written in his blog. But let me tell you that the producers who have put it so much of money, and come here all the way from their country, they haven't come here to represent our country's poverty. At the end of the day, filmmaking is a business. People make films so that it wins the heart of the masses and the audiences pay money to watch it in theatres.
Why do you think this script worked?
Very few films become special. Why they become special is unknown. There are some scripts that you immediately feel good about, and want to do it. Slumdog is among them. When I read the script, I felt the film would be special. But I never thought it would become so big.
Video: Hitesh Harisinghani
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