Sandalwood reacted in mixed voices to the success of the movie Slumdog Millionaire at the Oscars. Some had opinions about the movie though they were yet to watch it. Some were even averse to watching it. But there were others who were gung-ho at the Slumdog’s field day at the Oscars.

“It is a success for Rahman’s music and a failure for Indian culture. We know the Oscar awards are given for the hype and strategy of those lobbying rather than for the talent of those involved. It was the strategy of projecting the poverty of India that won Slumdog Millionaire Oscars,” said Kannada music director Hamsalekha, who is yet to watch the movie.

Kannada Director Nagathihalli Chandrashekar felt the Oscars were an important landmark but added that the film was not entirely Indian. “It gives incomplete happiness. Though the film is based in India most of those associated with it are foreigners. World cinema should be competing in India. We need an Indian Oscars, which is sadly lacking,” he said. Music composer K Kalyan is yet to catch up with the film. “I am yet to watch it and hope it is worth all the hype. There is no doubt that Rahman is a genius and he deserves it,” he said.

Information Minister Katta Subramanya Naidu said, “I have not yet watched it and in my busy schedule. Not sure when I will be able to see the movie.” Regional Censor Officer Chandrashekar, whose job demands him to watch all Kannada films before their release, is yet to view the Oscar winner. “I was busy with the wedding of my daughter and now am busy clearing films at office. I am planning to watch it in a day or two,” he said.

Before Slumdog Millionaire won eight of the 10 Academy Awards it was nominated for, it also pocketed five Critics’ Choice Awards, four Golden Globes, and seven BAFTA Awards. The hype has smitten celebrities. Many of them promise to queue up before theatres in a day or two.


But there are quite a few who feel the film deserves every bit of its adulation. “The film’s story is a success formula. The concept of an underdog winning is very Indian. It is one of the best films I have watched. I hope to meet Rahman soon and congratulate him personally,” said actor-director Ramesh Arvind.

Music composer Gurukiran was a little apprehensive about Slumdog’s prospects. “I watched the film on the second day of its release. I felt it had great direction and music. I had great expectations for Lagaan. But it did not win and so I was a little app r e h e n s i v e about Slumdog Millionaire winning. But it has proved me wrong and I am happy about it,” he said.


Lyricist and music composer K Kalyan wrote the Kannada lyrics for Rahman’s ‘One Love’ album. Kalyan stayed in Chennai with Rahman for one day to pen the song. “He came on the same flight to Bangalore with me and said he would be singing the song two days later in Canada! So the Kannada song written and composed in Chennai was sung in Canada,” recalls Kalyan. The song Rutugalu bandu hogutide, yugagalu bandu hogutide is the only Kannada song in Rahman’s voice.

Kannada activist and former MLA Vatal Nagaraj started his pro-Kannada movement by urging people on Kempe Gowda road to watch Kannada films. “I watched my last English film 40 years ago. I watched war films and those by Alfred Hitchcock like ‘Birds’ and ‘Psycho’ in BRV military parade grounds. Those were great films and such films are not being made today. I am tempted to watch Slumdog Millionaire and will watch it very soon,” he said.

Malayalis in Bangalore are in celebration mode with Resul Pookutty becoming the first Malayali to win an Oscar. He got the award for best sound mixing for the film Slumdog Millionaire. The Bangalore Kerala Samajam is planning to felicitate him in Bangalore, besides distributing sweets and putting up hoardings to congratulate him. The Kerala Samajam in Dhooravani Nagar is meeting tomorrow to chalk out plans to celebrate Pookutty’s Oscar.

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