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Critical Review of the Film Slumdog Millionaire - Essay Example

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Critical Review of the Film “Slumdog Millionaire” Name of the Student Class Critical Review of the Film “Slumdog Millionaire” Introduction The Anthropological study of culture, politics and globalization investigates the effects of globalization, Orientalist discourses, the role of cultures, everyday power struggles, and spatial and economic inequality in an increasingly interconnected world…
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Critical Review of the Film Slumdog Millionaire
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Critical Review of the Film Slumdog Millionaire

Download file to see previous pages... These themes underscore the overlapping narratives in the film Slumdog Millionaire, 2008, a British production with Indian cast and crew, using both English and Hindi, with English subtitles for international viewing. The film is directed by Danny Boyle, produced by Christian Colson, screenplay written by Simon Beaufoy, and based on Vikas Swarup’s book Q & A (IMDb, 2012). It won eight out of ten Academy Awards, 2009, along that of ‘Best Picture’, as well as several other international awards (Paul, 2011). Thesis Statement: The purpose of this paper is to critically review the film “Slumdog Millionaire”. It will be argued that Orientalist discourses circulate in the film, and media representations of cultural images influence how people identify themselves and their place in the world. Thus, globalization and the politics of identity creation, as well as spatial and economic inequality in an increasingly interconnected world will be examined. Globalization and the Politics of Identity Creation in “Slumdog Millionaire” The world today is distinguished by a new role for the imagination in social life. Thus, focusing on the image, the imagined and the imaginary, Appadurai (2004) indicates that critical changes are emerging in global cultural processes, with the imagination becoming part of social practice, enabling negotiation between action and globally defined fields of possibility. Film-makers attempt to please the audience by imaginatively using the cultural mythology of the era. “Myths are transformations of fundamental conflicts or contradictions that in reality cannot be resolved” (Paul, 2011, p.451). Similar to dreams functioning as wish fulfillments in several cases, films provide wish-fulfilling solutions to human dilemmas. This forms the main theme of the film Slumdog Millionaire, in which the 18-year-old Jamal Malik, a Muslim youth played by new comer Dev Patel, is about to win a jackpot of 20 million rupees on the Hindi version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire. However, during a break before the final round, convinced that this uneducated boy must have cheated, the quiz master gets Jamal taken away to be interrogated by the inspector of police. The film uses the questions on the quiz show that Jamal miraculously answers, to reveal his life story in flash backs. He answers each question correctly due to specific incidents in his past that coincidentally gave him the required information or knowledge (Gilbey, 2009). Media representation of cultural images influences how people identify themselves and their place in the world. According to Peralta (2010), art, storytelling and history are inter-connected with cultural identity. The medium of cinema is a form of art which narrates a story, and it is directly related to cultural influences. Cinema creates identity-formation particularly in the contemporary globalized world. Stories convey cultural memories besides relaying morality, judgment, history, and life lessons. Further, “like art, stories can create a place where we begin to understand or make sense of our world” (Peralta, 2010, p.27). Narratives are used to explain oneself to others, and in turn help in understanding the other. With the increasing interconnectedness of globalization, the media representatio ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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