I hope my film captures dignity of slum dwellers: Danny Boyle

October 21st, 2008 - 11:37 am ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Oct 21 (IANS) British director Danny Boyle says unlike “City of Joy” and “Salaam Bombay”, his film “Slumdog Millionare” does not portray people living in Indian slums as poor and desperate.”The word slum in my film’s title has not been used in quite the obvious way. Working in the so-called slum areas of Mumbai, I found it a fantastically organised place to go. The people were hugely generous,” Boyle told IANS.

“They are a huge community of very dignified and warm people. I hope my film has captured their dignity. They’re not portrayed as poor and desperate people in my film. I think people in India should see the film before they judge it,” he added.

Loosely based on Vikas Swarup’s best-selling novel “Q and A”, the film was shot in Mumbai.

Other international crew may have a different story to tell. But Boyle, who made films like “Trainspotting”, “The Beach” and “28 Days Later”, has gone back swearing by the city.

Asked if Mumbai was fully peaceful for him, he said: “I don’t know whether ‘peaceful’ would be the right word. For me it was a very happy experience. I got so attached to the city, they had to stop me from filming and push me out of Mumbai. The only way to make a film based on Mumbai is to accept how extraordinarily complex and interesting the city is.

“If you go from the outside to make a film in Mumbai thinking you’d be fully in control of the situation and blah blah, the film would never get made. If you trust and respect the city, it delivers back to you ten-fold.”

Boyle hopes US-based Indian filmmaker Mira Nair would be able to make her second film on Mumbai “Shantaram” after “Salaam Bombay”.

“If ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ works for a mainstream audience, international studios would be encouraged to make mainstream films. ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ has got a big heart, so I don’t see why it should not work for a global audience. There’s a line in the film where a character says, ‘India has become the centre of the world now’. People outside are now warming up to India,” said Boyle.

He has now spoken to Anil Kapoor, who makes a guest appearance in “Slumdog Millionare”, about making another film in Mumbai.

“Yes, I did speak to Anil Kapoor about making another film. And if all goes well, I’ll be back to do another film. It’s such an amazing city. He’s a wonderful actor. But he never forgets his producers’ hat. He’s always surveying the situation, cutting deals. I might be coming back.

“I had a seriously amazing time. One reason why the film works is the city’s vivacity that we’ve captured on screen. It’s been a while since we saw Mumbai in this light.”

When contacted about Boyle’s next Mumbai film, Anil said: “I’ll speak about this only after the London Film Festival.”

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