Although India is highly populated, the country has not been known as a country with a lot of technological advances. But as globalization is starting to take over the country, they are quickly becoming known as a country with a high economic rate. But through Danny Boyle’s film Slumdog Millionaire, India has been shown in a way that many people are not too happy about. Some are stating that even the film’s title shows little consideration for the country stating that the words, “slum” and “dog” are in the title. But people are praising the film for showing their beautiful landmarks in the film. Although the film Slumdog Millionaire expresses how globalization can have positive and negative impacts, the film illustrates how globalization has a negative impact in India and how westernization contributes to the exploitation of the country.
The use of the American brand Coke is portrayed in a negative way in the film. Maman lures the Salim, Jamal, and Latika using Coke and takes them to his orphanage type place. He turns the children into beggars and the man profits off the children. The American brand Coke is used as a way to grab the children, using something they love, and providing them with a place and then using them to profit off of.
The whole film which revolves around the show “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” also shows how globalization has a negative impact. While the show has been on air, everyone wants to be on the show. Everyone wants a chance at a million dollars and wants to have their 15 minutes of fame. An American show has a big impact on the people of India. While Jamal is working at a call center, he is asked to take over for a friend at an operation call desk so his friend can go watch “Who Wants to be a Millionaire.” Everyone working there were all excited that the show was on and focused on the show more than their jobs. Also, on the show, they asked questions about American history and facts. One of the questions Jamal had to answer was, “Who is on the American $100 bill.” We can see that America has taken over and that globalization has impacted India. The film focuses on money, being successful, and ultimately winning the pretty girl which is technically the “American dream.”
The movie title has caused many to believe that it is an exploitation of the country. An article titled, “The Real Roots of the ‘Slumdog’ Protests” states, “Some Indians find the word ‘slumdog’ . . . to be insulting to slum-dwellers. More generally, the rags-to-riches romance has been called ‘poverty porn’ for the way it casts a glowing light on a very poor section of Mumbai society and promotes ‘slum tourism’” (Divakaruni). The title casts down upon the culture of India and how the film exhibits the slums of the country and exploits the poverty level that is currently inhibited by the people. Many who live in India have expressed strongly over the title “Slumdog” stating, that "Referring to people living in slums as dogs is a violation of human rights" (Weaver). Many feel strongly against just the title. They feel the title of the film is wrong and inhumane. Just the title has cause a backlash against the film, not for the movie itself but the title also.
There is one scene in the film that really exploits the people of India. When Jamal takes an American couple on a “real” tour of India, showing the slums, the Americans’ Mercedes Benz gets taken apart by other children. When Jamal brings them back to the car, an Indian man that was with them and looks at the scene of the crime, quickly assumes the tour was a scam and starts beating Jamal. The Americans quickly stop the man from beating Jamal. Jamal says to them somewhere along the lines of “You are getting the real taste of India” which implies that in the slums, many children are getting beat by older adults. This exploits the country and their culture. The film implies that this is what the children do in India, scam Americans for money. But in that same scene, the woman says, “Here is a bit of America” and mouths the word “money” to her husband and hands Jamal American money.
Slumdog Millionaire is just a film directed by Danny Boyle, but the film also came with a few backlashes. The portrayal of the real slums of India, the word “slumdog” in the title, and the use of American products within the film all produced some sort of reaction from people. While globalization has been improving the economy for India, many are concerned that it is taking away from India’s culture and establishing something new. Many are not happy with the change of a new culture and are upset with the direction their country is headed.
Divakaruni, Chitra, Amresh Sinha, and Sadia Shepard. "The Real Roots of the 'Slumdog' Protests - NYTimes.com." Room for Debate - NYTimes.com. 20 Feb. 2009. Web. 10 Dec. 2010. <http://roomfordebate.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/02/20/the-real-roots-of-the-slumdog-protests/>.
Weaver, Matthew. "Protests at Indian Cinemas over Slumdog Millionaire | World News | Guardian.co.uk."
Latest News, Comment and Reviews from the Guardian | Guardian.co.uk. 27 Web. 10 Dec. 2010.