Sunday, February 15, 2009

And the winner is ...

Ayush Mahesh Khedekar, the adorable eight-year-old boy who plays the youngest version of Jamal Malik in Slumdog Millionaire and who jumps into a latrine - filled with shit - just to get an autograph of his idol Indian actor Amitabh Bachan. Of course, it was chocolate they made Ayush jump into ;-)

Rewind. Just got back from Rotterdam where I saw the film Slumdog Millionaire. For what it's worth, this film rocks from beginning to end. The fabulous musical score. The story line which in itself is practically a fairy tale. The vibrant colours - whether from the awesome Taj Mahal or the unspeakable squalor of the slums - bringing to life the magic of India.

Much of Slumdog's sparkle must be credited to Ayush Mahesh Khedekar (youngest Jamal), Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail (youngest Salim) and Rubina Ali (yougest Latika). And they are good!!! No acting experience whatsoever. The latter two are simply two kids from the slums of Mumbai. No worries. These lovelies have now been put into schools and a trust fund was set up for them so that when they finish school they can pursue their studies and hopefully thus ensure a better life. In my humble opinion, a far better investment than simply giving the parents a lump sum of money.

True, not everyone is happy with Slumdog. For one thing, legendary superstar Amitabh Bachchan has criticised Slumdog Millionaire for portraying India as a “Third World dirty underbelly developing nation”.

If you are really desperate for some Bollywood song and dance... well, then you had better wait until the closing credits, for the best is saved for last.

Photo credits
courtesy and Goldderby LA Times