Et tu, Oprah?

AR%20Rahman%20Oprah Et tu, Oprah?

Of course, it was great to see the mass, mainstream exposure that Slumdog Millionaire got on Monday’s Oprah Post-Oscar show, with Danny Boyle, Dev Patel and Freida Pinto sitting down to chat about the film and the Oscar experience.  

After a commercial break, Oprah announced the performance of the film’s song Jai Ho by, wait for it……. A R Rahmeen.

Argh.

Fair play to the Media Queen, when back from  the subsequent  break, she did correct herself before asking “the Mozart of Madras” what the meaning of “Jai ho” is.

Slumdog @ the Oscars tonight

slumdog%20cannes%20poster%202 Slumdog @ the Oscars tonight  

So this is the day.   All Many eyes on the Kodak theater to see how many awards Slumdog Millionaire will take home.

I confess I’ve lost interest in the awards in recent years, but tonight I’ll definitely be tuning in.

Afterward, I’ve been asked to join a SAJA/SAMMA webcast on BlogTalkRadio to discuss the film, the hoopla around it (pro and con), and the results of this evening’s Academy Awards.  

You can listen in, and join in, here at 11:30pm (NY time).

The poster above is from Cannes last year.   I kinda wish they would have stuck with it instead of  the one used now, which I find very blah, for such a vibrant film.

UPDATE:   8 Academy Awards in total.   I’m totally chuffed for A.R. Rahman.   The 6 kids were adorable on the red carpet.   I hope that Slumdog‘s  success leads to people wanting to know more about Indian film.   In an upcoming Anil Kapoor interview that I did  for Khabar magazine, he lists the films that newcomers to his work should watch.  Meanwhile, here’s a terrific primer on Hindi cinema that the venerable Amitava Kumar did recently for Vanity Fair, in the wake of Slumdog.  

Waiting for darshan at Abhi’s place

Back in NY now, but one week ago, while driving through Juhu, we happened upon this scene:

 Waiting for darshan at Abhis place

…dozens and dozens of people at Abhishek Bachchan’s gate, hoping for a glimpse.   Of course, I had to get out of the car and add to the throng.

 Waiting for darshan at Abhis place

 Waiting for darshan at Abhis place

 Waiting for darshan at Abhis place

I mean, this guy really tied up traffic!   Just have a look at the median in front of his driveway:

 Waiting for darshan at Abhis place

 Waiting for darshan at Abhis place

 Waiting for darshan at Abhis place

Every so often, one of the doors would open a few inches, and we’d all hold our breath and surge forward a bit, but then nothing would happen, the door would close over again, and we’d all relax.

 Waiting for darshan at Abhis place

And look, they have a nimbu mirch too!

 Waiting for darshan at Abhis place

Clearly, some of those waiting were quite nonplussed:

 Waiting for darshan at Abhis place

Meanwhile, over at Dad’s….

 Waiting for darshan at Abhis place

Sunday in Bombay

On the road from Lonavala to Bombay, one couple is still carrying over the V-day pink theme:

 Sunday in Bombay

Then there’s the film ads that roll by on buses, for American flics:

 Sunday in Bombay

and the latest Hindi releases:

 Sunday in Bombay

and let’s not forget the occasional passing public health notice:

 Sunday in Bombay

Slumdog, BAFTAs, hometown applause

 Slumdog, BAFTAs, hometown applause

So Slumdog Millionaire has conquered the BAFTAs too;  all we have to do now is wait for the Oscars and see what happens there.

Above is the hoarding from the nearby Satyam cinemas.   Went with a few friends a couple of days ago to see Slumdog again, and, during the closing credits when A.R. Rahman’s name appeared, there was applause and cheers from the audience.

Below, a closer shot, of the Slumdog poster (which I prefer over the one being used in the US) next to Bala’s disturbing Naan Kadavul (more about that later!).

 Slumdog, BAFTAs, hometown applause

Pondicherry side-trip

Second time back in this sweet city on the sea….teeming with more vellai than you pass on the streets of Chennai….had a wonderful coq au vin at lunch, browsed some  pirated Tamil DVDs on the beachfront,  and just as we were leaving, we stumbled across a temple, complete with an anklet-bedecked elephant named – what else? – Laxmi.

And as elsewhere, love of fillums is obvious, from store fronts bearing  paintings of Rajni and Vijay, and posters all over:

 Pondicherry side trip