Home > Uncategorized > Is Bombay the new Tokyo?

Is Bombay the new Tokyo?

It feels like with all of this Slumdog Millionaire business dominating the papers and my google reader (perhaps this is more a reflection on the sort of feeds I subscribe to) that the film, its cast, its Golden Globe statues and everything to do with it are everywhere right now. There are also billboards, posters, etc (phew it’s not just me). Seems like a marketer’s wet dream really and why not? The film is obviously very different to the usual Hollywood fare. For starters, it’s made by a Scot, Danny Boyle, and although Danny (from Trainspotting, Shaun of the Dead fame), is certainly not an unknown in Hollywood/movie circles, he is no Spielberg. Neither are the film’s leads Dev Patel and Freida Pinto, Brad and Angelina… neither is AR Rahman John Williams (though arguably he could and should be).

And along with all of this reporting going on about Slumdog, the inevitable reporting about Bombay follows. We’ve been hearing all this talk about how Mumbai is Maximum City and how it’s so amazing and wonderful (y’all know I don’t disagree). The question I want to ask now is… is Bombay the new Tokyo? I remember back in the day (well I don’t really remember but I’m pretty sure this is how it sorta went down) when Orientalist Westerners developed a keen interest in Asia, Tokyo was the hip and happening place to go to, discover and revel in the exoticism of it all (like zomg wow check it out manz they are so different and they eat with sticks!) so now that Slumdog is everywhere and an entire generation of moviegoers is going to prepare to dive headlong into the slums of Bombay in search of love and excitement (I’m seeing slum package tours organised by Intrepid, God)… perhaps Bombay will be the new Tokyo. I do love Bombay but if they make a film starring Bill Murray going to Bombay and getting freaked out by chaiwallas and rickshaws I may have to vomit.

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  1. sabaimtiaz
    January 17, 2009 at 7:03 am

    You know what I think is the spillover effect of Slumdog? The Rahul Gandhi-David Miliband visit to a hut in Uttar Pradesh [http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/jan/16/david-miliband-india]

  2. alexlobov
    January 17, 2009 at 11:39 am

    Hahaha I actually reckon that’s pretty cool! And besides I like both Rahul Gandhi and David Milliband so good on ’em!

  3. onparkstreet
    January 20, 2009 at 12:12 am

    Awww, I liked that film with Bill Murray.

    And I don’t even want to get started on the other film, I’ve raved too much on other blogs about it, it’s getting embarrassing.

  4. alexlobov
    January 20, 2009 at 12:35 am

    yeah i finally went and saw it the other day and it was really cool, but since then ive seen Frost/Nixon and Waking Life and those two movies are just super awesome brilliant so my raving on Slumdog has diminished somewhat

    i also liked Lost in Translation but I didn’t appreciate some of the token representations of Japanese “culture”, I thought they were rather Orientalist.

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