Not because it’s about Mumbai. Or about it’s famed or maligned spirit. Not because it showed the mirror that made your head hang in shame. Or about the hope it stirred when it whispered, “You’re still beautiful.” Not because of its children you want to hug and feed after scrubbing their faces. Or its relationships that arose from a humble fact that you have no-one but each other. Not because of the incredible way it captures speed – of a thought becoming evil and evil becoming a conscience. Or its definition of this land as a maximum city in ways, both depraved and glorious. Not because of its music that haunts and unravels failures through random roads. Or its anthemic finale that makes you want to raise a fist high in victory.
I have rooted for Danny Boyle and this film for a reason other than these…for, to use a Star Trek line, going where no man has gone before. For not being antiseptic when filming Mumbai. For not resorting to cordoned-off studios and ‘arranging’ for crowds. For not overestimating our chaos, for not underestimating our trust. For taking it all – the Mumbai crowds, the Mumbai noise, the Mumbai filth, the Mumbai dust and grime and hatred and smiles and avarice and ambition and hope and despair and our local Dickens and our neighborhood Frost - for taking it all, and keeping it true.
For these reasons, I’d lost my heart (like many, many others) to Danny Boyle and Slumdog Millionaire.
An Oscar was just one of the many things that Danny Boyle has won in the last few hours. The admiration of thousands and thousands of people here is another…but at that scale, I suppose, it’s not a prize anymore. It’s conquest.