Boyle says "Slumdog" not perfect

Wed Jan 21, 2009 10:52am EST
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By Tony Tharakan

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - "Slumdog Millionaire" is not perfect, director Danny Boyle said on Wednesday, adding no filmmaker could capture the essence of a bustling city like Mumbai in a single project.

The cast and crew of the Oscar hopeful are in India in the run-up to the Indian premiere of the critically acclaimed film, a rags-to-riches story of a boy from a Mumbai slum competing on a TV gameshow.

"I have to admit, absolutely admit, that it's not perfect. I don't think any filmmaker can ever capture that city," the British director said at a press conference in New Delhi.

"It's an extraordinary city with all its extremes. You hope to capture bits of it if you can. That's what we tried to do."

"Slumdog Millionaire" came under fire from parts of the Indian media, who accused Boyle of romanticizing slums and peddling begging rackets, prostitution and crime as "Indian exotica."

The film has sparked a debate on whether such "poverty porn" reinforces Western stereotypes about the country, though Boyle said he was trying to capture Mumbai's "lust for life."

"Slumdog Millionaire" swept the Golden Globe awards this month, landing four honors including best drama, and earned 11 nominations at Britain's BAFTA awards.

Boyle, known for his unconventional story-telling in films like "Trainspotting," said it was his "bedrock" of realism that helped him make "Slumdog."   Continued...

<p>People pass by a billboard displaying a poster of the film "Slumdog Millionaire" in Mumbai January 20, 2009. REUTERS/Punit Paranjpe</p>