Slumdog Millionaire: Global Film?
Read the case study on Slumdog Millionaire and answer the following questions:
- Explain where the storyline for the film came from. Give examples.
The storyline came from Vikram Swarup, an Indian diplomat in London. He is the author of the Slumdog Millionaire novel. Then Simon Beaufoy read the book and decided to make a screenplay, thinking that it would be successful. Danny Boyle then saw that the well known screenplay writer Simon Beaufoy wrote it and he decided to take on the mantle of becoming the films director.
- List the ways in which Simon Beaufoy changed the story. Explain why this was done.
Beaufoy changed the central character to being a muslim and one of two brothers from a Mumbai slum. His name was changed to Jamal. In the novel the character is an orphan brought up in an English clergyman's house in Delhi. A number of the subplots are removed to make the main story clearer. And the romance aspect is more dominant and runs across the whole storyline.
- How did Tessa Ross and Christian Colson arrange funding?
To arrange the funding Ross and Colson had to first establish the rights to use the 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire' name and content in the film. After they achieved that they could then sell the distribution rights to companies in the UK and Ireland.
- Explain the term ‘Bollywood’ (p. 165/168)
Bollywood is a popular cinema made in Hindi, the official language of India, understood by about 40% of the population.
- What was the impact of Warner Bros closing it’s ‘specialist’ film labels on the distribution of Slumdog Millionaire? How was this resolved? (p. 166)
The impact on Slumdog Millionaire was that the films future was thrown into doubt. It meant that the film may be pushed straight to DvD in North America which would drastically decrease the films popularity.
- Slumdog Millionaire is not a Hollywood film. Explain how it has been caught between Hollywood and Bollywood. (p. 167-170)
Many viewers think it it a British film, this is because of how successful the film had become which was completely accidental. The film appealed to both audiences of Bollywood and Hollywood so it succeeds in both markets and then around the world.
- In your opinion, what made Slumdog Millionaire a successful film? Discuss pre-production, production, distribution and exhibition.
I think that the film was so successful because of the touching storyline that everybody could relate to. The production was filmed in India with the majority of the crew being Indian. This meant that the relationship between the crew and the actors, who were also Indian, could thrive and the acting from them excel. The distribution of the film was from Fox Searchlight, which is a huge Hollywood distribution company, so the sales of the film would be higher.