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Sexist Slumdog Millionaire: Tell Celador Films They Botched It February 11, 2009

Posted by Onely in As If!, film review, Pop Culture: Scourge of the Onelys.
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(Greg Hernandez, Wikicommons)

Did anyone on the Oscar committee, or anyone voting for the Oscars, actually read the book on which the movie Slum Dog Millionaire was based? I sincerely hope not. Because if they did read the book, and they are still generating Oscar buzz after having read it, then gratuitous sexism is more frighteningly ensconced in our pop culture than I realized.

In the movie, Jamal’s love interest Latika is shuffled around at the behest of first one evil man, and then another, battered and sexually assaulted and used for her looks. Finally, her ultimate rescue is facilitated first by Jamal’s brother Salim, and then by Jamal.

But in the excellent book, Q&A by Vikas Swarup, although Latika is abused by the men in her life and suffers all sorts of injustices, in the end–guess what? She shows up at the end of the movie as a high-powered lawyer who swoops in and saves Jamal when the game show producers are beating him and accusing him of cheating.

Was that ending not exciting enough for the SDM producers? (more…)

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