February 25, 2009

When millionaires disagree


Salman Rusdie: Objects to writers living in fantasy lands

Salman Rusdie: Objects to writers living in fantasy lands

Only people in places without TV or the recently deceased can be unaware of the phenomenon that is Slumdog Millionaire: the fact that it is one of only eight movies ever to win eight Oscars; that the street children who acted in it have been less than adequately paid; that it’s a feel-good crowd pleaser with depth; that it’s turned yet another mid-rank novelist into a superstar; and so on. Everyone I know who’s seen it says that it’s oddly disappointing; no one can tell me why. Perhaps they should talk to Salman Rushdie, a man who is never afraid to go against the flow. As this AP wire story notes, he dissed the movie royally in a lecture he gave at Emory University on Sunday, accusing it of “piling impossibility upon impossibility”. A bit rich, coming from him, you might think, no matter how many characters may be magically transported to the Taj Mahal. He also had some cutting words for Vikas Swarup, the author of Q&A: apparently the problems originate from the novel. Slumdog? Scumdog, more like.