The film Slumdog Millionaire is possibly the most successful collaboration between Bollywood and Hollywood filmmakers in terms of the publicity and acclaim it has received from critics and the public. Yet its success as a big budget film should not eclipse the fact that in many ways it is an exercise in global art practice as well. The story, lifted from a recent Indian novel is brought to life by British filmmaker Danny Boyle incorporates elements of the traditional Bollywood style into the film.
It is an interesting mix of cultures because it involved Hollywood appropriating film styles from an India cultural product that originated from trying to emulate Hollywood type films. It reflects the global flow of culture that Hollywood’s crowning achievement this year is one that borrows heavily from an eastern tradition of filmmaking. It speaks to the surfeit of ideas that has befallen the western culture factory and the need to reach out to other cultures in order to develop new and meaningful narratives. It is a sign of the times that the tide of global culture is now flowing the other way and that for Hollywood to continue to be relevant it must borrow engage in a dialogue with other cultures.