It was Slumdog Millionaire’s night at the Oscars. The film took home the statue in nearly every category it was nominated in. Along with Best Editing, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, the fairy tale film also won Best Sound Mixing, Best Soundtrack, Best Song ‘Jai Ho’, Best Director and to top off the night Best Film.
The night began with the win for Simon Beaufoy for his fabulous intertwining script and in his speech he thanked author Vikas Swarup for the amazing material he had to work with as well as the “two other musketeers” director Danny Boyle and producer Christian Colson.
The technical awards were next and Slumdog Millionaire’s incredible crew took home 3 of the 4 categories it was nominated in Sound Mixing, Editing and Cinematography. India’s Resul Pookutty who was visibly moved accepted the award and said, “ I dedicate this award to my country. Thank you to the academy. This is history being handed over to me!” Chris Dikens won the award for Best Editing and for his fabulous cinematography Anthony Dodd Mantle took home the prize.
The awards that every Bollywood fan were waiting for was the Best Soundtrack and Best Song awards. Things got started in a big way with AR Rahman winning for his incredible score. In a moving acceptance speech he said, “Before coming I was excited and terrified. The last time I felt like that was before my marriage.” He went on to say in Hindi mere paas maa hai and thanked his Mom for her blessings and that she was there with him. He spoke a few words in Tamil which he says, he says after every award which means God is great and then simply said Thank you. Next were the production numbers for ‘Jai Ho’ and ‘O Saaya’ and both were sung by the maestro himself. The energy visibly increased with fabulous dancers and drummers performing to the songs of Slumdog Millionaire and the nominated song from Wall-E. At the end of the number there was a mix of both Rahman and John Legends vocals that was quite innovative and very entertaining. Again Rahman was honored with a win for ‘Jai Ho’, which had lyrics, by Gulzar. He said, “The essence of the film is about optimism and hope in their lives. All my life I have had a choice of hate/love. I chose love and I am here. God bless.”
Throughout the night they camera kept flashing to Danny Boyle and each time he looked in awe that the film was being honored so much. Then he was named Best Director and he came on stage and jumped like Tigger. Why? Because he said that a long time a go he told his kids that if he ever got to this point he would bounce like Tigger and so he did. He also thanked everyone in Mumbai and specifically mentioned Longi for his choreography for ‘Jai Ho’ since his name was accidentally left off the credits. “You have been so generous to us this evening and I thank you.”
Then it was time for the biggest award of the night and yes dear readers Slumdog Millionaire was awarded the Best Film Academy Award. Star Dev Patel was so in shock he did not know what to do but then along with producer Christian Colson the entire cast and crew came on stage to celebrate the films amazing accomplishments!
To sum up the sentiments, Mansi has written in her words, the perfect conclusion:
A.R. Rahman roared in smiles and shyness, grabbing his golden Oscar, looking away, thanking his mom, looking up, paying homage to his God and winning. Winning for creating harmony for Slumdog Millionaire. Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail rolled his eyes up at the lights and the stars that showered upon him as he stood on the stage looking at the world right in the eyes. Danny Boyle chuckled courageously mentioning Winnie the Pooh and the deserving team, shaking hands with the known and raising to the unknown, really high pedestal. Anthony Dod Mantle created the rhythm of cinematography, orchestrated a beautiful story in the benevolent bit of Bombay. Resul Pookutty sighed and again, looking down and up, thanking one and all, raising the Oscar and more.
Today, they all saluted Mumbai by praying Jai Ho, the stories of the ordinary and celebration of the extraordinary. Today, they all defied all boundaries, walked over seven seas, spoke in multi-lingual tones and won more than a million hearts. Today, they stood, none too small, none too big, none to poor, none too rich. Today, they created history and recreated tradition of winning and deserving. Today, they redefined the idea of representation. Today they rejoiced with the world, the British and the Indians stood on the American land.
Today, filmmaking did what it meant to do, a hundred years back. No, not just tell amazing stories and transport you to catharsis. Today, filmmaking brought people together. Again.
We here at BollySpice have been honored to be involved in a small way with the promotion of this incredible film, are thankful to Dev and Freida for talking with us and are ecstatic that the film has been loved and so universally accepted and recognized for the brilliance of the cast, crew, music and producers! Jai Ho!