ATR 105 – Slumdog Millionaire, He’s Just Not That Into You

It’s not everyday that a movie filled with child abuse, extreme poverty, torture, and violence against women is hailed as a feel-good flick, but that’s exactly what happened to “Slumdog Millionaire.” Do the characters’ race have anything to do with this perception? We also examine the racial dynamics of the new romantic comedy “He’s Just Not That Into You.”

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Thea Lim grew up in Toronto and Singapore. Her writing has been published by The Utne Reader, Canadian Woman Studies/les cahiers de la femme, The Tyee, and Second Story Press, and in 2007 Invisible Publishing released her first novel, The Same Woman. She helped establish the award-winning Shameless Magazine blog, she co-facilitated the famed Toronto Asian Arts Freedom School, and she is currently a special correspondent for Racialicious. She recently left the glamourous world of not-for-profit communications to pursue an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Houston. She also listens to a lot of Mariah Carey.

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6 thoughts on “ATR 105 – Slumdog Millionaire, He’s Just Not That Into You”

  1. wow what an embarassing podcast i really feel sorry for ATR this time.

    You really meandered around ever point about slumdog millionaire with out actually giving any actuall points. If its about humanity (and thats probably the least you brought up), then why, is it because it shows how human-beings desipite a life of hard-ship still seek love, acceptance and fun?

    I think theres alot of things in that movie that could have been talked about for instance the frequent use of M.I.A’s work in the soundtrack, is there any difference between a white english man doing a story about the slums and an indian ex-pat born in the u.k doing songs about the slums of india?

    Also ONE BIG THING that has been annoying me for sometime is the use of the word brown people or brown children and people of colour. People from India (despite which religion they belong to) are Indian, Asian or South-East Asian, not “Brown People”, children from India are not “Brown Children” there Indian Children. Unless of course Carman thinks it is ok for her children to be called “Yellow Children”? and white popel to called “People of No Colour”.

    The funniest thing about the podcast is the point in the end of the discussion about “He’s Just Not that Into You” where Carmen and Co-host relise that every point they had been trying put on the movie for why it has a racial issues is answered by themselves and they’ve just gone through some sort of self relisation that they have just run away with nothing and simply by the viewing the telling of the story from a differant perspective that its quite simple that if the movie wasn’t made by white people that the whole circle of friends would change race because a realistic depiction of society often is that people form social groups of like kind.

  2. no one is really saying “oh wacky ol india, what’d you expect!” its like forrest gump, too much like forrest gump. All of those stories, resonate with westerners perception of india. danny boyle has put them all into 3 peoples life. No one is saying “oh police brutallity, selling women, killing for profit and exploiting children is terrible, but i’ll let it go cause its not happening to me and it makes for a good story, so it doesn’t really matter”
    ITS A MOVIE. like terminator or space jam.

  3. This comment has been deleted by the moderator. Don’t post comments under different identities. Your IP address is a dead giveaway.

  4. This comment has been deleted by the moderator. Don’t post comments under different identities. Your IP address is a dead giveaway.

  5. Actually I disagree, about your brown people remark because I’m from Canada and most of my friends who are of Indian descent including those whose parents are from Asia, were born in Asia or are west Indian from Guyana or Trinidad or Caribbean they all say that they are brown people. They call each other brown people so don;t get angry at Carmen for saying brown people because many Indian I know want to call them selves brown. Their nationality is Indian or of Indian descent but they also call themselves brown and take no offense to their friends calling them brown. The same goes for me I call myself black even though my nationality is Caribbean (second generation Grenadian to be exact). I don’t see how you can criticize her for something that most Indian people don’t find offensive, they embrace being brown.

  6. I thought that the podcast was amusing and interesting. I had resisted seeing any of the recent award winning movies, but I went ahead a saw Slum Dog Millionaire just two hours after listening to the podcast. You see how easily influenced I am? Ha! I thought the movie was good with some fairly compelling drama wrapped up in a cohesive plot-line. I agree with your guest that all of the inhumane treatment portrayed in the movie was made to seem unimportant in the light of the protagonist’s success. My main complaint with the movie was that the characters were not fleshed out enough. The movie did not really adequately explain the behavior of all of the principal characters and we are left to guess the reasons for various choices. Also, very little attention was paid to the leading woman\girl in the movie, despite her having such a supposedly important role in the hero’s life. From a racist or cultural perspective, my fear would be that ignorant people would walk away from this movie thinking that Indian people are sexist, perverted barbarians. This is, of course, not true, but that is the India that the movie portrays. I still enjoyed the movie, but I’m not sure about the best picture status. In fairness, however, I did not see any movies that were better, so maybe the award really is justified.

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