Western Power in Slumdog Millionaire Essay

Throughout history. from the enlargement of the Romans by military agencies into the environing states in 150AD to the colonization of the America’s in 1942 to the debut of the English to Australia in 1788. the debut of a new. more advanced civilization has the same ensuing alteration to the autochthonal people and their civilization – suppression. This thought of colonizers exerting holding power over the indigens is a common one throughout history and continues to be true now. when Western influence is exerted across many less-developed states. including India.

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Slumdog Millionaire. directed by Danny Boyle and produced in 2008. is a narrative that has two parallel civilizations. Indian and Western. and the balance of power between them is rather clear. Through the usage of both proficient and symbolic codifications. power in Slumdog Millionaire is constructed rather steadfastly as being in the custodies of the new civilization – the West. The usage of different camera shootings and angles help to reenforce the feeling that the existent power in Slumdog Millionaire lies with the West.

Inside the studio of the game show. there are equal shootings of the people ( the host and Jamal ) and the equipment and cameras environing them. However. Jamal and host are about ever shown in shootings where they are to a great extent framed. ‘boxed in’ or ‘trapped’ by the cameras and engineering. This leads to the focal point of the scene being non on the people in it. but equipment around them and therefore the operators of this equipment – the West. Having the focal point directed invariably towards the West and its inanimate objects shows how the power in the scene belongs to the West.

When Jamal foremost enters the studio. a birds-eye shooting of the studio shows him come ining a elephantine circle of overseas telegrams and metal poles. This birds-eye angle constructs the phase as a coop or big oculus – a topographic point where Jamal and the host are trapped and put on show for the amusement of others. These ‘others’ refer to the Godheads of this coop – the West. and this reinforces in the spectator how Westerners are the 1s that hold the power in this scene.

Furthermore. the birds-eye shooting depicts Jamal and the host as bantam and undistinguished – swallowed by the tremendous oculus of the phase – further underscoring the neglect the West has for the persons who they see as below them and suit merely for amusement. All the camera shootings in the studio are steady and changeable level. with no joust or jerked meat motions whereas all other shootings ( shootings of the ‘other’ India ) are all shooting at an awkward angle. with on occasion fickle motions.

This apparently deficiency of control in the ‘other’ India gives rise to the feeling that without the presence of the West. there is no bracing consequence on society – that there is a deficiency of a dominant force. This so reinforces that the West are the existent holders of power in India and without them. there is a power vacuity. Furthermore. we. as viewing audiences. experience of course more comfy with shootings that are flat and steady as opposed to those that tilt and put us off balance – possibly proposing that we feel more comfy when we know that the Western universe is there with us?

Symbols. used throughout Boyle’s movie. aid to build and reenforce the thought that the power in Slumdog Millionaire is that of the West’s. The perennial usage of guns is one such illustration of this. Guns. throughout history. have ever signified power and more frequently than non. have been used by Westerners to exercise influence over others – think of the colonization of the New World. the taming of ‘savages’ . even the violent death of wild animals. Guns have ever been a manner to keep Western high quality and this continues throughout Slumdog Millionaire through the usage of guns as a representation of Western power.

In the scene when Jamal and Salim are trying to deliver Latika and Maman finds them seeking to get away. instantly the power is constructed as being with Maman. This is constructed through framing. duologue ( ‘never bury a face I own’ ) . camera angles that look down on Salim. Jamal and Latika and up at Maman and through traditional power balances between the older ( Maman ) and younger ( Salim. Latika and Jamal ) . However. every bit shortly as Salim pulls out the gun. this old balance of power prostrations and a new one takes its topographic point.

The power shifts off from Maman and to Salim. but it is truly the gun. non Salim. that holds the power. Equally shortly as the gun comes out. the camera angle instantly straightens. altering from being skewed to straight – which signifies the reaching of the West. in the signifier of the gun. The gun so remains the focal point of the shootings and Salim holds it straight out in forepart of him – the gun moving like a barrier. This barrier reinforces traditional thoughts of the West as being a protective. parental shield for the deprived inexperienced persons – functions that it can transport out by being in a place of power.

The power carried by the gun. as a representation of the West. is farther emphasized as it transcends all over signifiers of power nowadays in the film. The gun allows Salim to interrupt the traditional functions of power in respects to power over Numberss ( ‘all of you. down! ’ ) . age and money ( ‘here. you can hold money’ ) – which helps to reenforce the true extent to which Western power trumps all signifiers of other power nowadays in the Indian civilization of Slumdog Millionaire.

Boyle’s usage of narrative codifications and conventions are another facet of the movie Slumdog Millionaire that reinforces in the spectator that the power in the movie is held in the custodies of the West. At the beginning. we are introduced to Jamal as a ‘chai-wallah from Mumbai’ who wants to be a millionaire. Immediately. we are positioned to see Jamal as merely another lower category individual who wishes to better themselves through winning tonss of money – a common image in the West. This is peculiarly true of the US. where celebrity and luck are seen as the pinnacle of accomplishments and the constituents for a good life.

The game demo itself ‘Who Privations to be a Millionaire’ is in fact. an American show and so reinforces these US positions. The popularity of the show in India besides emphasizes the power the West holds in the state and therefore once more reinforces the importance of achieving these Western accomplishments. However. the movie is a British one and so we. as viewing audiences. are positioned to see the movie through a British lens – non an American 1. which can sabotage some of the traditional American positions presented throughout the film.

At the terminal of the film. Jamal surpasses all outlooks and gets the concluding inquiry right. gaining him Rs 20million and doing him a millionaire. This. at first appears to reenforce even more strongly the American ideals presented in the movie as Jamal has won celebrity. luck and freedom. However. the following scene shows Jamal sitting softly and entirely against the wall of a train station – a direct contrast to the feverish and busy studio that he had merely left.

He appears unchanged by his life-changing experience. demoing that although the West has the power to honor him. it does non keep any power over Jamal himself. This contradicts all the messages about Western power and its dominating force that we. as viewing audiences. have so far received throughout the film. This suggests to us that while the Western universe may keep power and laterality across Indian society as a whole. it is unable to perforate the heads of all persons – that some. like Jamal. stay unchanged and ‘pure’ throughout the efforts of the

West to pervert. Through the usage of proficient and symbolic codifications such as changeable building and symbols ( peculiarly guns ) . power in constructed as being with the West in the 2008 film Slumdog Millionaire. The film presents the power being held by the West as the most of import in the whole film – exceling all others. However. through narrative construction. Boyle so challenges this concept and invites us to see non merely the influence of the West in other states. but it’s dominating and perverting consequence on those civilizations.