"Slumdog" hot because director from West: Bollywood icon

MUMBAI Thu Jan 15, 2009 5:08pm GMT

Danny Boyle accepts the award for Best Picture in ''Slumdog Millionaire'' at the National Board of Review Awards Gala in New York January 14, 2009. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Danny Boyle accepts the award for Best Picture in ''Slumdog Millionaire'' at the National Board of Review Awards Gala in New York January 14, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Shannon Stapleton

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MUMBAI (Reuters Life!) - Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachchan has said British filmmaker Danny Boyle's hard-hitting "Slumdog Millionaire" tale of life in a Mumbai slum is being lauded because it has a Westerner at the helm.

"Slumdog," the rags-to-riches story of a boy who competes on a television gameshow, swept the Golden Globe awards last week, landing four honors including best drama and earned 11 nominations at Britain's BAFTA awards.

Bachchan, arguably India's biggest superstar, wrote on his blog (bigb.bigadda.com) that the critically acclaimed film might not have been such a success if an Indian had directed it.

"It's just that the SM (Slumdog Millionaire) idea authored by an Indian and conceived and cinematically put together by a Westerner, gets creative Globe recognition," Bachchan, 66, wrote in a blog posted on Tuesday.

"The other would perhaps not."

"Slumdog" picked up 11 nominations at Britain's BAFTA film awards on Thursday, giving it another boost ahead of the Oscars next month.

But Bachchan is not impressed.

"If SM projects India as Third World dirty underbelly developing nation and causes pain and disgust among nationalists and patriots, let it be known that a murky underbelly exists and thrives even in the most developed nations," the actor wrote in his blog.

"Slumdog Millionaire" opens in Indian cinemas on January 23.

(Writing by Tony Tharakan, editing by Paul Casciato)

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