India is so exciting: British
scriptwriter of 'Slumdog Millionaire'
Subhash K. Jha
Oct 18 (IANS) British writer Simon Beaufoy, who spent considerable
time here to pen the script of "Slumdog Millionaire",
says the experience has changed his life.
was incredibly rewarding for me. I've been writing for 12
years. I've been brought up on a British tradition of screenwriting.
In India, I found that to be a completely inappropriate way
of writing. Now after writing 'Slumdog Millionaire', I can't
go back to writing the way I used to," Beaufoy told IANS.
in Mumbai, the film based on Indian bureaucrat-author Vikas
Swaroop's novel "Q & A" revolves around a slum
kid who wins a jackpot on television quiz show "Kaun
Banega Crorepati". The movie, directed by Danny Boyle,
has wowed audiences at the Toronto International Film Festival.
says he'd love to return to Mumbai for screenwriting.
love to do 'Slumdog Billionaire and Trillionaire'. India is
such an exciting place. I had first visited when I was 18.
Now it's become such a different place. The British legacy
has been erased and replaced by this extraordinary desire
to be the No.1 country in the world. You cannot but respond
to India's drive and energy. Those are the qualities that
people in Toronto at the festival noticed in our film."
Boyle's "Slumdog Millionaire" is a screen adaptation
of Swaroop's novel "Q & A", Beaufoy says he
had completely rewritten the original story.
took the initial concept of a slum kid who wins all the money
and gets arrested from the novel. But the book is like a series
of independent short stories. That didn't work for 'Slumdog
Millionaire'. So I went to Mumbai to look for new experience
and to invent a backbone for the film. I turned the film into
a love story. So I invented Latika, Frieda Pinto's character,
as the spine of the story. Latika doesn't even exist in the
book," Beaufoy said.
whose earlier credits include "Full Monty", says
he had to completely re-acclimatise himself to write this
were very, very careful not to portray Mumbai's people as
victims. When I went around the streets of Mumbai researching
stories and characters to put into the film, the local people
would often come forward to help us out on location to beat
the heat with glasses of water, tea and kind words. They saw
me as this wildly-sweating white man running around frantically
on the streets and felt rather sorry for me."