Katie Go Now!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Spoiler Alert

If you haven't read all 7 Harry Potter books, seen Slumdog Millionaire, or heard about last year's Oscars, I wouldn't advise you to read any further. If that's really the case, I'd also advise you to get electricity and friends. (That goes more for the Slumdog part than the HP part. I know I'm a geek there.)

The real title of this post is "What the heck does Harry Potter have to do with Bollywood music?"

You know me well enough to read this; you know how I feel about Jo Rowling's epic tale. I grew up with Harry. But, when I was not-so-secretly reading Goblet of Fire under my desk in 8th grade English class, neither Harry nor I grasped the depth of the story. There was the bad guy and we knew he had to be defeated, but no one knew how that would come about.

Not until one of the final chapters of Deathly Hallows does it all come together. There had been hints of it before, maybe it should have been obvious. In short, sacrificial love was the thing stronger than death. It saves Harry as a baby, and it saves everyone he loves once he chooses it himself.

Ok, seriously. What the heck does this have to do with Slumdog and its music winning Oscars?

You remember that scene. You probably cringed in fear and disgust.

Little Jamal's face, so determined to get to the one he loved, even if just for a moment. He almost didn't hesitate. It took a flying leap into excrement, but he met Amitabh Bachan. That scene stands as a metaphor for every choice Jamal makes for the rest of the film.

Teenage Jamal so determined to get to the one he loved, he burst into a room full of armed gangsters. Adult Jamal finally within reach of her, lying through his teeth to those same men just to get to where she lives. His character never wavers; his own safety is never his concern.

When "Jai Ho" won Best Original Song, giving Slumdog its 8th Oscar, composer A.R. Rahman said something I'll never forget. Rather than rambling a list of thank-yous, he stepped to the microphone and said,

"All my life I have been given a choice between hate and love. I chose love, and I am here."

That's it. Love wins. That's the story they all tell.

That's all I can do. That's the only story I have to tell. So let's go.



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