Jamal, desperately trying to escape from the makeshift toilet where he is trapped, jumps into the pond of s**t. Unmindful of the dirty fact that he is fully covered in yellowy s*it runs to meet the film star. Even as the surrounding crowd is put off by the smell, the film star (clad in an yellow coat) reaches out to Jamal and obliges leisurely with an autograph.
Apart from the obvious attempt by a firangi (foreign) film maker to poke fun at Indian film viewer's 's**hit standard' of appreciation and the 'naturally' obliging Indian cinema stooping to the same levels, should the colour of yellow be taken so seriously while viewing the film?
Yes is my answer.
Through out the film, a deliberate attempt of two- colour composition is evidently displayed.
One of yellow. And the other blue. Blue being the signature colour of the Millionaire reality show is a natural selection.
At any given point, every frame is either given an yellow tint or a blue one. And in some exceptionally beautiful ones, a combination of both! Some of the frames are either horizontally , vertically or even diagonally split into these two colours.
Seemingly insignificant items of irrelevance are decoratively placed in some of the fleeting frames so as to maintain the weight of colour yellow . (Like the paper tray in police station, cartons in the hotel kitchen etc...). The beggar van is painted yellow on the outside and blue on the inside. Call centre, furniture in Javed's house etc are prominently blue.
Not to talk about the dress- especially of the three musketeers (during various phases of the story line) and the inspector!
Ah! Yes! The child Lord Rama who makes his appearance exactly at the point when the children are made to shed their innocence.
Like the sound, music , movements and dialogues, the colour pattern should be considered to follow the movie.
The one character who weaves in and out of these two colours with ease is the inspector.(like in his introductory scene where he enters a room from where streaks of yellow appear through the gaps in the door! ) I would use the word 'interlocutor' to define him. He is the one who seeks the answers (jnana). But he makes it clear that he has other set of (personal) questions- different from those which we as part of (and products of ) the massive reality game show are looking for!
What is the movie about, after all? What are the questions being asked? And more importantly what are the answers? OR WHAT IS THE ANSWER?
Depends on how you interpret the colours and where you find the final denouement.
Does the story (!) end where Salim kills himself , Jamal wins the game show and Latika joins him?
The way Jamal faces his moment of victory (in the game) with a sense of detachment, even reminiscent of the 'Gita' while those around rejoice is ample evidence to the fact that his goals lie elsewhere. (He even makes an explicit statement that he joined the game hoping to find Latika.)
Latika, while declaring that she doesnt know the answer for the final question has her face glowing with controlled contention.
Salim, as he dies in his grave of bank notes doesnt seem to have any regrets. (he has already atoned for his sins- "God forgive me , I know I have sinned!")
But, are Salim, Jamal and Latika three different characters or manifestations of the same?
More questions , more answers...
The (cosmic) dance, Jamal clad in blue.. Latika with the yellow scarf.... dancers waving multiple yellow scarves.....
Two trains chug out of VT station. One blue.. and the other .. yes you guessed it!
foot note: Does all this exercise result in a good cinema? No.
We have enough gurus here in our land to teach Danny Boyle a lesson or two in his chosen karma!
But then, "it is written".