Precious: Poverty porn

And I watch porn…obsessively too!

Does the story of Precious need to be told and heard? not like this, and certainly not in this frame.

IS precious really this year’s slumdog? I can see one or two diffrences, which may just turn out to be  chimerical. For one, the story about an overweight HIV positive black teen from the bronx is made with impeccable credentials. Oprah winfrey halle berry mariah carey…black people in American popular arts seem to be acting like the establishment actually has a concience towards urban poverty -Im calling their bluff. (Slumdog millionaire was made by danny boyle who outsourced much of the production to bollywood sweatshops as if to teach a lesson to the new capitalists lessons from the old). For another the breezy AR Rahman Indian triumphalism of Slumdog is missing in this bleak unrelenting(to paraphrase the film) Balachanderian ( thomas hardian) narrative framed as a traditional hollywood redemption drama.

 And then again, Precious seems to adopt a guerella marketing  campaign with little fanfare, and no “oscar Buzz” noise.

This is  poverty porn though, Slumdog and Precious share a forum. They satisfy the voyuer in us in a way we are satiated by passive observation(and self gratification). The gratification here comes from our not actually involving ourself in the issues that led to all this poverty/abuse, but by “sympathizing” with the achetypal charecter and being saisfied with glib and pretty impractical prescriptions the work of art dishes out, as plot resolution to its created steriotype.

It allows us to go on with our daily lives and economic struggles after marginalizing every overweight black teen we see standing in our street corner as a child molested HIV positive welfare case. It helps us (as people who share a skin color) identify and marginalize the poor among us .Its not that as the black middle class, we aren’t doing this already, subtly, we now just have oprah’s stamp to do this as a surefire way of keeping us (the black middle class) marching toward the American dream. let the poor be, the lesbian welfare system will provide for them.

Precious is, thus more insidious than slumdog in its message. It’s like they learn from Danny Boyle and added their own poison, to exclude America’s poor.

Excuse me am I failing in my duty as a film reviewer in not actually addressing the film’s plot?

Its a film about how an overweight seventeen year old is rendered pregnant twice by her father (mother’s boyfriend) and made HIV Positive, and how she finds positive role models among her school teacher and welfare worker ,and finally triumphs…or at least as much as “those types” can triumph…youknowwhatimean…

Apart from the vicarious thrill of actually being in the bronx without being there, the film also affords us the thrill of talking profane language and getting into the kind of fights that overweight black crack-hos routinely get into , you know the type…

The film nods repeatedly to the black middle class, now telling them how they should keep away from the “type” and now telling them how they are differrent (and probably more Republican) so keep your daughters out of this neighborhood (unless they be lesbian).

Hollywood has again shown it can mock jive once every so many years…I remember Boyz in the hood was the last mock soul food cooked up and sold by LA’s Best as redemtion cinema.

To quote a backstreet guy from new york, “Honesty…hardly ever heard…..”

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About rameshram

Name : Ramesh Ram... Email Address : Cdrakenc@gmail.com (don't even ask) Blog: (never updated) http://ramesh.journalspace.com Height/ Weight: 6'1 175 (varies between 160 and 185) Color of hair/ eyes black/ brown Bald? Nope (not yet, but give me 20 years.) Interests: Film (Bollywood/international indie), Travel (Germany/Japan/Central America/Sout/east/west Asia/ Northern Africa), Gizmo geek, Clubbing... What do I like in a good movie?: Women, Music, Auters, Special effects, Style. What do I like in a bad movie?: Women, Music, Auters, Special effects, Style. Favorite Critic: International: Bazin Domestic: J Hobermann Indian : me. (noone else comes close ...India or here..) Best quality: Humility. Outspokenness. Warmth Worst quality: Intolerence Favorite color : Yellow Black Blue Favorite Perfume : men: Grey Flannel(Geoffery Beene) Women: Celine dion: Obsession Boxers / briefs : Boxers Did I inhale: And how! Author: Marquiz, Rushdie, Murakami, Jong Last Book: The Ethical Slut by Dossie Easton, Catherine A. Liszt Music : Patricia Kass, Alejandro Sanz,Nina Simone, Amir Diab Sports person: uh..me? What am I usually in : White briefs and tees. Chianti or Burgandy: Chianti Food: French Japanese(street/fast food). Saw and liked: No Country for old men, Lust Caution Saw and disliked: Nishabd Didnt see: Aaja Nach le. Call me: Write me first.
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One Response to Precious: Poverty porn

  1. rameshram says:

    ok i deleted this comment from “larry Mc Dabble”. the name is not original, the website and email id are fake and all i seem to get from it is invective. i could be excused for thinking that the commentor was trolling. ETA, the ip addressis 210.185.100.22 is a sydney australia address…a place where precious isnt released yet.larry mc dabble(iain)’s comments go straight to spam . thanks for the hits iain!

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