At one end there are many people who are criticising the portrayal of poverty and the slums of Mumbai and at the other there is a lot of appreciation coming along for the movie.
I tend to take a rather negative view, I see the movie projecting a limited view of the reality called India. This is not say that we do not have urban poverty or it is a non issue, it is infact an issue which needs to be given highest priority, but movies like these in a way take us back to the era when India was seen as a nation of snake charmers.
A couple of decades back a movie like this would have added some value as it would have brought brand India back into memory of people but today i feel that we have moved beyond the awareness stage, we are infact in a stage where we have to build the right values that we want to promote. In the last few years the image of the country has changed to that of one with young white collar software workers, and the Indian growth story is slowly sinking in. We have been making conscious effort to project the country as an attractive investment destination. And that is where I feel slumdog millionaire would do more harm than good for image of the country.
Inspite of all this I wish that they win a lot of Oscars on 22nd....