To sell to the white man, you gotta be one
To the question raised as to whether Indian directors can pull off what Danny Boyle's managed to, the answer, lies steeped, incidentally in another question. Do they understand Marketing? If Yes, in all probability they will!
Let me repeat, its always marketing. To be a marketer, you must disconnect from yourself, so you can walk the psyches of your consumers. That in turn requires high levels of emotional intelligence. Take Sutanu Guru for example. His tirade against Slumdog is a clear reflection of how he is so engrossed in his own 'hurt', that he fails to see what the movie's really about. If that's the attitude, you bet its gonna be a marketing disaster should you ever try and sell. I mean, to sell to the white man, you must think and become the white man. if you can't, I guess its all right (its a free country the last I heard), its just, don't try and ever sell to him. You will make a mess of it, 'cos the products you conjure would be ones that suit your skin, not his!
The lesson here is, you don't matter, the consumer does. It doesn't matter what you think, its about what the consumer wants. Lemme give you a simple example. To sell chicken tikka masala to the Britons (its almost the national dish there), the dish has to turn into something they like. I mean less spicy...and so on. Hold on to your original recipe, and I bet you ain't taking the bird in the curry anywhere. Sure, the illegitimate creation ( I mean the recipe) will have the likes of Sutanu breathing down your neck, but why should you care? After all, you're laughing your way to the bank.
So you see, the naysayers have to be the naysayers. That's their birthright. You must however be smart enough to get out of your skin and get into the customer's. Danny did that, and of course it came naturally to him. He's white, if you can see. That's why he laughed his way across all the coveted award ceremonies. Someday if you are smart, you will too.