SOHINEE ROY N RECENT YEARS THERE HAVE BEEN A SPATE OF FILMS SET IN INDIA OR involving Indian characters such as Darjeeling Limited; Best Exotic I Marigold Hotel; Slumdog Millionaire; Eat, Pray, Love; and more recently Million Dollar Arm. Sadly, instead of signaling Hollywood’s diversity, this sudden interest in India only reafﬁrms the noted Indian ﬁlm director Satyajit Ray’s observation that there is a dearth of repre- sentations of India by Westerners, and the few that exist present India as an exotic space. According to Ray, this exoticism is because “India is too vast, too complex, too multilayered for one writer, or half a dozen or a dozen writers to cope with” (Ray 75), and “the colo- nized have, willy nilly, developed considerable interest in the coloniz- ers, never the other way round” (72). Ray’s analysis, made in the 1970s, holds true even today because the ﬁlms listed above follow the familiar European colonial tropes of the mystical east as the site of rejuvenation for the jaded Western man/woman—Darjeeling Limited, Eat Pray and Love or Best Exotic Marigold Hotel—or the west as the heroic savior of the eastern man or woman from its own barbarity such as Slumdog Millionaire
The Journal of Popular Culture – Wiley
Published: Feb 1, 2016
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