“All my life I've had a choice between hate and love, and I chose love, and now I'm here" said A.R. Rahman, while accepting his first ever Oscar for the best original score in Slumdog Millionaire. Rahman is the third Indian to receive an Oscar, after costume designer Bhanu Athaiya for her work in Gandhi in 1983 and director Satyajit Ray in 1992 for his life time achievement. Rahman won another Oscar for his song ‘Jai Ho’ with Gulzar from the same film.
Slumdog Millionaire won a total of 8 Oscars out of its 11 nominations this year. Director Danny Boyle jumped up and down on the stage and said that he promised his children to bounce like Tigger from the animated series Winnie-the-pooh, if he won. Producer Christian Colson went up the stage with twenty crews from Slumdog to receive the award for the Best Picture. “Most of all we had passion and we had belief, and our film shows if you have those two things, you have everything," he said, thanking the entire team. The other awards went in the categories best-adapted screenplay, cinematography, sound mixing and film editing. Resul Pookutty sounded overwhelmed while receiving his award for best sound mixing along with Ian Tapp and Richard Pryke, and dedicated the award to his country, India.
Slumdog Millionaire is the story of an 18 year old orphan Jamal Malik, from the slums of Mumbai, who is knocking the door to the biggest fortune that he could ever imagine. With the whole nation watching, he is just one question away from winning a stunning 20 million rupees on India's "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" But when the show breaks for the night, police arrest him on suspicion of cheating; how could a street kid know so much? Desperate to prove his innocence, Jamal tells the story of his life in the slum where he and his brother grew up, of their adventures together on the road, of vicious encounters with local gangs, and of Latika, the girl he loved and lost. Each chapter of his story discloses the key to the answer to one of the game show's questions.
Slumdog had to overcome tremendous odds simply to earn an American release, but captured the Oscar night by winning the maximum number of awards. Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh congratulated A.R. Rahman, Resul Pookutty, Gulzar and the entire Slumdog team for the success at the Oscars. “They’ve made India proud” said Singh.