February 23, '09; BANGALORE: We so wanted an excuse to feature the 8-Oscar triumph of Slumdog Millionaire on this site -- but were inhibited by our strict formula of what was both necessary and sufficient to make the cut at IndiaTechOnline: India+IT. So we are grateful to our bigger, older contemporary, TMCNet, whose contributing editor Michael Dinan, suggested, soon after seeing the film, that Slumdog might in fact be the first Oscar-winning Best Picture which features Voice over Internet Protocol as a crucial technology.
We quote from his Feb 9 story:
"I found it a very nice movie – you'll judge for yourself. But I also watched it with the baggage that comes as a media member covering the communications technology space.. when the movie took us inside a large Indian call center where workers used IP telephony and where the film's main character "clicked to call" his estranged brother.
The scene comes at a critical juncture in the film, where a teenage Jamal...separated for years from his brother, Salim... leverages call center technology to track down his sibling.
While dozens of others in our darkened theater watched the scene unfold on the big screen, I asked myself: Could this be the first time that VoIP has played a prominent role – or any role – in an Academy Award-winning movie?"
(For his full story: http://voip-phone-systems.tmcnet.com/topics/voip-phone-systems/articles/50259-voip-bids-best-picture-debut-slumdog-millionaire.htm )
Mike goes on to cross check on all 34 films that won Best Film Oscars since1974, when Internet was born for communication technologies on display. His investigative zeal sees him consider, then reject the claims of "Lord of the Rings" (2003 -- communication via mountain top torches); RainMan (1988), Forrest Gump (1994 ) and Beautiful Mind ( 2001) (communication too private or personal to be considered. The Departed (2006) has every one furiously text messaging via cell phone -- but no Internet.
So Slumdog is top dog -- Internet technology-wise.
Regular visitors to IndiaTechOnline might recall our nod at another recent American film that saluted India's outsourcing skills (Outsourced starring Josh Hamilton and Ayesha Dharker) http://indiatechonline.com/outsourced-review-8.php. More recently, Bollywood has turned Chetan Bhagat's novel One Night @ the call center into a feature film with Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif: Hello.
Looks like how "India does IT" will soon be the subtext of any film with a subcontinental storyline. Jai ho, to that! ( if you were asleep all day yesterday, Jai ho is the Oscar-winning Best song by A. R Rahman for Slumdog)