Houston celebrates Slumdog Millionaire

February 23, 2009 10:20:28 PM PST
A film about an underdog winning the prize of a lifetime took home eight Oscar statuettes and has sparked celebrations around the world. The celebration is happening in Houston too.- 'Slumdog' earns top picture honors
-'Slumdog' masterminds overjoyed at Oscars
- Local students head to Oscars

The movie did not have great success at box offices in India, but its love story of two children from the slums of Mumbai reached fantastic heights in the West.

Houston has one of the United States' largest Indian communities. The amount of pride felt by local Indian Americans over Slumdog Millionaire's success is no less than their countrymen half a world away.

"I can't express because it's very happy, I'm very happy," said Houstonian Vimal Arcot.

"I had goose bumps all over all over its just so it's historic," said Sunil Thakkar.

Thakkar was born in India and has become a radio host and comedian here in Houston. Thakkar says many local Indians did not think that Slumdog had a chance of winning the major awards at the Oscars but were pleasantly surprised at the film's success.

"It's not going to happen," he said was the belief. "It's not going to sweep the Oscars. We did the Golden Globes okay, but not the Oscars. But we did it!"

Many Indians feel Bollywood will launch into the mainstream.

"It's the first major representation of India of Bollywood in the mainstream," Thakkar said.

And hope that Slumdog is just the first of many Indian movies that will see success around the world.

"Bolly is now officially mainstream," Thakkar said. "It's no longer the side industry that everybody knew just an offshoot Hollywood. Bollywood is now mainstream."

Slumdog Millionaire has made $98 million in the US. Around $54 million of that came after the movie received its Oscar nominations on January 24th. The film cost just $10 million to make.

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