The recent nomination of Gujarati Film ‘The Good Road’ for the Oscars In Best Foreign Film Categry has created lot of controversy. It is all fire and rage against the movie.
Let us look at the issues.
1. Better Films Lost Out – The Ship Of Theseus And The LunchBox !
Lot of people believe that films like ‘The LunchBox’ and ‘The Ship Of Theseus’ and ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ would have been better choices. I also agree that ‘The LunchBox’ and ‘The Ship Of Theseus’ could have worked better. But this happens every year.
Year 2012 : Barfi was India’s nomination. Everyone felt that Paan Singh Tomar, Kahaani, Deool, The Dirty Picture were better films and could have better chances.
Year 2010: Peepli Live was our choice. Udaan was definitely a better movie.
Year 2007: Do you really think Eklavya was the best choice? Chak De India, Gandhi My Father, Guru or Dharm could have given more teeth to Indian representation.
Year 2005: Paheli was the Indian choice in 2005. It was selected ahead of Parineeta, Swades, Page 3, Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi. I would rooted Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi or Swades.
My all time favorite – Jeans in 1998 !
So it happens every year – nothing new.
2. Wrong Depiction of Gujarati / Indian Culture
As Vidya Balan said in The Dirty Picture, films are made for entertainment, entertainment and entertainment. Not all Oscar nominations are made only for social message.
Also, The Good Road’s depiction of certain issues could be a reality which we may want to ignore. Did SlumDog Millionaire represent India correct? Does BA Pass represent India correctly?
I understand that movies with universal message and human stories appeal to the Oscar jury. The Good Road has struck a chord with Indian jury – it might also strike a chord in foreign shores. Also, apart from the message, there are also the marketing and lobbying efforts that determine the Oscar victory.
3. Political Angle
No comments here !
Overall, I think it was very sad to see the negative publicity around ‘The Good Road’. I believe that it is natural for ‘The LunchBox’ team to be disappointed. It is a great movie – one of the best movies in recent time. Even ‘The Ship Of Theseus’ is a class apart. Maybe they would have been great choices. But now that choice is made, let us stand behind it. Let us make it win !
The bright side is that all these three movies are made by first time film-makers. It give us great hope. The Indian Cinema is lucky to have these gems. They have more movies left in them and this critical and commercial acclaim will only encourage them to take bigger risks.
Second, NFDC produced ‘The Good Road’ and ‘The Lunchbox’. It represents another positive note. Kiran Rao picked up ‘The Ship Of Theseus’ and Karan Johar picked up ‘The LunchBox’ after the production. It means studios are willingness to support good cinema and give it a wider release. A great victory for all.
So – Let us look a the road ahead. Let us support this movie. Let us help it win ! It is now India’s case !