The surprising news that the movie Barfi has been chosen for this year’s Oscar entry from India has created a lot of heartburn from film aficionados who have all been “outraging” on the only platform available to them…my Twitter Timeline (to my irritation). Well, I don’t know much about the requirements of a film to get selected for the Oscar nomination, but I do believe that Barfi ticks most of the blanks, for one it is a mainstream Hindi film starring a big Bollywood star and a scion from the right family and not made by any maverick (read independent) film studio, starring art house stalwarts like Sanjay Suri and Om Puri. Till now any film which starred Suri cum Puri was always on the awards list automatically, but thank god some good sense finally dawned on the selection panel this year and they made the wise decision of not forwarding the gloomiest film of all year (which usually clears out he theatre as fast as a swine flu scare does) as India’s Oscar nominee for the year. I will write about Barfi, the official entry, in a separate post later, for this one I intend to devote to the ones which lost out on the race to the Oscar.
Vazhaku en 18/9….this film is a classic case of being too clever for your own good and in then end not being clever enough. With a strange title like the one above, the makers must have hoped to attract the attention of all film festival juries right from the start of the shooting, otherwise you cannot explain a mainstream film opting for such a title, even at the risk of losing/confusing the ticket buying/money paying average audience. Having been bold enough to give such a title the makers should have been bold enough to go all out, for realism, to achieve their stated intention. But unfortunately half way, through the second half, they lost faith in themselves, compromised and gave us an as usual filmy ending. If you have seen the movie- two things will jar your sensibility. The fact that a street smart kid who had literally grown up looking after himself all these years suddenly falls for a simple stratagem of the inspector and agrees to confess to a crime he did not commit, merely because the money will go to his sweethearts medical bills is not believable in the least. It goes completely against character. And the climax scene is even worse, seems so contrived to see the girl pouring acid on the face of the inspector to get justice. Yeech….why not go the whole hog? And throw in a duet before the climax and have a climax fight too if the intention was to show that evil gets punished at the end all those rote clichés? No wonder this movie was not judged Oscar worthy. I agree wholeheartedly.
Naan Eee, this one is a little harder to explain. If there is one thing which we should be showing those Oscar people it is that India is such a loving country that even our insects have love stories behind them. Hollywood has so far forgotten classic rom-com’s that the sight of a fly having its fill of romance with a human would have been a blow in the direction of affirmative action and would have garnered the support of all special interest groups, working for freedom of choice in marriage. You ask for gay rights? We even have fly rights in India…Should have been our cry to the Oscars. The only fault you can find in Naan-Ee is the makers not having a duet between the fly and its lover in Switzerland…that would have made this film a sure shot shoo in for the Oscars. For it nearly has the same story as Barfi too- the hero cum fly is a deaf-mute, it can dance, fight, takes revenge and all, but can’t speak any dialogues? Remind you of anyone? And the heroine though cutie, does look autistic (or was it artistic?) and goes around asking for money from the wrong people. The only interesting character is made out to be the villain, who for a change is neither autistic nor deaf mute. Thank God. Otherwise it would have become another Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s -we are all abnormal- kinda film.
And Finally- Raaz-3. The one which should have been selected for the Oscar with eyes closed. I am continuously surprised by the selection committee’s stubbornness in failing to recognize India’s one and only star of international standard- Emraan Hashmi. The man can act, cant he? Even his lips act, for god’s sake. What more do you want from an actor? Till Emraan gets his due, I am afraid that the Oscar will be a pipe dream for Indian films. I rest my case.
So, please share with me which films you think should have made the cut for the Oscar.