Monday, September 24, 2012

Chak De Barfi, To Hell with the Oscars !!!

When Barfi first released, there was a hue and cry everywhere. Thanks to the superb casting and their brilliant performance, Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra received kudos from every quarter – be it the filmmakers, the actors in the industry and even the audience who seemed to have come of age recently.

Then came the big news – Barfi is India’s official entry to the Oscars. Again, there were debates as to if Barfi was the best choice. And then came the bigger revelation – Barfi is influenced. Some pointed out Barfi is copied. Well, the words ‘influenced’ and ‘copied’ have two different meaning which we the public of India don’t know or care to know! Videos were uploaded on the net which showed some sequences that were almost same as that of previous English classics.

Media as always dubbed the movie and had their special analysts ready to explain as to how unfit the movie was for the Oscars and also questioned the jury for the selection. However amidst all these, does it really matter? Does Oscar matter to India? Does it really matter if Barfi gets an Oscars?

Oscar-nothing but an American film award ceremony with one foreign language film award category. And why is there such a hue and cry over this category? Just because it has the tag ‘America’ in it? Or do we feel that it is a ‘certificate’ which means this film is the best?

We should remember that American movie taste buds differ widely with that of the Indian ones. If America is proud of the Oscars, we the Indians should be proud of IIFA or National Awards. There is massive lobbying for the films in Oscars and it is almost impossible for an Indian film to lobby hard for that single pie of the award.

Now, one may argue that Slumdog Millionaire did it. Please remember, that Slumdog Millionaire was a British movie shot in India. Even the actors are of Indian origin. AR Rahman and Resul’s award are heart-warming however. Because, they are our own. Again, I and most of us would agree that AR Rahman had produced better music during the Roza days. However, did the American jury accommodate that? No. Because the jury is more into ‘Ho Ho Ho’ from the Jai Ho. It is in that Ho that they find music. Another classic example is Lagaan. Aamir Khan’s classic acting went for a toss at the awards though back home it received so many awards. Why the failure at Oscars? Well, when Lagaan was made it was an intention to entertain the Indian audience and do the best business. The Indian film going audience love the song and dance features in the movies. The film was more than two and half hours. When the same film got selected and went to the Oscars, the jury wanted the movie cut to accommodate the prescribed duration. With so many song and dance features in the movie, the team might have found it difficult to adhere to the duration constraints. Moreover, the jury was not a fan of these song and dance features. And with so many cuts in the movie, the relevance was lost or the jury failed to notice that. Lagaan failed to clear the last hurdle.

If you put it in a nutshell, it’s not a very good idea to make a film catering to Indian filmy audience and then expect it to win an award at the Oscars. If you want a movie to win an Oscar, you will have to forget the Indian element in it; which I suppose most Indian filmmakers would never do. So why give more attention to the Oscars or at least link Indian films and compare them to American ones. Be proud of IIFA. And I am sure we can even have a ‘Best English Movie’ category amongst the categories present and then make the American and British filmmakers have a run for their money.

Be proud of Indianism. Be proud of movies like Barfi. Chak De!


  1. Firstly, The name of the film is Roja, not Roza. Secondly, quality IMO should not be comprised for the sake of Indianness--what is this Indian element you're talking about, the stupid song-and-dance routine that often has nothing to do with the rest of the film or are still boring, are Indian filmmakers so lame they cannot express a scene without having a song and dance to do with it? There have been Indian filmmakers who have and are still making great cinema--would you call their films non-Indian or lacking the Indian element? And talking about IIFA, you should definitely know what your favourite actor, Amir Khan has to say about Indian film awards.... Talk like a sensible human being and stop being a moron. When you compare something, place it side by side with the other best of the lot from throughout the lot and you will see the difference.

    1. Hi Anonymous, yes the film is Roja. Apologize for the mistake. Secondly, don't forget that a big part of the revenue earned by filmmakers are from these sequences of song and dance through the CD and VCD launches. And if you say that Indian audience is a moron to go for them, then I am replying to the biggest moron in the world.
      Lastly, I dont know who told you that Aamir Khan is my favorite actor.
      Define good, and then we can define best.

    2. Dude, cinema is an art--that comes first, not the revenue. I seriously don't understand how you could be talking about revenue and DVD launches when the topic of discussion is cinema. You define the typical Indian filmgoing audience--they haven't seen the best, rather they haven't even seen good, and when there comes some locally made stuff that is just a bit above the others they go crazy over it and believe there could be nothing better. Forget America and the Oscars, go and watch some European movies for yourself--I guess you wouldn't be able to appreciate any of it--but still give it a try, at least you'll get to experience what cinema is like, and what art is like. I already mentioned though that there have been and there still are great Indian filmmakers so you really needn't go watch foreign films to know what good cinema is, but to define Bollywood as the face of India or even Indian cinema...sorry, couldn't agree with THAT.

    3. True, Bollywood should not define Indian cinema, because Bollywood is Hindi cinema and Hindi is not the national language of India.
      Obviously revenue matters to filmmakers in India. if you don't agree to it then sorry, I have nothing else to tell you.

    4. Yes, true that Bollywood should not define Indian cinema because Bollywood is Hindi cinema and Hindi is not our National language. Moreover, there are better films being made in Tamil, Telugu and also Bengali.
      However, revenue does matter for filmmakers in India. You may call them cash-hungry but you can't deny that revenue plays an important part in this country.