Is it 'Oscar-worthy'?

Is it 'Oscar-worthy'?

Is it 'Oscar-worthy'?

Every year, when India’s official entry to the Oscars is announced, there are mixed reactions from all quarters. Some of the questions that enter most film buffs’ minds during this time are whether the movie truly deserves to go to the Oscars and whether it really represents ‘Indian’ society.

This year, the Film Federation of India (FFI) is sending Anurag Basu’s Barfi! as the official entry for the Oscars. Many film buffs agree that it is definitely a refreshing change from regular Bollywood films. Those within the film industry too feel that it is a well-made movie — but not necessarily ‘Oscar-worthy’.

Of course, these doubts have been expressed earlier as well, especially when films like ‘Jeans’, Lagaan or even Paheli were selected for the same.

So what is an Oscar-worthy film? Most feel that it should reflect Indian society and have a deep connect with its culture. In the case of Barfi!, this particular notion was missing, says the national award-winning director Abhay Simha. “There is no doubt that Barfi! is a well-made movie but I feel it doesn’t really deserve to be a representative from India.

The movie looks like a Hollywood flick — there is nothing that represents the country or the culture per se. There are so many other regional films that are far better and even more worthy, but unfortunately, there is so much lobbying that they hardly get any recognition,” he adds.

Glen, a professional, begs to differ. He feels that Barfi! is a worthy candidate to be sent to the Oscars. “The movie shows us how physically-challenged people are unique in their own way and that we should respect them for this. The movie also shows how such people are taken for granted, which is a reflection of how physically-challenged people are treated in reality as well,” he points out.

For Denise, a student of St Joseph’s College of Arts and Science, what makes a movie Oscar-worthy is not only the story but the acting as well. “I feel Barfi! is a fantastic film, with Ranbir Kapoor giving a fantastic performance. The film will show the world that there is good cinema made in our country too,” she adds.
Agrees actress Meghana, says that Barfi! has been the best Hindi movie she has watched this year. “At the same time, there are a few scenes that seemed to have been ‘inspired’ from different movies,” she says.

Director Rajendra Singh Babu points out that the movie has managed to do well both at the box office as well as with the critics. “People may feel that there are a lot of western influences in the film. But then again, there are many Hollywood movies that are influenced by Korean or Japanese films and nobody says anything about that. I feel that this movie has been treated wonderfully and is worth heading to the Oscars,” he adds. It looks like only time will tell whether the movie makes it to the nominations or not.