So the Canadian entry – Deepa’s Mehta’s film Water, starring John Abraham and Lisa Ray – has made it the Oscars in the category of Best Foreign Film and will compete with four other films for the Oscar. The film is about the plight of Hindu widows in the 1930’s.
While I am happy that a film about India, by a director like Deepa Mehta made it, I would have been happier if one of our own films had been selected.
But I always doubted whether Rang De Basanti, which was India’s entry, would stand a good chance. Though I liked the film, which was about a group of youth who come together to fight corruption, the bloodshed and gory scenes at the end did not jell with the rest of the movie. I felt the director could have thought out a better ending, instead of showing all the protagonists hold a television station to ransom and then die fighting with the authorities so that their truth is heard. I felt that the end didn’t fit with the rest of the movie. I don’t know for sure whether this was one of the reasons why the Oscar committee preferred Water to Rang de Basanti, but I am sure that they thought of it. I have not seen Water, and perhaps it is superior Rang De Basanti in other aspects too.
The film Omkara would have stood a better chance. It is a realistic piece of work, and we know that over there they prefer realistic movies. Omkara in any case is one of my favorite films of 2006. A dark movie, it is a Bollywood interpretation of William Shakespeare’s classic, Othello. The movie takes us into a crime ridden area in rural Uttar Pradesh and the director’s ability to adapt the play to an Indian milieu is absolutely brilliant. The sets are absolutely riveting and the movie transported me into another world…a frightening world of goons and feudal India…very very real. The acting was good all around – from Saif as the devious Langda Tyagi to Ajay Devgan as Omkara. A very violent movie, with a lot of abusive language thrown in (like The Departed) and the end is tragic…but it fitted with the movie. Those who live violently often die violently.