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Thursday, February 02, 2006


So it is that Paheli didn't make it to the Oscar Foreign Film Category short-list. Super-star and producer of the film Shah Rukh Khan says 'he's not disappointed'. Should he really be, considering the biggest Paheli was how it made it as the 'Indian Choice' to the Oscars in the first place. Things would have made sense if it had been a dry year for Bollywood. But no year ever is.

More so 2005. We saw riveting performances by Amitabh Bachchan and Rani in 'Black'. It, was and is in my view, nothing short of a masterpiece. Then there was the extremely well done 'Parineeta'. If one was looking for some soul-searching even 'Swades' made a better cut than 'Paheli'. Or if the choice was social commentary nothing could have been more apt than Madhur Bandharkar's 'Page 3'.

Surely, with a such a range of stunning movies, the selection committee couldn't have asked for an easier job in 2005. And just look what they did? Quite like our cricket team threw it all away, ignored the very best of Indian cinema and settled on 'Paheli'.

Some absurdities are truly beyond reason.

What's even more absurd is reading some takes on the rejection which come with titles like 'Are the awards overrated?'

Oh come on, do you really think so? One could have argued till the cows came home, if 'Black' had been nominated and didn't it to the short-list.

Hopefully, we'll learn some lessons from 2005, history won't be re-written in 2006 and the Indian selection committee will look beyond the current flavour of this month - Rang De Basanti.

If nothing else, it would help if they bear in mind that whatever India chooses should at least be on par with 'Mother India', 'Salaam Bombay' and 'Lagaan' - the only three Indian movies that got the nod for the Oscar Foreign Film Category short-list in the past.