Oscar fever subsides: Wrong choices?

Mumbai, Feb 25 (IANS) So in spite of some scathing pre-Oscar reviews criticising it for turning a real political episode into a populist drama, actor-turned-director Ben Afflect's "Argo" won the golden statuette for the best picture.

And they couldn't have chosen better. From the over-studied historicity of Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln", and the flamboyant feyness of David O'Russell's "The Silver Linings Playbook" to the cold calculated terror chronicle in Katheryn Bigelow's "Zero Dark 30" and the lumbering lyricism of Ang Lee's "Life Of Pi" -- this was the year when the Oscars went to the most undeserving.

Or so it seemed when lobbies bellowed fire and ire against "Argo" for distorting facts pertaining to a 1980 hostage situation in Iran. As though a heightened watchability level of a film automatically eliminates it from the hall of excellence!

By that reckoning, "Lincoln" and "Life Of Pi" were the the most deserving Oscar contenders of the year. Laboured "Lincoln" and "Life Of Pi" in their effort to put the written word into visual terms scored high marks. But both films suffered from an overdose of italicised ideation and an exaggerated sense of self-importance.

"Lincoln" chose to put forward Abraham Lincoln's fight for American Civil Rights with such slavish civility that we were left watching a good two-and-a-half hours of a tale that seemed sponsored by the American Dream.

As for the much-vaunted "Life Of Pi", Ang Lee left one feeling ang-ry. Very angry. The film is a luminously lit, but literal, interpretation of the book, and that monologue where, when interrogated by Japanese officials, Pi (Suraj Sharma) launches into various hypothetical situations that could have arisen in his journey from shipwreck on the high seas to existential marooning on an island of the mind, I felt I was being read out chapters from the book in a voice that didn't quite convey the power to render words into powerful visuals.

What made "Life Of Pi" so loved? Was it the idea of a boy alone on a boat with a Royal Bengal tiger? Or was it just the fascination of watching an adventure tale unfold in painfully detailed welters and waves with the cinematography pelting paeans of poetry into a film that obstinately opts for a prose rendering?

I don't know why... "Life Of Pi" left me profoundly underwhelmed.

Katheryn Bigelow's tale of Osama's capture was so full of muted sound and unbridled fury, I felt as tortured as some of the bad guys who are graphically tortured by CIA heroes in the film. Bigelow's rendering of 'Pakistan' was far from satisfactory. That could be because she shot the film in Punjab pretending it was Osama-garh. We knew it.

While Bigelow is big on creating the turmoil of terror, I felt the film was trying much too hard to be a scrupulous take on the events that led to Osama's capture and death. It was like watching a political drama from the other end of "Argo", the dry, staccato, sterile and deliberately wry and sardonic end.

"Zero Dark 30" is a powerful film. But it is not a great film. It got its political point across correctly. But it missed that transcendental converging point where "High Art meets Great Cinema".

Luckily for us, Anupam Kher was more than a token Indian presence in "Silver Linings Playbook". But this was again a film that was much too verbose.

Why did we have so many Oscar nominated films this year where the characters spoke too much and too quickly? Is cinema now as afraid of silences as we are?

Most Viewed

  • Dum Laga Ke Haisha Star Bhumi Pednekar Has Lost Weight!
    Dum Laga Ke Haisha Star Bhumi Pednekar Has Lost Weight!

    Bhumi Pednekar made her Bollywood debut opposite Ayushmann Khurrana in Dum Laga Ke Haisha doesn’t actually look even tiny bit close to her character from the movie. The reason why we didn’t see Bhumi come in front of media to interact, as her character and role in the film was kept a secret from audiences. …

  • Swine flu hits Sonam, Vidhu Vinod Chopra & family
    Swine flu hits Sonam, Vidhu Vinod Chopra & family

    Actress Sonam Kapoor who was diagnosed with swine flu on Friday was moved to Kokilaben Ambani Hospital in Mumbai. …

  • Sunny Leone Recreates Zeenat Aman’s Hot Look!
    Sunny Leone Recreates Zeenat Aman’s Hot Look!

    For her upcoming film Ek Paheli Leela, Sunny Leone has recreated Zeenat Aman’s iconic look from Satyam Shivam Sundaram where she’s shown to be wearing a white sari. Elaborating on the look, director Bobby Khan says, “The way SSS captured Zeenatji’s beauty was beautiful. When I bounced the idea off Sunny, she immediately approved. Our film has glamour but we’ve kept Indian sentiments in mind, which is why she wore a spaghetti top with her sari.” Directed by Bobby Khan starring Sunny Leone, …

  • Varun Dhawan Surprises Yaami Gautam
    Varun Dhawan Surprises Yaami Gautam

    Yaami Gautam was taken by surprise with a gesture by her Badlapur co-star Varun Dhawan …

  • Sonam Kapoor Tests Positive For Swine Flu, Hospitalised
    Sonam Kapoor Tests Positive For Swine Flu, Hospitalised

    Actress Sonam Kapoor was recently discharged from hospital suffering from respiratory infection. Later she soon resumed back to work at Gujarat for shooting of her upcoming movie Prem Ratan Dhan Payo. Sonam Kapoor’s mother Sunita Kapoor had visited Gujarat on Saturday and took her by air-ambulance. Watch Video Here Sonam Kapoor has been shooting with actor Salman Khan for Sooraj Barjatya’s Prem Ratan Dhan Payo at Gondal in Gujarat from last 10 days. …

  • Ranbir Kapoor Goes Down On Knees To Propose Deepika Padukone
    Ranbir Kapoor Goes Down On Knees To Propose Deepika Padukone

    All the eyes are on Ranbir Kapoor and his ex beau Deepika Padukone who have been shooting together for their upcoming film Tamasha. Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone were shooting for a romantic scene, where Ranbir had to go down on knees and propose Deepika Padukone. You can see in the pictures, Ranbir Kapoor goes down on Knees, while Deepika Padukone gets surprised on it. The film stars Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone and is directed by Imtiaz Ali. …

  • Pooja Misrra Sues TV Channel: Claims 'Farah Ki Dawat' Was Her Concept
    Pooja Misrra Sues TV Channel: Claims 'Farah Ki Dawat' Was Her Concept

    The controversial Pooja Misrra, who became an overnight sensation after participating in Bigg Boss Season 5, has sued a renowned TV channel for allegedly stealing her concept of a cookery show, which is now being hosted by Farah Khan (Farah Ki Daawat). In a legal notice sent to the TV channel, which airs the show, Pooja's legal representatives have said, ''All boundaries of professionalism and decency were crossed when Colors went ahead and plagiarized 'Pooja Misrra Productions 'maiden cookery …

  • Sunny Leone’s Sizzling Bikini Look In Kuch Kuch Locha Hai
    Sunny Leone’s Sizzling Bikini Look In Kuch Kuch Locha Hai

    Devang Dholakia’s comic caper Kuch Kuch Locha Hai is all set for release on the 8th of May 2015. Produced by Mukesh Purohit of Magic Pictures and K.K Agarwal, the film is being co-produced by Maximus Multimedia Pvt Ltd and Riyaz Mohammed. The project is also being backed by Japan based Asha Jhaveri and Blueberry Productions who have joined the film as associate producers. Kuch Kuch Locha Hai has consistently made news for its unusual pairing of the sizzling hot Sunny Leone and the affable …

Loading...