Why Court’s selection to the Oscars should be celebrated!

It was a tough decision for Amol Palekar and company to pick the best film in last one year which will go to the Oscars. With films like Kaaka Mutai and

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Chaitanya Tamhane (Pic Courtesy- Dharmshala International Film Festival)

Masaan and Haider, it was never an easy call for the selection committee. But more than picking up the best film, the focus should have been on picking a crucial film. What they finally decided and chose is the film that lands in the latter category. A film which not only conquered the hearts but painted the real picture of the judicial system in this country. Yes, Chaitanya Tamhanes Court is going to the Oscars!

Also, I feel that Court is the best bet at the Oscars. There are two reasons for that. First, this is a well-researched story which deals with the contemporary Indian problems and debacles. It is not a period movie which will narrate about glorious Indian history and try to be entertaining at the same time. It was high time we became thinkers and not historians. Adding the value of heritage in our movies was not going to get us the prime film award in the world. Two, Court shows the India we are living in and is not only close to reality but is a reality.

It is another question if the film is going to actually win the big prize or not. The important thing here is that while the people abroad would watch this film, they will realize that how amazingly the Indian cinema has grown in the past one decade or so. Indian Film Industry needs this acceptance at world stage more than they need an Oscar. Despite the fact that Court has been screened at the almost dozen of renowned film festivals, the film needed this push as a nomination in the Oscar makes a film famous. No Man’s Land, for the matter, might have been screened at different festivals, but I came to know about the film only through Oscars as a normal audience.

I was a little worried about selection committee watching films like PK and considering it for the nominations. Taking nothing away from the genius of Raj Kumar Hirani and his team but PK was not the film one should send to the Oscars. A film which is already so famous and popular do not need attention at all. Court’s entry to the Oscars is like fresh air that the independent film scene in the country needed. Chaitanya Tamhane was not a big name until Court happened.

How much effort Tamhane had put in this film is reflected in the minute details that the film talks about. Tamhane had said in an interview sometime back, “Everybody in the crew was involved in intensive pre-production which included watching documentaries like Jai Bhim Comrade, touching base with activists and political groups, going to their houses and clicking pictures of the props in their houses, attending events with them etc. We created a database of colors, props, costumes and faces which made it easy for us to be closer to the essence of the subject, not necessarily the reality.”

With six months of script research, and the same amount of time spent in casting, Tamhane pretty much knew that this was going to be a breath of fresh air for the cinema lovers. What he did not know was that it was going to be selected for the Oscars.

Court’s entry to the Oscars must be celebrated, not for the fact that it might actually get the Oscar for India but because films like Court are making a special place for themselves in the country. Until unless, we start finding ‘the real good’ that is there in our cinema, how could we expect the others to find?

Written By- Shubham Pandey

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