Jeans ko Oscar milega kya?
In a country that makes the largest number of films in the world, couldn’t they find anything better? asks Suresh Nair DDid you see Jeans? Producer Ashok Amritraj and director Shankar’s costly trip round the world with Miss Universe and Mister Uniworse. It had everything you would want from a mainstream masala movie — beautiful actress, technical polish, great locations, half-a-dozen songs, irritating comedy and some impressive special effects. While - we thought that only the best of a country goes to the Oscars, Jeans is our official entry in the Foreign Film category of the Academy Awards!
The fact is, if Jeans is our best bet for an Oscar, Ramgopal Varma should ask Bhiku Mhatre to shoot him in the foot. Because it almost seemed certain that if any cinematic effort from Bollywood could be considered a great mix of art and commerce, then it was Satya, a gritty gangster yarn with more than a semblance to reality, where bullets rain down unexpectedly even as killers themselves share a cheap joke amongst themselves. So what does Jeans have that Satya doesn’t? A man in Hollywood, perhaps. For, don’t forget Amritraj is on the foreign film selection panel of the Academy
But let’s now flashback to what Amritraj told us earlier this year about what matters at the Oscars: “It’s not the kind of films that are sent to the Oscars, it's really the number of people that vote on which are the best five films from... I think there are generally about 60 countries that send movies. India interestingly has never featured in the Top 5. What’s the reason for that? I think one of the reasons is the technical quality they lack from the dubbing to scratches on the print.” Well, Jeans definitely won’t have any scratches on its print, but what about its scratchy script? Okay, we ain’t saying Jeans was a bad film compared to some of the other major releases this year, it was indeed a classic. But if films were simply judged on their technical merits alone, would it be ambitious for Holly wood to expect Lethal Weapon 4 and Rush Hour nominated among the best
films this year?
On what ridiculous grounds was Jeans chosen by the central committee of the Film Federation of India. And in a country that produces the largest number of films, how could a selection he made from just eight films two Tamil, two Telugu. three Hindi and one Bengali? Did they feel too lazy to check out the rest of the films made in India? And if the choice was narrowed down to only mainstream movies, then why not Kareeb? And why not the engaging Ghulam or the breezy Kuch Kuch Hota Hai?
The trouble with double! Advertising and theatre personality Alyque Padamsee speaks to Tridwip K. Das on his autobiography A Double Life What prompted you to write an autobiography?
David Davidar from Penguin asked me to write a book on advertising in India as there is no book on this subject here. He felt that I should write the book since I’m. a senior member of this profession.
This was seven years ago and that’s how the book came about. Did it take you so long to write the book?
Being the way I am, I lost interest. in the book after writing four chapters. I get distracted very easily and diverted my energies in other things. Then I met a fine young man, Arun Prabhu, last year who charged me up and helped me write the book.
Are you going to be absolutely honest in your autobiography?
Very honest and straight forward. The book talks about what happens backstage when one starts an ad campaign or a theatre. Which phase of your life in your opinion, is the most interesting?
It’s been an interesting life right from the time I left college to join theatre and it spans five decades. Salman Rushdie and his generation are called the Midnights Children and I call myself a child of the cusp of history. I was in school when British rule ended in India.