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Eklavya Goes to Oscar

The film chosen this year as India’s entry to Oscar is Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s Eklavya. The movie didn’t make any mark at the box office. It was thumbed down by people here and barely managing to pass the critic’s verdict that too thanks to Chopra’s technical capabilities. At least it didn’t lose its thumb at the game where Ram Gopal Verma Ki Aag managed to lose its whole body and people who saw it lost their mind and blamed Ramu of trying to kill the soul of Sholay (which in fact was breathed to life by Spaghetti western movies about wild wild west of America but in fact made by Italians).
Eklavya didn’t have as much of a plot or story as my last sentence, instead what it had was: Chopra’s extensive attempt to create patches of well thought out shots and planned scenes, camels and train in whirling sand storms, extensive screen time to the Royal Guard’s mastery at throwing daggers blind folded at flying white pigeons and an even more extensive screen time to plain blank screen.
The people who decide these entries excel at the same art of throwing daggers in the dark at white pigeons, hoping one day it would hit the target and an award would drop from the sky, right into their wanting hands. It’s a brilliant strategy. One day, it has to work. I can see the foreign selectors, who would be previewing the entries of various countries, sleep through the song ‘Chanda re Chanda re’ while watching Eklavya, meanwhile the fifty men team that would accompany the film would do target practicing on them, pricking them with daggers just to keep them awake.
Yeah! I know it is claimed to be ‘the lost Lear’ but may be there is a reason why David Lear lost it! Someone at some paper calls it a lost Lear and the Director grows an extra thumb and taunts every one with it. The issue of selection of Eklavya has already become a big sore thumb. Quite frankly, it happens every time in India around these selection/election times. Eklavya may not be the best of what India had to offer this year; we also know that Oscar is not all about the best (remember how many years it took Martin Scorsese to win as a director…although in Foreign films category good cinema has usually been appreciated, it’s a curious phenomena). Eklavya is what passed through the “democratic” process at the FII. In case this blindly thrown dagger does hit the pigeons (it’s a statistical possibility, according to the film’s selectors, chances are propotional to the number of people going to America to represent the movie) then it would again be “Chak diya India, India the Global Phenomena” celebration time. In case it doesn’t win, sharpen your daggers for the next year and for a change take those blindfolds and pirate eye-patches off.

Also read:
Indian Films and Foreign Film Festivals: A List


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