Courting the Oscars

After years of debate over the credibility of the jury members who make the crucial choice of which film goes as the official entry for the Oscars, this time they seem to have got it bang on.

For sometime now, a lot of cinephiles have expressed discontent over not only the choice of the films that come from the jury, but also the lack of transparency about why and how a film is chosen. There have also been subtle accusations about how the jury seems to tread the safe route every time, choosing a film that shows the country in a particular light, to fit into the western audience’s perception of India.

But this time, the jury, headed by Amol Palekar, seemed to have put all doubts to rest by choosing one of the best, if not the best, films to get released this year.

Highlighting harsh truths
Marathi film, Court, directed by Chaitanya Tamhane in a simple and insightful manner, speaks certain harsh truths about our judiciary system. Without resorting to any melodrama or sensationalism, Court narrates the story of a passionate Dalit activist Narayan Kumble (played by a real activist and performer, Veera Sathidar) and his trials when charged with sedition and abetment of the suicide of a gutter cleaner.

The movie disturbingly highlights the despair and helplessness that spring from our judiciary system and its archaic laws.

Not playing the exotic card
Aside from the fact that this is a film that doesn’t necessarily evoke either the exotic India or the poverty-ridden India, which seems to find great takers in west, Court proudly stands on its own two feet with a brilliant, contemporary story narrated in the most honest and practical way. Definitely, a film the country should be proud to showcase to the world.

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