Wednesday, February 25, 2009

"Slum Dog Millionaire has won 8 Oscars!"

Poverty meets Wealth
Talent meets Recognition
Adversity meets generosity
Triumph meets destiny

Sounds Cynical, Skeptical ….

Hmmm….. Even paradoxical …!!!!

"Slum Dog Millionaire has won 8 Oscars!" --- Intriguing ….!!!

My dear fellow TMs, TM of the Day Pramodini and distinguished Guests ….. Good afternoon Wishes to you all …!

As promised, I am in front of you presenting the consolidated comments given by fellow Toastmasters and also my touch points regarding the Topic "Are the Oscars Honest?"

Views from Fellow Toastmasters:-

1) Gopi vehemently voiced that nothing is honest so as Oscars. All these awards are influenced by some people or country for specific motives.
2) Ravi elaborated further suspecting business or political motives. He also debated if the movie satisfies its director commercially and technically, nothing beats that feeling.
3) Chella Thangam choir the same view as Ravi's.
4) Dhana turns over the theme by asking the question about challenging existing systems without base. She also perceived that doing so reduces credibility.

Thanks a ton for these souls who spent their valuable time for giving comments.

These are the Ten Commandments to win the Oscars …!!!! Look, I am not here acting as MTV's Senior Cyrus Broacha. So Plz don't take it a laughing stuff.

1) Get a American Producer and Director. British also fine. Don't forget to wrap AR Rehman.
2) Take a subject which touches the heart of the people
3) Get it released in Holly Wood.
4) While choosing a subject, for an example, one night @ the call centre – Portray the worst side of life. But a word of caution – See if any previous similar movies were released and reached Oscars selection process
5) Plumb the depth. Make it technically perfect.
6) Make a movie by which every one should say, is this so bad..? We are much concerned … I would like to help them … How can I?
7) Make a visible marketing campaign for the movie and arrange for lot more previews.
8) Invite all famous celebrities and ensure to cover all major business dailies.
9) Give more interviews and advertisements.
10) Release the movie @ the right time like how slum dog had done.

If you have done all these ten points you are almost close to Oscars … But above all, matter of luck plays crucial role. Hope Kamal Hassan learns the lesson.

So my conclusion with director's touch are :-

1) I want to say positive about smiling Pinki which won an Oscar for short documentary but even that falls under my ten commandments.
2) Though famous icons like Amitabh Bachan and Shoba De felt in line with similar thoughts as mine, Lets take this event in a positive note and learn lessons from our past mistakes and take a pledge to continue our march in Academy Awards on our own.

Jai Hind

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

"Are the Oscars honest?"

"Jai Ho ... The New voice of India's talents being displayed in International Film Society … 3 Awards in Golden Globe …. 10 Nominations in Oscars under Main Stream Category.. 7 Awards in BAFTA ..!"

I am going to wear the shoes of both Academy Awards side as well as Indian Film Makers side to list out the positives and negatives. Also, I am going to post this speech in my blog and I request you all to voice your thoughts and same will be summarized in my next blog after Feb. '22 Academy Awards Results.

The world is dancing to the tunes of Jai Ho …. At the same time, lots of Indians felt this movie portrays India as the worst ….PILs filed against SDM crew members …. Why is this difference?

I have couple of major points about this movie …!

1) It's not a great movie at all when compared to the movies India have produced like Roja, Kannathial Muthamittal, Bombay, Company, Traffic Signal, Rang De Basanti, Manichitrathalu, Anjali, Black etc., I saw Dharavi very closely and I almost daily travelled across for close to 2 years when I worked for National Stock Exchange.

2) I doubt, "If this movie would have been directed by an Indian, would it gain this fame? I am not sure looking at the history. Quite a few incidents in this movie are exaggerated.

Let me tell you the positives of Oscars towards our Indian Movies.

From Mother India in the year 1957 starring Nargis and Sunil Dutt, Salaam Bombay in the year 1988 by Mira Nair, Lagaan in the year 2001 starring Aamir khan - all above three were received nominations under best foreign film category. Water (2006) by Deepa Mehta made in to Oscars thru Canadian Entry. In 1982, Gandhi won 8 Oscars under main stream category. Satyajit Ray won a honoury award in 1994. Is that enough for Indian Film Industry's whose had, having stalwarts like Amitabh Bachan, Kamal Hassan, Aamir Khan, Mani Ratnam, Shankar & many more ?

On the negative side, I wonder why the same Academy Awards has not even picked up for the nomination under best foreign film category for movies like Anjali, Thevar Magan, Bandit Queen, Indian, Taare Zameen Par ….? Is that means these movies are not even worth a nomination …?

Coming to the Indian Film Makers and Government of India side, Govt of India's selection to Academy Awards is the major negative.

1)I wonder seriously why I could not find movies like Roja, Company, Kannathil Muthamittal, Black, Traffic Signal, Bombay, Pitha Magan in India's nomination list.
2)Why there was no nomination from India to Academy Awards for almost 10 times ?
3)Is the committee really look at the quality of the movie … or some other factors play role …. Because I was stunned when I saw movies like Devdas, Eklavya being selected for Academy Awards contest from Indian Side.

Now from my perspective as conclusion, Oscars is not honest.

1)They consider various factors other than the quality and message of the film.
2)Production Group and Director origin played a key role while recognition as heavy international lobbying seems mandatory.

At the same time Govt of India need to take this activity of nomination to Oscars more seriously by putting proper screening panel for selecting the right movies.

Only thing which made me happy about this movie is not A.R Rehman got recognition but our Indian Government will not now require more effort to get more loans from World Bank.

Balachandar Natarajan