Monday, September 26, 2005

Desi Oscar fever again!

The Oscars are exactly 4 months away and its already Oscar fever in India. This year it's Paheli!. I haven't seen the movie, though loved the soundtrack, at least most of it. MM Kreem's (aka Keeravani aka Maragadhamani) package was a mix of soothing melodies (Dheere Jalna, Khaali Hai) and peppy numbers (Phir Raat Kati), but some told me that at least a couple of numbers were rehashed from his own Telugu soundtracks. But that is not surprising considering that he has been known to do that a lot in the past.

Anyways, coming back to Paheli, it is interesting to see the competition that Paheli beat out to get the nod. Rediff mentions this -

The other films considered for the nomination were Mangal Pandey, Veer-Zaara, Iqbal, Swades, Parineeta, Page 3, Black, Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi, Sachein (Tamil), Anniyan (Telugu), Uttarayan (Marathi), Achuvante Anna (Malayalam), Graham (Telugu), and Kadal (Tamil).

I have a couple of issues. Notice the names in bold. And I saw at least parts of those three movies and it suffices if I say that I pressed "stop" even before 15 minutes were up. And this is not a question of personal preference and Sachein won't figure even in the list of top 10 Tam movies of the year, if you were to ask any random Tam movie watcher. Similarly for Anniyan and Veer Zaara, again no comments. The rest, I have no issues with, since I haven't seen any of those movies, apart from Kadhal. Speaking of Kadhal, it made me cringe and squirm. But I have to agree that it was one of the better movies (in terms of quality and originality) made in Chennai this past year.

And if you want to know who was responsible for Paheli being chosen, read on here... (Hat tip: Amit Varma). My only grouse is that Paheli takes its premise from a novel that Mani Kaul had already adapted for an on-screen version, close to 35 years ago! Not that Amol Palekar does not deserve this, but I'd have preferred that the nomination went to a movie with a fresh screen play.

I will end with a recommendation - The sound track of Achuvinte Amma (Rediff screwed up the name badly) by Ilayaraja. Check it out! Found it last week, when i was looking to listen to some older numbers from Chithram, thanks to the discussion on Lazy's post about Selvaraghavan.


RPM said...

I thought Paheli was good. But later, I heard things like 'It should have been a one-hour movie', 'Other characters have not been developed much', etc.

I don't think it is Oscar-worthy as such. But worth a watch of course.

gvenum said...

ain't Anniyan a tamil movie? Is it a typo? and is it Grahanam or Graham?.
Just wondering. and I agree that they need to stop sending regular masala bollywood movies for Oscars.

?! said...

Anniyan : Tamil. (Telugu version Aparitichudu is a dub). Keeravani ( Maragathamani in Tamil and MM Kreem in Hindi: hows that for adaptability) is a vastly underrated composer. Some of his songs from movies like KshanaKshanam are classics)

?! said...

And lets see the board. Harmesh Malhotra, if one is not mistaken, gave us gems like Naagin (or whatever that Sridevi -blue eyes-snake movie was). Vinod Pande disguised wannabe soft porn ( fat chance with our censors) under the heading of "bold" and "sensitive" themes. And who knows of Shri Mohan, editor of Super Cinema ( aisa mag hai??)

Anyway, we have sent some real shockers to the Oscars, so Paheli is probably a cut above.

F e r r a r i said...

Sachein for oscars????

It doesnt even qualify for local bhaskar award. Where did oscar come into the picture??

By any chance the movie was produced by oscar movies ravichandran?

anantha said...

Ferrari: Ya, I know.. exactly my feeling. :)

?!: I think Paheli would rank in the top half of the draw, but whether it is a cut above the rest is questionable. There are some original movies made not only in Bollywood but down south as well. And as for MM Kreem being under-rated, that happens when you try to make money on unoriginal stuff. Then your original stuff also gets doubted and pooh poohed! Happens in Tamil Film Music too with a couple of composers.

gvenum: I think Bollywood movies usually get chosen because of their visibility and the fact that they were commercially viable might be used as an excuse in case the choice comes under scrutiny - The "Public ko achi lagthi hai yeh phillum. So why not submit it to the Oscars" excuse. Even among the choices, I see a few originals (not Anniyan/Aparichithudu, but Kadhal, Achuvinte Amma and Iqbal for e.g) and so why choose a double adaptation? And ya, errors galore in the articles. Speaks volumes of the research team!

rpm: Dunno if its Oscar worthy. Did not see it, but the fact that the story is double adapted, would immediately diqualify it, esspecially cos you get to send only one entry!

viji said...

Anti... movies patthi nee oru PhD panlaam...

Ram said...

I cannot actually believe Sachien was part of the nomination list. Trust the Indian board to come up with something as ridiculous as that. I have no problems with Veer-Zarra save for Shah Rukh Khan.
Page 3 was ok, Swades was too dialogue oriented...enakku onnum puriyala :P and Black was on a sensitive subject.
My vote would have been for Black, though I havent seen Parineeta and Paheli.

capriciously_me said...

i wud have preferred swades for originiality of theme & all that...tho it was not wholesome entertainment, i thot it was an awesome attempt...wud have preferred kadhal tamil bias there...saw a few minutes of paheli...did not understand a lot...hindi had a touch of rajasthani(?) in the movie...did not like it a lot to continue watching...but i somehow have a feeling there is a lot of politics in all this and lobbying must have had a major role in this!!

GratisGab said...

I have to catch this Paheli it's based on a novel huh, ah well that's playing it safe I guess.

Still recovering from a weekend of Waqt and Salaam Namaste!

Balaji said...

"Sachein??!!" was my reaction :-)

anantha said...

Balaji: That second article about the selection committee made me think. If you see, as of Sunday, the committee was still to see "Hazaron Khwaishon Aisi and two Tamil movies". I am guessing that they did not see Sachien at all and instead asked someone the gist of the movie and this mischevious someone told them that Sachien was a "sentimental human interest story about an average Indian cricket fan who idolizes Sachin Tendulkar". I am guessing they fell for it.. LMAO!

Gabby: Expected a tongue and cheek remark from you about the 55 worder :p Salaam Namaste and Waqt! LOL... Poor you. Been reading Patrix's take on Salam Namaste. I think he's scarred...:)

CM: Ya, lobbying..thats all it takes. But the funda is that, this malaise is not limited to India. Its prevelant even in the actual Oscars! Except that the voters are much larger in number and so the effect is slightly negated. As for Swadesh, my idea is this - To win at the Oscars, the movie either needs to be heartrending with a feel good factor. And our movies, particularly the mainstream ones are not exactly subtle and when we try to make subtle movies, they tend to become arty. We still havent arrived at that middle ground and till then our entries will continue to languish at the scrap heap, come Oscar night.

Ram: Black... am yet to see it :( Too melancholic, someone told me and I am not in the mood for such movies these days.

viji: Edhukku ethi vidara enna. Nalla ethivittutu apparam neeye thalli viduva :P

Hawkeye said...


did u notice lazygeek website is not accesible today. gives out a very strange message!??!!

anantha said...

Hawkeye: It was ok this morning, but now that you said, i looked.. Edhavadhu hosting service oda billing issues aaga irrukum...

lazygeek said...

hey hey hey !! danks(captain style) for asking here too. i saw a comment on Kiruba's comment too.

BTW, someone abused my Mt installation it seems. donno if we can term it as hacking or not. the hosters suspended the account. all this without my knowledge. they are still investigating. let see what happens !!

Hawkeye said...

lazy geek,

remember the chinese superstar blogger (who was termed as # 1 blogger in the world) also had her blog account hacked. she lost all her blogs. she had to literally beg the hacker to return her the passwd/login. it might not be a bad idea to back up your blogs every time you write it ( i am sure u mustve have thought about this/done this). That way it is easy it put it back if these hackers play foul

sensiblystoned said...

Sachein and not even going to talk about it and waste my breath. Utter tosh. Hey Anti, btw i just started a team blog for movie reviews, wanna be a part of it? Check out my blog for more details.

anantha said...

Hawkeye: Actually thats a good idea.

Lazy: Ferrari sonna madhiri, you can update your blogger page :) But I don't think it will take more than a couple of days. And oh, btw, you shld do that, since the discussions for some of your movie posts are priceless..:)

anantha said...

sensiblystoned: Awesome...:)

D said...

started writing a comment, then realised i was rambling ;)
decided to do it in my backyard!

anantha said...

Dhammo: But I thought... ok.. leave it.. I was rambling too.. *heads over to your backyard*

Dinesh said...

I would have voted for BLACK as the movie for oscars.

Anonymous said...

other great mallu soundtracks...
Pranaya Varnankal,
His Highness Abdulla,
Aaraam Thamburan,
Sukhamo Devi,
Summer In Bethlahem,
Manichithra Thaazhu,
Thoovana Thumbikal,
Nirakkutu ,
Oru Minna Minunginte Nurungu Vettam,
Pallavur Devanarayanan,
Kannezhuthi Pottum Thottu,
Kaathodu Kathoram,
Thenum Vayampum,
oru vadakkan veeragatha,
Hope there is atleast 1 soundtrack that u havent listened to, b4.

ps: yodha-A R Rahman's track
swathi thirunal- heavy classical soundtrack

Anonymous said...

Iam in the spirit. Hope u dont mind me adding some more names to the list.
Rakkuyilin Raagasadassil,
Manivathoorile Aayiram Sivarathrikal,
Poomukhappadyyil Ninneum kaathu (ilayaraja),
Sandhyakku Virinja Poovu (ilayaraja)
Ethiripoove Chuvannapoove,
Njan Gandharvan,

Still have more soundtrack names. But will force myself to stop. Hope u dont mind me taking up all the space.

anantha said...

Anon: After leaving me so many sound track names, why did you not leave me YOUR name :) Awesome.... my intro/exposure to Mallu tracks is through my family. And past four years, since I am out of Chennai, havent had the chance to hear much, except some stuff that my sister tells me are hot. Hot cos even my father cannot stop humming and he thinks music these days is shit.. :)
But His Highness Abdullah, Chitram, Bharatham, Pranaya Varnangal etc. are the usual suspects...

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