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.