January 17, 2007

‘Water’ In ‘RDB’ Out Of Oscar Race

Filed under: India n Me,opinions — Kaveeta Oberoi Kaul @ 11:35 am
Tags: ,

Ahhh well.. I was right after all . Results are out. ‘Rang De Basanti’ Indias entry, is out , Deepa Mehtas Canadian entry ‘Water’ is in. This is the pen-pen-ultimate round. Final nine, leading next to the final five which will be the official nominees.

My post ‘In Wait- Oscar’ to do with the film that might eventually create a stir at the Oscars, had ruled out RDB as a possibility, for reasons ennumerated therein. I had clearly mentioned ‘Water’ as a contender, although a Canadian entry, but taking over from the Indian entries in the foreign language film category.

Deepa Mehtas sure having the last laugh. She was hounded out of the country, not allowed to shoot, harangued by poilitical parties expresssing disgruntlement over her choice of subject. Imagine being ready with camera and crew, your heroine in complete preparedness for the role , including a ‘shaved head’, (without exaggeration..Shabana and Nandita were bald as eagles) and then the whole of Varanasi decides to descend on you with banners and placards and you have no option but to call it a wrap..without taking a single shot! She went around , with all of Rajya Sabha member Shabanas clout in tow..but surprise, surprise..not a finger moved in her favour.

So what does the film maker do? She has suffered a huge financial setback, misery, disappointment, harshly reminding her that this is India..and you are a nobody here. She decides to go along with her film with a changed venue. A film on the plight of widows in India struck a chord with western viewers. It had a ring of truth.. no synthetic sentiments, undecided genre. Voila ..she proves her point. haha And today the channels are gleefully announcing her as ‘Indian born Deepa Mehtas film ‘Water” in the race..she sure deserves to guffaw.. You earned it hard.

If anything, this ought to indicate to makers in Bollywood that films, if in the running for the Oscars, have to include sensibilities which are Universal in application. The language of the heart.. alternatively must exclude those which may go down well with the ‘paan chewing’ Bihaari babu’ or even the ‘time pass ‘ motivated collegian. But if cinema has to be viewed with a seriousness it merits then its time that you pull up your socks and think story, sincerity, ‘ART’.


  1. I was quite happy to see the reception Deepa Mehta’s film, “Water” received here in Canada.

    Many film buffs agree with you Kaveetaa; that content and historical fact; are high-demanded in the western world, for viewing.

    It is like watching history unfold in front of your eyes… who is not seduced by ancientness of human history and cultural oppression.

    I enjoyed Water.. and have seen it a few times on tv.. I hope it wins many awards, for its brilliant cast and emmulation of a culture which suppress’s the freedom of it’s women.

    IS Shekhar Kapur also soon making a movie.. an apocalyptic movie.. where water becomes a commodity of trade for survival–also titled: Water?

    with loving kindness,

    Comment by North — January 18, 2007 @ 7:41 am | Reply

  2. When is Water releasing in India? The subject matter by itself is a matter of interest to the west.
    Rang DE was an entertainer.Enjoyed it while it lasted but the message of violence at the end may not have appealed to all.

    Now for a little diversification..the character of Alice patton coming down to India driven by passion and all that gibberish is all the more strange with the recent Rascist attacks on Shilpa shetty. That is the face of the real Briton.. they hate Indians and it will never change.

    Comment by dilip — January 18, 2007 @ 1:37 pm | Reply

  3. Hi North,

    You know this is a topic which stirs up emotions with people who are connected with the film fraternity. We want to make the kind of films we want to make.. but thre are no viewers in India who appreciate the stuff,, so that leads to budget problems which in turn leads to compromises.and before you know it, you are making a film you never set out to make in the first place.

    Deepa Mehta was financed from abroad.. she could AFFORD to say what she wantd to the way she wanted to without caring a damn for the indian Box office.. her film has not even been released here. And let me assure you it will run to EMPTY theatres here.. now ofcourse with this hype of the oscars there will be a few who will perhaps go and see it in multiplexes. But around India it will be like ‘What Water’?

    Rdb had to make itself work here so they COMPROMISED.. there was a 40 yr old playing a collegian.. there was a message which was ridiculous..but who cares??? It was a hit here.

    So what do we Do? Make either a good film or a successful film.

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — January 18, 2007 @ 8:40 pm | Reply

  4. hahaha… dunno wat shud be the reaction πŸ™‚ it was colorful, it had the message still it had ended in flames.. i mean, thatz now how life ends on us nah? saw babel, saw blood diamond… movies that leave u going bac to sum shotz that just never leave ur soul.. n then watched guru, with the ab-ash wedding bellz in the backgrnd!! really, with the cash registers minting moni.. when wud we really make sumthing that wud evoke a thought outside the fantasy n the whiff of dreamz that vanish with the new day (if u had been for the nite show :))

    just dunno wat to say… with ’07 i have optimism, but then the dates have not brought any wave to awaken the souls asleep… india rolling..

    Comment by saptarshi — January 18, 2007 @ 9:35 pm | Reply

  5. Hi Dilip..

    I have not written of the big brother episode..still made a great point there.

    Hey Sapt,

    been at the movies galore eh? How did you like Guru?

    I know what you mean about ‘when’..I dont know for sure..But till the same film has to be screened across the length and breadth of our country and get the monies tingling..maybe never.
    Theres a new trend of dvd movies..heard of it?only for release on dvd..hmmmm sounds like a good idea..niche audience and all.

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — January 18, 2007 @ 11:17 pm | Reply

  6. Kaveetaa, I believe the integrity, and brilliant cast in Deepa’s “Water” will inadvertantly cause India to compromise to modern story-telling.. reality; not familiarity of actor or actress.

    The little girl, the center of the story; and the other lead actress; both with shaved heads… their acting was unmeasurable!! I can see the young actress possible get a nod for her acting ability?

    I am with you on this one; it is a shame, to see the bollywood industry; thumb their nose at the most endearing, historical accounts of their own history; as it unfolded; not as it appeals to entertain.. but, to open doors to peoples closed minds and hearts…

    Deepa’s film depicts a gentleness and honour of tradition from widow’d girls and women; but then ultimately spurs the necessary change, which marks human evolutionary growth…

    I loved it; and to be honest, am quite shocked, it is not even released there, nor will it receive the huge fanfare it so well deserves? Shocking, really. Almost as shocking as a 40-yr. old playing a colegian.. lol

    Pity.. just a pity!
    EM me, and I’ll send you a copy if you like. : )

    TV news on the oscars are postive Deepa’s movie is a front-runner for an Oscar for Water as best foreign film…

    Perhaps this leap, will continue a progressive path for eastern film-makers; to wake up to global change in the industry… to put down east/west film-bias, and upgrade actors, too old to be playing the character; to the next generation!


    Comment by North — January 19, 2007 @ 2:39 am | Reply

  7. Perhaps a women’s movement to the theater in quiet droves; when it does come to India; might support the message of the brilliant film?

    In 1997, our government took away 21.6% of a persons income on the “system.” Disabled, young, old, single mothers; didn’t matter.

    Not enough people did anything to stop it.
    Today, these broken lives, live 20-30% below poverty level, in debt for life, and despairate; in a country as rich as Canada; is is a national shame.

    Movies like Water; depict the reality that is out there; our manifest and intent should be of that… to pass on the truths…

    Women can make a statement of support in their own liberation; by turning out, to the theaters, to watch the film(wink.)


    Comment by North — January 19, 2007 @ 2:45 am | Reply

  8. Well, between Deepa’s Water movie, and Shekhars pending Water movie…. it inspired this design within me tonight….(I love it when I am inspired) and that is what makes a film great… when it evokes inspiration!


    Comment by North — January 19, 2007 @ 12:05 pm | Reply

  9. Ooops. that’s not it.. that’s my blog(blush)

    here it is.. blessing of water: creation

    Comment by North — January 19, 2007 @ 12:06 pm | Reply

  10. Kaveetaa, did you know, and your visitors, that if you put your mouse over a link posted; it shows the graphic? awesome!! a window(teeny one) pops up and loads it… cooL!!

    Comment by North — January 19, 2007 @ 12:08 pm | Reply

  11. kind of.. movie marathon πŸ™‚ actually i was surprised btw certain movies affected me.. or i mite stretch this n say, all n sundry!!

    if u have watched ‘babel’.. plz do watch it.. ull feel that high low generated within.. with guru, it was just getting high on the rockx!! n sumwhere the coming ‘jingles’ in their lives din make it any rosy for me 😦

    n guru din match up at the end.. wat happened to ‘the independent’, wat happened to madhavan n how or why did he give up on guruz trail?? why did ‘..kukri’ have to die?? din get the need of that character at all in the movie!!

    did the apprehensive father accept the son as a better ‘beejneshman’??

    n then with blood diamond, i felt TIA-this is africa.. that god has left this place a long time back n tat.. love has stranger dimensionz, we in the concrete jungles, wud never comprehend!!

    n dvds?? well.. guess the medium aint much of a factor.. the message, the touch n the feel of it, spreadz sooner than later.. its all abt feelingz…

    Comment by saptarshi — January 19, 2007 @ 4:25 pm | Reply

  12. Hi North..umm..In India what rules or rather what motivates is primarily Box office returns. Oscar entry may be a factor which is an addenda like a bonus maybe. But frankly I think it will be a while before films which capture the imagination globally will be produced as a rule more than an exception. That is not meant to have a bearing on the talent available in India but more on how the talent is used..sad.

    WAter’ is up for release next month..lets see the general reaction. Deepas last film Fire had raged up quite a fire had to do with a lesbian relationship, which by itself was not the problem, except that she chose to name them by that of Indian Goddesses..LOL so you can imagine.

    Yeah the ‘snap box preview which pops up is a new

    I visited your site and saw your creation..left a comment too :)It was awesome. Maybe you should make me something for my site.. A picture of a rising sun with birds flying in..I will put it up on the header.

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — January 20, 2007 @ 10:15 am | Reply

  13. Hey Sapt..good for you. I havent been able to catch up on movies lately. I avoid seeing them on dvd..somehow they are less magical. Have to see it in a theatre to show respect to the maker..will see babel, Guru and that ‘children…’ film..I believe its awesome.

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — January 20, 2007 @ 10:19 am | Reply

  14. HI Kaveetaa… sure, I would love to create something for Sachiniti!! Will get on it, and contact you when ready.. it may take a few days to find the graphics….

    Size? like the fishbowl pic, or something bigger?

    Glad you liked the Creation design..and thanks for posting a comment. I was quite pleased how it turned out as well… I am often surprised at my own imagination… LOL

    I saw “Fire” as well, and there, I can understand the controvercy using names of a Goddess’s… but Deepa was brilliant to do that, as it got the film, lots of attention. I also saw Earth.. though not all of it, about the last hour; just waiting for it to come on tv again… Water has been on often this past winter.

    with loving kindness,

    Comment by North — January 20, 2007 @ 8:41 pm | Reply

  15. Deepa Mehta’s “Water” is #7-Best Foreign Language(Canada) I was surprised to not see more nominations for this film!!

    Comment by North — January 23, 2007 @ 9:56 pm | Reply

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