ApunKaChoice : Bollywood


Paheli'Paheli' deserves it or not?
27th Sept 2005  22.15 IST
By Nitika Desai  

The selection of Amol Palekar's film Paheli as the Indian entry for the 2006 Academy Awards has evoked mixed reactions within the industry.

The Film Federation of India on Monday chose Paheli as India's Oscar entry over other strong contenders like Black , Veer Zaara , Page 3 , Mangal Pandey The Rising , Iqbal , Swades , Parineeta and Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi.

Many film personalities, including some directors of the contending films, have expressed surprise over the selection of 'Paheli' over what they describe as "better films" like 'Black', 'Page 3' and 'Swades'.

Sanjay Leela Bhansali , director of 'Black', has told an entertainment website that if not his movie, he would have liked to see other films like 'Swades' or 'Iqbal'.

Let us get a few things straight here. No matter how cinematically brilliant 'Black' was, the movie has from its day of release faced allegations of being heavily inspired by a foreign movie. Perhaps that is why the movie was ignored at the Cannes and might have met with the same fate at the Oscars too.

'Paheli', on the other hand, is a folktale based on the story 'Duvidha' written by Vijaydan Deta. Besides its simple and moving story, the movie is visually stunning with vibrant Indian colors that represent Indian tradition and culture in its true form.

Both 'Black' and 'Paheli' boast of exceptional performances. Although Amitabh Bachchan - with all due respects - overplayed his eccentric teacher act at times in 'Black', Shah Rukh Khan did quite a fine job playing the ghost-in-love and an errant husband. Rani Mukherjee , need it be said, was brilliant in both films.

Subhash Ghai , whose production 'Iqbal' was one of the contenders, expressed happiness over the selection of 'Paheli'.

"Paheli represents Indian colour, culture, ethos and myths, and is based on the original work of an Indian writer. So I feel that it was the right choice by the jury in spite of many other good films under consideration," Ghai is quoted by Mid-Day.

While filmmaker Guddu Dhanoa, whose mediocre films often bite the tinsel dust, said he was "shocked" at Paheli's selection, Prakash Jha, an eminent filmmaker respected the FFI jury's decision.

Vinod Pande, acting chairperson of the FFI, defends the jury's choice and says 'Paheli' was their unanimous choice.

"Yes, absolutely. We feel this film is very high on cinematic excellence and directorial competence. It is deeply seeped in the Indian ethos and true to the Indian concept of fine arts, costumes and art designing. The performances were also outstanding," Pande is quoted as saying.

And finally, Amol Palekar , Paheli's director, expressed his jubilance over his movie's selection for the Oscars.

"This film is inherently Indian, linked to the soil of the country. I am sure, it will definitely change the views of the people abroad about India," Palekar said.

Veer Zaara
Page 3
The Rising
Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Amitabh Bachchan
Shah Rukh Khan
Rani Mukherjee
Subhash Ghai
Amol Palekar

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