Highlights

  • ‘Chhello Show’ is India’s official entry to Oscars 2023
  • Many people voiced support for SS Rajamouli’s ‘RRR’
  • Host of Hollywood celebrities praised ‘RRR’

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‘RRR’ Oscar snub : Why was SS Rajamouli’s film not FFI’s choice for the Academy Awards? Read on

Three months on, ‘RRR’ is pulling the audience to the theatres in the US, and it’s available on various streaming platforms.

Gujarati film ‘Chhello Show’, directed by Pan Nalin, is India’s official entry to Oscars 2023. The film, which will represent the country in the best international feature film category at the Oscars, will release nationwide on October 14.

However, Film Federation of India’s choice was a huge shocker for the Indian audience and it sparked a debate about the film’s ‘Oscar-worthiness’. Many people voiced their support for SS Rajamouli’s ‘RRR’ and Vivek Agnihotri’s ‘The Kashmir Files’, saying they were strong contenders for the Best International Feature Film award at the 95th Academy Awards.

Well, what has left everyone wondering is whether commercial movies, that appeals to everyone, are not good enough for Oscars?

The Ram Charan-Jr. NTR starrer won the hearts of not only the Indian audience, but also received a positive response across borders. Host of Hollywood celebrities such as Russo Brothers and Danny DeVito praised the epic fantasy. The film grossed a whopping Rs 1,000 crore at the worldwide box office.

‘RRR’ was re-released in theatres across United States in June and a Hindi-language version of the film streamed on Netflix, and ranked in the top 10 most watched titles in America for nine consecutive weeks.

Three months on, ‘RRR’ is pulling the audience to the theatres in the US, and it’s available on various streaming platforms.

In an interview with Hindustan Times, FFI committee head TS Nagabharana talked about ‘RRR’s Oscar snub and said the story matters not the collection or popularity. According to him, ‘Chhello Show’ is a ‘narrative of a regular Indian reality, and shows it in a broader sense, while tugging the emotional chords’.

J Hurtado, a film critic, who’s part of team that’s running ‘RRR’s theatre campaign in the US, begs to differ from FFI’s opinion. He said that when it comes to any major awards in the US, popularity plays a key role. Citing examples of ‘Black Panther’ and ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’, he stated that ‘road for popular films to winning Academy Awards is not unknown’.

He said that India’s selection for Oscars has a ‘very dicey history’. He opined that it’s better to send out a film that has the best chance of getting a nomination and winning the award. He further added that ‘the whole point of that Best International Feature Film is to highlight a country’s best output.’

‘It has lit a fire under some people to not let it (RRR) be forgotten. This ground swell of support has happened. People are talking about. The team didn’t go out to these high-profile names and pushed the film on them,’ said Hurtado.

Hurtado explained that the SS Rajamouli’s film is very focused on the story it’s telling and the characters are very driven.

‘The action is over the top, but it never seems extraneous to the plot. It’s very well designed in a way that the American audience appreciates because we don’t get that very often,’ he said.

He revealed that their focus right now is to get as many people as possible to watch the film in the big screen.

Variance Films president Dylan Marchetti, who is backing ‘RRR’s Oscar campaign, believes that this film benefits from the vibe an audience gives it.

The fans of ‘RRR’ argue that the film could have been a strong contender for the Oscars owing to its ability to capture the imagination of audience worldwide.

Several members of the Hollywood fraternity and film critics have also strongly reacted to the FFI’s decision.

Filmmaker Adam McKay, the director of Leonardo DiCaprio’s ‘Don’t Look Up’, called ‘RRR’s Oscar snub a ‘travesty’ and pledged to promote the film further.

SS Rajamouli’s period action drama will be submitted to the 95th Academy Awards in all popular categories, including Best Pictures and Best Original Score.

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