Announcement of India’s official entry to Oscars are often followed by debates over the better films missing it. Be it the Gujarati film The Good Road (2013) or Ranbir Kapoor-starrer Barfi (2012), their credibility is mostly questioned. This year, however, the nomination of Chaitanya Tamhane’s debut Court went undisputed. Now, Irrfan Khan has said that India’s last few entries sent to the Oscars were “embarrassing” and added that Court is better than them.
“Court is a good film. I don’t know about the other films. Unlike a few years back, the kind of films that were sent, they were embarrassing. This is better than them,” Irrfan said. Irrfan’s Paan Singh Tomar and The Lunchbox were two films that were in the forefront of being chosen as India’s Oscar entry, but ultimately Barfi! and The Good Road were selected by a jury appointed by the Film Federation of India.
Irrfan, who has done his fair share of work in international entertainment world, feels there should be a body “which should be really concerned about choosing the right film and sending it to a platform which is very important”. “We can’t judge what it will do and how it will be perceived. There (at Oscars) they have big competition, so it depends on Court...with which films it is competing. Also, there’s the luck factor. We can only try to send the best (film) we have made,” he said.
Having starred in films like the Oscar-winning entertainers Slumdog Millionaire and Life of Pi, Irrfan surely has an idea of how the foreign market perceives Indian cinema. Asked if Hollywood is still looking for clichéd Indian films, which have song and dance sequences, Irrfan said: “They are not looking for anything from Bollywood. They have a perception of Bollywood films having songs and dance sequences in it. But if we do films like The Lunchbox, Court and Slumdog Millionaire, then the perception will change. Somewhere that perception is changing, but that’s very little bit. Like Talvar, it’s a film with no song and dance. It’s doing very well.”
Directed by Sanjay Gupta, Jazbaa is slated to release on Friday. The film also stars Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Shabana Azmi and Jackie Shroff.