The 65th Filmfare Awards ceremony held in Guwahati on Saturday, has been dominated by the overrated flick ‘Gully Boy’. The film has bagged 13 awards including all the major awards at the event such as the Best Film award. The Best Director Award too went to Zoya Akhtar for ‘Gully Boy’. Apart from the Best Actor award in both male and female categories were won by Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhati respectively for this movie.
The Best Actor in a Supporting role also went to ‘Gully Boy’ in the two categories. Amruta Subhash bagged the award in the Female category, while Siddhant Chaturvedi bagged it in the Male category.
The Zoya Akhtar directed movie has won these awards days after the movie failed miserably at the 92nd Academy Awards, famously known as the Oscars.
South Korean black comedy ‘Parasite’ created history at the Oscars by becoming the first non-English language film to win the Oscar for both Best Film as well as Best Foreign Language Film.
India also had a film- Tumbbad, a late 2018 movie, which could have also brought the same level of glory as ‘Parasite’, but was unjustly sidelined for an absolutely overrated film like ‘Gully Boy’.
There were also other movies like Andhadhun, Ratchasan [Ratsasan], Uri – The Surgical Strike, Kesari and The Tashkent Files, but a biased Film Federation of India had other plans.
‘Gully Boy’ had to fail, as it is a nondescript, almost a scene by scene copy of ‘8 Mile’. Ironically, the one who led to its selection was none other than the current president of the Film Federation of India jury, Aparna Sen. Aparna Sen, along with 48 other celebrities, wrote a public letter to PM Modi expressing their concern over the damage done to the secularism of the country by the alleged mob lynchings, saying that criticizing the government is not ‘treason’.
‘Gully Boy’ is largely in line with the patter of foreign films that show India as a country in the state of abject backwardness, and full of slums.
The Zoya Akhtar-directed film itself copied acclaimed movie ‘8 Mile’, and attempted to mock nationalism with songs like ‘Jingostan’. The film may have claimed to focus on street rap, but the way it attempted to influence our younger generation with propaganda is not hidden from anyone.
This shows the level of bias and nepotism that goes on in the film industry. An unimpressive, unoriginal movie like ‘Gully Boy’ was selected by India for the Oscars. This explains why India has never won an Oscar for Best Foreign Film till date and has been nominated in this category only 3 times, which includes ‘Mother India’, ‘Salaam Bombay’ and ‘Lagaan’. As such, selecting movies like ‘Gully Boy’ only dents India’s image further.
Despite failing at the Oscars, the movie has bagged awards across all main categories at the 65th Filmfare Awards, 2020. This shows that those in control of India’s film industry are still not ready to discharge their functions in an unbiased and unprejudiced manner.
India has had a history of encouraging mediocre movies, compromising upon the ones that can bring laurels for India. For instance, when everyone was confident that ‘The Lunchbox’ directed by Ritesh Batra would be nominated for the Oscars in 2013, the then chairman of the jury committee Gautam Ghose nominated a Gujarati film titled ‘The Good Road’. Interestingly, Gautam Ghose is also among the 49 celebrities who wrote the controversial letter to PM Modi which reeked of selective outrage and met with criticism.
The Indian film industry has failed to make a mark beyond India, including at the Oscars. As long as people like Aparna Sen remain eligible to decide which Indian films should be sent for the Oscars and mediocre movies like ‘Gully Body’ keep getting awarded, forget winning an Oscar, India won’t be able to get a nomination at the same as well.