Why should The Lunchbox go to Oscars as India’s official entry?

One of the more popular pastime activities for so many of us these days is the debate; why should The Lunchbox go to Oscars as India’s official entry? And then the next angle is, which is this movie that’s going as our official entry to Oscars. And the name of that movie is “The Good Road” (if you are a KBC enthusiast, this can be important information).

I saw The Lunchbox last Thursday. If you ask me, I think this movie is an experience, not just a movie. You go to the theatre, sit there, look at the screen, share its moments, join in the jokes, sit back and appreciate the smaller things in life and in the end realize that this is an experience that you can only experience.

The Lunchbox deserves to be sent?

But the question more pressing for us most, those who have watched and those who haven’t watched the Lunchbox is, why should The Lunchbox go to Oscars as India’s official entry? Well, the most common argument I have seen so far is, to put it simply- it deserves to be sent.

This can be a valid reason for some but can be flawed too for many more reasons for so many of us.

To me lots of things come to my mind like;

  • How did we arrive at The Lunchbox being the best movie or the most deserving movie for Oscars?
  • There are more than thousand movies made in a year in India, what about the rest?
  • Dear Milkha ji ran like a winner and won so many of those races, but didn’t even seem to start this one. Or decided to sit this one out?
  • I haven’t seen The Good Road, have you? Can’t call a dish bad without having tasted it.
  • I have seen so many of Big Names from industry talking and standing up for The Lunchbox, is this becoming ‘a’ if not ‘the’ reason?
  • When was the last time we had sent the right kind of movie? Or what is the right kind of movie after all?
  • How do we decide which movie should be sent? Should we send the best Indian movie as we see it to be, or the one we think the Academy members will like?

Who have been winning in the past?

I have seen quite a few Hollywood movies, a few Oscar winners and a bunch of winners in Foreign Film category. If I put some pressure on my memory I can think of some winners and nominees in the Foreign Film category like The Counterfeiters, Pan’s Labyrinth, The Lives of Others, Life Is Beautiful and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

These movies are all different and all very close to the world and culture these represent. And maybe that’s what made them stand out and emerge as winners too.

The Lunchbox could be or could not be the right one

The central theme of the Lunchbox is something that’s part of Mumbai’s culture and life – the dabbawalas. And I loved the way the dabbawala mentions Harvard in the end, almost casually to make his point.

The movie scores there.

The Lunchbox has few actors like the amazing Irrfan Khan, new comer Nimrat Kaur and they have all done justice to their roles. My personal favourite is Nawazuddin Siddiqui – his role has more dimensions then others. He laughs, he becomes irritated, he tries to be friendly, he tries to be smart, he gets little angry, he is happy, he is disappointed, he is elated. And in whatever small part he has got to play, he has done extreme justice to it.

The movie scores there.

Unlike most of Indian movies, this one ends on a very different note. The movie starts like a normal day in life which just gets interesting and it ends with a lot more interesting twist. I am not divulging more here since many are yet to see it, but that kind of end does extreme justice to the movie, since that’s how the life would be for many in that kind of a situation.

The movie scores there.

This can give many a brownie point to the Lunchbox but the nomination and eventual win is a function of comparison and it’s not justified to start worshiping one movie, start ridiculing others and then not even care of most.

To me, the Lunchbox is not just a movie but an experience but I am also cognizant of the fact that I may not be right in saying that this one deserves to be sent as India’s official entry to the Oscars. I am not sure what’s your take on it, but I would surely love to know.

Reach out to me, in confidence..

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And what do you think?