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A ‘Period’ Film Set In India Wins Oscar



Finally India  has  done it at  the Oscars. A ‘period’ film unlike  Lagaan , Devdas  orBaahubali, entitled  Period End  Of Sentence has won  the  Oscar in the  Best  Short Documentary category.  Though  this film about menstrual  hardships in  rural India  is  not technically an Indian  film—its director  Rayka Zehtabchi is an Iranian-American and its producer Melissa Burton is American–  Period  End Of Sentence is about empowering the rural Indian  women , and its  co-producer Guneet Monga is an Indian.

So let’s applaud our first victory at the Oscars since Resul  Pookutty  won the trophy in 2008 for Slumdog Millionaire.

Some   of  the major Oscars  this year were  a welcome swerve  into the  unexpected. The best actress  Oscar has  not gone to Glenn Close for her overrated performance  in  The Wifebut to Olivia Coleman  for her delightful turn as  a sexually active somewhat daft queen  of  England whose rule would have  gone unnoticed were  it not for Coleman’s dazzling performance in The Favourite.

 The  Oscar  for best actor has been given to the Egyptian actor Rami Malek for that  hyped  over-rated performance as  musical legend  Freddie Mercury in  Bohemian  Rhapsody. Sadly the  more meritorious and Oscar worthy rock-stadia  musical   A  Star Is Born, featuring  the very exceptional  Brad Cooper  and  Lady Gaga, which was  outstanding on  every level has been largely snubbed  by the  Oscars.

Rather go gaga  over  the singer of  the song   ‘Radio Gaga’ than honour  Lady Gaga, eh?  

Rami Malek’s  relatively mediocre performance being honoured  by an Oscar  for best  actor  was matched by Mahershala Ali’s  triumph  in the best supporting actor category as a sophisticated gay pianist  in  The Green Book.

Though I thoroughly approve  of   The Green Book getting the Oscar for  best  picture,  the award  in the  performing category should have gone to  Viggo Mortensen  as  the  African pianist’s chauffeur in The Green  Book.

Mortensen  is terrific  all the way, far superior  to  Rami Malek’s  one-note  performance as Mercury. Nothing mercurial about Malek.  The same  goes  for this year’s Oscar winners. No surprises , except  the much-touted Black Panther’s  complete obliteration among the winners  in the  major categories. Just goes to show, hype doesn’t always rule.                              

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