By Subhash K Jha
MUMBAI: Though the critically-acclaimed film has been warmly received by the audience, The Lunchbox director Ritesh Batra is heartbroken by the Oscar snub whereby the Film Federation Of India in all its wisdom selected the Gujarati film The Good Road as India’s official entry to the Oscars.
The decision triggered off a chain of indignant protests from supporters of The Lunchbox.
Director Ritesh Batra sounded positively disenchanted when he said, “It’s heartbreaking. This was our shot at getting the Oscar back to India.”
Ritesh expressed concern over how the Oscar-defeat would impact The Lunchbox’s international potential. “Our US distributors Sony Pictures are also very disappointed. They feel this was one Indian film that could have gone all the way.”
Ritesh is pleased by the way the film has been received by audienes. “However an Oscar nomination or win casts a global spotlight on the film from a praticular country. Indian cinema deserves that. Having said this, I have to admit audience appreciation is the real reward.”
At the same time, Ritesh wonders at the decision taken by the jury. “I hope that the Film Federation of India’s decision was correct. If it is not, then all the parties concerned would owe the country an explanation.”
Filmmaker Gautam Ghose, who headed the Oscar-nomination jury, is unfazed by the controversies and protests from within the Bollywood fraternity over their selection.
Says Gautam, “I loved The Lunchbox. But the decision to select The Good Road was a collective one taken by a 16-member jury. Let is wait and see what happens at the Oscars.”
About the vitriolic attack on the jury for its selection, Gautam Ghose says, “Judging anything on earth is a thankless task.”