Amid criticism over the selection of ‘The Good Road’ as India’s official entry to the Oscars, the Gujarati film’s Academy award-winning sound designer Resul Pookutty has come forward in defence of the movie.
The selection of ‘The Good Road’ starring Sonali Kulkarni, Poonam Kesar Singh, Ajay Gehi among others, was not welcomed by many in Bollywood.
B-town felt Ritesh Batra’s “The Lunchbox”, which is produced by Anurag Kashyap and presented by Karan Johar, was a more befitting choice.
“I haven’t seen ‘The Lunchbox’. That movie may be a better film than ‘The Good Road’. As far as I see about the criticism, the director (Gyan Correa) is a debutante and the protagonist and surrounding characters are non-actors.
“This movie came from the oblivion without any hype or promotion. It may not fall in the conventional film category, but that doesn’t mean that it is not fit for the race,” said Pookutty.
Kashyap and Johar expressed their disappointment after “The Lunchbox” was ignored by the Film Federation of India appointed selection committee, which announced “The Good Road” as its choice from 22 entries to represent India at the Oscars.
Pookutty added, “It is quiet disheartening to see people working in the same industry coming up with criticism. Anurag has always been a proponent of independent cinema. I think it could be because he is one of the producers of ‘The Lunchbox’ He should feel happy for the other Indian film being selected.”
The Gujarati film fraternity also held a protest in Ahmedabad claiming “The Good Road” deals with child prostitution.
However, Pookutty, who won an Oscar for Best Sound Mixing for ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ in 2009, says the film has no objectionable content in it.
“’The Good Road’ is basically a road chronicle. When the movie starts to roll, it takes the audience through different emotional ups and downs. During a particular juncture in the movie it takes you to that point,” he said.
“Child prostitution is not the main theme. It is a part of the plot. However, I am not the right person to say much about the storyline, it is the director,” he added.
This is not the first time that Pookutty’s films have faced such criticism. The sound designer said similar problems happened during the certification process of director Shonali Bose’s ‘Amu’ in 2005 and again after the release of the Oscar winning movie ‘Slumdog Millionaire’.
“Any theme which deals with political agenda will definitely spark controversies. I am a professional and put my heart and soul to work on all these three films — ‘Amu’, ’Slumdog Millionaire’ and now ‘The Good Road’ I don’t see the political part, for me the creative side matters. These are the realities of our country and I would accept it,” he said.