‘And the Oscar Goes To...’ review: a simple premise falters due to uncompelling narration

'And the Oscar Goes To...' poster

'And the Oscar Goes To...' poster  

The storyline is woven around the much-used trope of a youth madly in love with the dream of making a film

The unlikeliest of sources often provide the idea for a movie for some filmmakers. In that list, And that Oscar Goes To.. will probably occupy a unique spot. Salim Ahamed has drawn inspiration for his fourth film from the struggles that he had to undergo while making his debut movie Adaminte Makan Abu, which was India’s official entry for the Academy Awards. Unfortunately, the latest movie does quite a disservice to that memorable first film.

And the Oscar Goes To... is woven around the much used trope of a youth madly in love with the medium dreaming of making a film. Izhak Ibrahim (Tovino Thomas) has this close relationship with cinema right from birth. But he has to overcome many a hurdle in making his dream come true, and even afterwards. Only that, his struggle is second only to that of the viewer.

Some of Izhak’s struggles are indeed real, like in the sequences where he pawns everything to cough up enough money to finish the movie. In one rare sequence which make you smile, the assistant directors are seen waiting for a shot to finish to retrieve some money, which is being used a property in that scene, to pay off two men. By the half-way point though, even this story of struggle is over as the film is made and sent to the Oscars.

All through the second half, one wonders why he set out to make this movie in the first place, for there is nothing compelling enough to narrate, other than his struggles to pay the Hollywood lobbyists to get the jury to watch his film. The biggest crisis that he encounters in the second half, except the occasional cash shortages, is that he had to spend a day without eating anything. Though it is something quite traumatic in real, it doesn’t really translate that well on screen.

Many of the scenes have ‘artificial’ written all over it, with the badly written dialogues making it even worse. This is so evident especially in Izhak’s scenes with the Hollywood PR person (Nikki Hulowki). The NRI character played by Siddique does what many such characters in our cinema has done in the past — lament about the future of their children who have fallen prey to the ‘decadence’ of western culture.

More than anything, what sticks out is the fact that Izhak did not do even basic research or even take permission from them, while adapting to screen the tragic story of a family from his own village. One can only hope that this is fiction, and did not happen the same way in real life too. And, the Oscar would not even remotely go to this one.

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Printable version | May 21, 2020 4:10:32 AM |

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