14 May, 2021

Before and After

Before and After
The Oscars are upon us. We as Indians are of course primarily concerned with how Lagaan will fare. Right now, it clearly is the underdog, behind the French film Amelie, which has been a big popular success in the US, and No Man’s Land from Bosnia, which pipped Amelie to the post at the Golden Globes. But there is something fairy tale-ish about the whole Lagaan success story, from the way it has progressed from a goofy story idea to perhaps the biggest critical plus commercial success in the last 27 years (Sholay was released on August 15, 1975). Its capacity to charm the most unlikely audiences is almost uncanny. So who knows what can happen?

Among Hollywood offerings, the obscure low-budget Guy Pierce-starrer Memento, nominated only for the Best Original Screenplay and Editing categories, is, as far as I am concerned, The Film of the Year. It’s unlikely to be released in India, but the CD is available. A man hunts for his wife’s murderer, but he suffers from a brain condition that does not allow him to form any new memories. Every few...

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