‘The Good Road’ is India’s official entry to Oscar film festivals. I heard Karan Johar and Anurag Kashyap are troubled by the fact that ‘Lunch Box’ has lost the race. I was upset initially coz ‘Lunch Box’ is a good movie. Maybe the best that Bollywood has produced this year. But, after watching ‘The Good Road’ I truly vouch for it. It may even win India an Oscar!
Twitter has many chirps about the movie. Some showing their dissatisfaction and some praising the movie and its main theme. The fuss has been generated due to two main reasons and that are,it is Gujarati film and, Narendra Modi has showered praise on it! The reactions have started to come in viral proportions even from people who don’t know anything about the film. As I have seen the movie, I can tell you two things that the film is not about- 1) The film has nothing to do with good roads in Gujarat! 2) It is not about the Gujarati culture. It’s universal in its appeal and, that’s what makes it unique! The film is primarily about an urban kid getting lost on the highway while on a holiday with his parents. Here are 8 things you didn’t know about the film ‘The Good Road’-
1. Selected out of 22 shortlisted films
There were 22 entries from different parts of India for consideration this year. Films like ‘The Lunchbox’, ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ and ‘Vishwaroopam’ were short-listed but it was a unanimous decision by the 19-member jury to select ‘The Good Road’.
2. Has won a National Award
The film won a National Award this year as Best Feature Film (Gujarati) in the regional category.
3. “Real” over “Reel”
The true star of the filmis ShamjibhaiKerasia who plays Pappu and is a truck driver in real life.
4. Seen as ‘just a debut film’
‘The Good Road’ is seen only as a debut film and nothing more. Critics around the world have branded it a “Debut film” and, fail to understand that it is bearing the weight of representing the nation and the stigma of having left people like AnuragKashyap and Karan Johar heartbroken.
5. Let down by “professional” actors
While Shamji bhai Kerasia gives an immaculate performance without even having faced the camera ever in his life, it is professional actors like Sonali Kulkarni and Ajay Geh who spoil the movie with their uninspiring act.
6. Sound of Oscars
Oscar-winning Resul Pookutty (of the Slumdog Millionaire fame) has done the sound designing while Amitabha Singh who has shot films like Chillar Party and Khosla Ka Ghosla earlier, was the Director of Photography (DOP). Both have done justice to their individual roles. Kutch, where the movie has been shot has never been so wonderfully captured before.
7. Produced by NFDC
‘The Good Road’ has been financed and supported by the National Film Development Corp. NFDC is one of the co-producers of other front runners, The Lunchbox and Bhaag Milkha Bhaag.
8. Advertising Genius
Gyan Correa began making films at the Xavier’s Institute of Communications. His first assignment was a writing and direction assignment for UNICEF’s drug awareness TV campaign. This film was dubbed into 17 languages, and aired across the globe. Correa then moved onto Trikaya Advertising (now Grey), where he was agency producer for TV commercials. He also held additional charge as of several high profile TV serials like Satyajit Ray’s “Satyajit Ray Presents”, Sridhar Kshrisagar’s “Jugalbandhi”, KalpanaLajmi & BhupenHazarika’s “LohitKinare”.
Correa left Trikaya to set up his own independent shop. As an independent director, he has made over 400 TVCs for India and the wider South Asian markets including most of the Johnson & Johnson TV commercials and Amul advertisements.
People skeptical about ‘The Good Road’ selection for Oscar nomination from India need to say a prayer of thanks that India has been spared the embarrassment of Viswaroopam – in which Kamal Haasan saved the world with the help of kathak and a microwave; and Rahul Bose played a character seemingly inspired by Mullah Omar, who plotted a nuclear attack on America using, wait for it, pigeons – being sent to The Oscars!
©Arjun Karath for PosterGully.com