Court is not a “conventional Oscar winning movie”. Why? Ram Tarantino explains.

Dear Academy, Today, I’m writing against your judgement. Your judgement, about my Court.

While 2015 saw some stunning motion pictures coming from the west, the east wasn’t that far behind. In the past few years, we have seen some impressive projects coming from our side and 2015 was spanning quite decently. Then, Court happened.

Court. A one of a kind film that hit the Indian audience. There were high hopes for this film to be “The One” which wins our country an Oscar. Only, it didn’t even qualify for the top 8. And this, really got me thinking…

That One Award.

A wise man once told me that the Oscars are just a more glorified Filmfare, albiet with better products!

Filmfare v Oscars is not a comparision
Difference difference are you there, show me buddy where where where?

But a Filmfare, all the same. And just like all commercial award shows, the Oscars to have their traditions – traditions which often prey on films like our Court.

You see guys, Court is not a “conventional Oscar winning movie”.

Confused? Let me elaborate. For a long long time now, the Oscars have more or less, always selected a specific kind of film for its nominations. And Court doesn’t fit in it at all. In the foreign film category, the Academy has always given great importance to the history of the nation the film is being sent from. So it’s usually the films that have some form of historical importance, those that are set in an older time period, or ones based on a very radical topic that get the Academy’s special attention.

Winner, 2016


So far, so good.

But what troubles me is the structure of the films – the Academy does not seem to consider experimentation. Put in something different and it won’t get selected.

The format of Court as a film was very unconventional. Mostly comprising of stills, the film merely observed the happenings of the Indian judicial system along with the lives of those in and around it. Which is absolutely brilliant – though evidently not enough to get you an Oscar.

A Still from Court

No, I’m not stating that Court should’ve won, or that it’s a perfect film, or the other ones are not good enough. I’m just saying that Court deserved a chance and could’ve gone way ahead in the game, if not ousted.

A lot of it has also to do with the perception of our cinema in general. Indian cinema according to the outsiders is just monkeys singing and dancing. And forgive me, as much of a Bollywood fan I am, it’s not entirely false. We’re the country with maximum number of films coming out and yet, we hardly have any movies worth showing whereas there are limited movies coming from a country like, say Iran, but my oh my, aren’t they just beautiful!

And we still have no film winning an Oscar? Some serious thought needed, I think.

There’s no sense in mourning over the fact that a stellar film like Court didn’t get its due at the Academy but it’s quite a learning experience for us, and a wake up call too. For us to make better products, not just for the movies, but also for the mere love of cinema. We need to let go of the fact that we are not just making a film for the Indian diaspora. The WHOLE WORLD is watching us now, we’re a major market. And now if we can’t come up with good stuff, I’m afraid, our cinema will never be taken seriously.

And maybe we, new age students shall be the answer to my hopeful.

“I have a dream…” said Martin Luthur King, and Ladies and Gentlemen, this writer has one too. That perhaps, one day, our cinema would also dominate the Oscars, and that day, my friends, will be a day worth cherishing.


Ram Tarantino