Gujarati film Chhello Show -- Last Film Show in English -- is India’s official entry for the 95th Oscars. It beat movies like SS Rajamouli-directorial RRR, Anupam Kher-starrer The Kashmir Files and Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt-starrer Brahmastra to make it as India's official entry.
Film Federation of India (FFI) President TP Aggarwal said the film was chosen unanimously as India’s official entry to Oscars. Aggarwal told news agency PTI, “The 17-member jury unanimously chose ‘Chhello Show’. There [was] a total of 13 films of different languages including six in Hindi– Brahmastra, The Kashmir Files, Anek, Jhund, Badhaai Do and Rocketry– and one each in Tamil (Iravin Nizhal), Telugu (RRR), Bengali (Aparajito) and Gujarati (Chhello Show) as well as few others.”
Chhello Show has been directed by Pan Nalin and features Bhavin Rabri, Richa Meena, Vikas Bata, Bhavesh Shrimali, Dipen Raval and Rahul Koli in significant roles. The film’s story is inspired by Nalin’s memories of falling in love with movies as a child in Gujarat’s Saurashtra village.
The Pan Nalin-directorial is a coming-of-age drama which focuses on a nine-year-old who loves cinema and how he bribes his way into a movie palace and spends his summer vacation watching movies from the projection booth.
Siddharth Roy Kapur’s banner Roy Kapur Films, Jugaad Motion Pictures, Monsoon FIlms, Chhello Show LLP and Marc Duale have jointly produced this film. Nalin is best known for his films like Samsara, Angry Indian Goddesses and Valley of Flowers.
Reacting on the Oscars 2023 nomination, Pan Nalin said in a statement, "I could have never imagined such a day would come and bring light and celebration of light. 'Chhello Show' has been enjoying love from around the world but there was an ache in my heart that how do I make India discover it? Now I can breathe again and believe in cinema that entertains, inspires and enlightens! Thank you FFI, Thank you Jury."
Meanwhile, netizens are saying that the Junior NTR and Ram Charan-starrer magnum opus RRR should have been sent for Oscars.
A user shared a meme straight out of the Gangs of Wasseypur franchise and wrote, “RRR can still be submitted directly in all possible categories including Best Picture. FFI stupidity made sure we missed out on nominations in the international film category. Craze from the west. CHINA, JAPAN, 28 other countries release will keep our #RRRForOscars campaign alive.”
Film critic and trade analyst Sumit Kadel shared a scene from the SS Rajamouli-directorial and wrote, “This scene alone deserves an Oscar Award this year.. Rooting and praying for RRR.. SS Rajamouli, Junior NTR, Ram Charan, MM Keeravani, they all deserve an academy award for the spectacle they have created which made Indian cinema proud globally!!”
Another user begged to differ and tweeted, “No doubt RRR is a fabulous movie and has got good in the mass market and I personally loved it. But considering the movie as a whole, I don’t think this movie is anywhere close to the Oscars.”
SS Rajamouli talked about RRR’s impact in the West and said, “Never ever [had] I expected RRR to do well with the Western audiences. I didn’t even have an inclination for that. When RRR released [in the West], I started getting the responses, I thought maybe there are few. Then few became hundreds and hundreds became thousands and film people from different fields were talking highly of RRR, I realised something that I never knew about myself or my films. I am still trying to understand to be honest.”
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