“It is a personal opinion, it is very subjective"
Shoojit Sircar has reacted to his film, Sardar Udham, not being selected as India’s official entry for the Oscars.
The jury members making the decision had decided against the film being sent, claiming that it portrayed India’s “hatred towards the British”.
Jury member Indraadip Dasgupta said:
“Sardar Udham is a little lengthy and harps on the Jallianwala Bagh incident.
“It is an honest effort to make a lavish film on an unsung hero of the Indian freedom struggle.
“But in the process, it again projects our hatred towards the British.
“In this era of globalisation, it is not fair to hold on to this hatred.”
Sumit Basu, another jury member, said:
“Many have loved Sardar Udham for its cinematic quality including camerawork, editing, sound design and depiction of the period.
“I thought the length of the film was an issue. It has a delayed climax.
“It takes a lot of time for a viewer to feel the real pain for the martyrs of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre.”
The film’s director, Shoojit Sircar, has now reacted.
He explained that while he “respects” the jury’s decision, he called it “very subjective”.
Shoojit said: “It is a personal opinion, it is very subjective, I have no comment on that.
“I respect the jury and their decision. The film that was finally selected, I know about it, and I am glad that it was chosen. I go by the jury’s decision.”
Tamil film Koozhangal was ultimately selected as India’s official Oscars entry.
The film, directed by Vinothraj PS, follows an alcoholic, abusive husband who, after his long-suffering wife runs off, sets out with his young son to find her and bring her back.
It stars newcomers Chellapandi and Karuththadaiyaan. It is produced by Vignesh Shivan and Nayanthara.
Shoojit had previously said of Sardar Udham:
“In history, there was not much about Udham Singh.
“He was a visionary, a revolutionary with purpose, he had a larger purpose.
“Beyond Punjab, many people don’t know about him.
“It’s my perspective of how I see a revolutionary. There are many ways to see a revolutionary, it’s my vision.”
Sardar Udham was released on October 16, 2021, on Amazon Prime Video and starred Vicky Kaushal.
The film told the story of how Sardar Udham Singh avenged the 1919 Jallianwala Bagh massacre.
It followed his journey to London where he subsequently assassinated Michael O’Dwyer in 1940. He had been Punjab’s lieutenant governor at the time of the massacre.