23 September, 2013

The Lunchbox Vs The Good Road Debate And Why All of You Are Idiots

You’re all idiots. I mean it. Each and every one of you, who thought, tweeted, blogged, or mentioned anything remotely similar to the following;

I’m disappointed that the Lunchbox was not sent as India’s entry to the Oscars. We’ve lost our only chance of getting an Oscar. Can’t believe they sent The Good Road. I haven’t seen the film, so cannot comment on it, but I can’t believe how corrupt the selection committee is.

I know there are a bunch of you out there who have been quite vocal about your sentiments which more or less mirror what I have written above. Normally I am all for debate and I think everyone has the right to have an opinion, but not people who haven’t seen both the films. Admit it; most of you haven’t seen The Good Road? I for one haven’t seen either of the two, but at least I’m not idiotic enough to go on about comparing them.

So, I shall categorically tell you why it is that I think you are all idiots;

Let’s start with the most obvious reason and that is of course the fact that YOU HAVE NOT SEEN The Good Road. You probably had no clue that the film existed and that it was a National Award winner. Keep this in mind because that’s another reason why your should not jump to conclusions.  Since you haven’t seen the film, do you actually think you have the right to compare it with anything else? All the quotes, including those from noted film critics, are quick to state that they haven’t seen the film so they cannot comment on it. Well, you are commenting on it when you say that it is not as good a choice as The Lunchbox. Moreover, you are idiotic enough to tell the world that you base your judgements without even looking at all the possibilities. Now, what does that say about you? Have an ounce of decency and shame before you misuse social media and give out half arsed comments.

Obviously the makers of The Lunchbox are extremely disappointed. I don’t blame them as much as I do you, even though some of them have also commented that they too haven’t seen The Good Road. I mean the film is their hard work and their baby so to speak, and just like a mother loves her child unconditionally and thinks of them as the best, I can understand their emotions. But I would expect a little bit of professionalism from these champions of Indian Cinema. You want us to watch your films, want us to pay for your films and make them blockbusters. You crib when unanimously appreciated films don’t make money, but all you seem to worry about is that your film wasn’t selected for the Oscars. Have a heart and congratulate your competition. It is after all a film from your own country. It can do with all the support it can get especially from people of the industry. And yes, taking out full page adverts that mention comments from international critics stating that The Lunchbox would have done well at the Oscars is not doing anyone any favours, it just shows how much cinema really means to you and that it’s not really about the art anymore, and that you are sour losers?  

Anyhow my dear idiots, since you have been so generous with forcing your opinions all over the web I would like to ask you one simple question; how many of you even thought about watching The Good Road, because not one of you mentioned that? No one seems to be complaining that The Good Road has not been available to view in theatres. No one is asking to see it. No one is even bothered about it. Aren’t you even a tiny bit curious about it? Here is a film that has been selected over The Lunchbox; the film that you support wholeheartedly, and everyone is disappointed about that and not even excited to see the film that was chosen over your most beloved film of the year. Think a little about that, I know you will eventually get the point.

Here’s something that boils my blood. I was reading a blog where someone had tried to explain why The Lunchbox was the perfect choice for the Oscars. They obviously hadn’t seen The Good Road and as you can guess “could not comment on it”. Genius I tell you. Mid-way through the long article, the Good Road was actually referred to as “The Gujrati One” and the person found it hard to believe that regional cinema would be chosen over a “Bollywood film”. I don’t even know what to say about this. I mean talk about nationalism and being a democracy and well hypocrisy. I think if language is one of the reasons why you feel the Lunchbox fairs a better chance at the Oscars, I would like to remind you idiots that firstly Hindi is also a foreign language for them and no different than Gujrati, not to mention that the film is going in THE FOREIGN LANGUAGE CATEGORY! 

Let’s come to another major aspect and that is the backing for each of the films. The Good Road obviously has very little, and The Lunchbox obviously has more than what it requires, especially if it as good as a film it claims to be. So, when someone says that The Lunchbox has a better chance of making it at the Oscars because it will be backed well by the producers, I just want to ask if we send films because we think they reflect India, our culture, our art, and our film industry or whether we send films for the sake of winning only. Not to mention if all it takes to win is producers putting in more money to back their film, then are Oscars really what they are meant to be? Forget about the producers, how many of YOU are taking the initiative now to back The Good Road? Shouldn’t you take the first step and demand that you want to watch the film? But wait, that would include you having to view regional cinema and watch a film with subtitles and that certainly cannot be accepted now can it? Idiots!

This finally leads me to the big one. The Oscars and how we are so bloody desperate to be accepted by the West. We make more films than any other nation in the world. We make excellent films. Instead of feeling proud and shouting from the top of the mountain that we have films that half the world might not see, and that’s why we have something so special and unique, what we do is resort to what can only be called begging in order to get some sort of acknowledgement from our western counterparts. I’m not saying don’t send films to festivals or don’t educate people about Indian cinema. But also work together, because when you don’t all it seems like is that you are after fame and fortune and once again it no longer is about art. And let me tell you dear idiots, when and if a film does well internationally the only one who is going to benefit out of it are the makers and producers of the film. It is a business like any other. So don’t get carried away in these sentiments about India winning the Oscar. We will win it, and we will celebrate it like no tomorrow, and we should be proud of it no matter what film it is, but in the end there will be only one person who will be laughing away to the bank.     

The sad truth about my post is that at a later date when I have seen both the films I might agree with you, I do not know. There is a good chance that I might actually think that The Lunchbox was a great film and would have done well in the Oscars. But, at least I would have made an informed opinion and comment, and that is why I am not an idiot like you.

On second thought maybe I am an idiot, because I just spent all this time and energy trying to prove you of your idiocy. Though, hopefully now, when you don’t know what you are talking about you will SHUT YOUR PEEP HOLE.          


  1. Lunchbox have done well in its category in Indian Cinemas and possibly also in many houses through the pirated version. The story unfurled by super duper acting connected to many Indian hearts in India and dominant Indian populations in abroad. Even it would have been sent to abroad for competition there would have been no prizes otherwise Aamir Khan would have been flooded with Prizes.

    1. True, I think everyone is making a mountain out of a mole hill. Cheers!

  2. A well-written piece, Raghav! I think, for the kind of cinema we produce, regional cinema must be encouraged and allowed to be screened in a manner that it is universally acceptable. However, this debate about The Lunchbox vs The Good Road is premature and extremely lame. I agree with your point that we make the largest number of films worldwide and hence it is a reason for celebration in itself. However, I think we must not really be bothered with the kind of films that have been receiving the Oscars lately, its credibility is lost.Nonetheless, if a film is good enough to sustain on the basis of its performances, we will win an Oscar some day. Amen!

    1. Thanks Akshay. I will be very happy whenever India wins an Oscar, but I am also fine it not winning. I think we make great cinema in our country and that is enough for me.

  3. I am a nerd and I have watched very few films. So yes, I am looking forward to read movie reviews. This one, by the way, was extremely well written. :D

    PS New follower aboard. :D