A 17- member jury headed by acclaimed filmmaker and actor Amol Palekar has selected the Marathi language feature COURT as India’s entry for best foreign language film to compete at the Academy Awards (Oscars) next year.
Directed by Chaitanya Tamhane, COURT is his debut feature film. The film presents a hard hitting non-linear account of the trial of an aging folk singer in a lower court in Mumbai and explicitly portrays a dysfunctional Indian judicial system in an extremely subtle yet in unflinchingly brilliant ways. The court room drama relies not on clichés, eloquent dialogues and extravagant set pieces, but instead on the accurate and mesmerising representations of a leaky judicial system with archaic laws and lawyers who think the case is unworthy of serious scrutiny. The film has a bag of trained and untrained actors who give stellar performances and bring out something so spontaneous that it is blissful to watch them on screen.
The film won the Best Film in Horizons Category and the Luigi de Laurentiis for Tamhane at the 71st Venice International Film Festival along with at least 18 other international film awards. It also won the Best Feature Film at the 62nd National Film Awards. Tamhane took to twitter to express his happiness, “At every juncture of the film’s journey we have felt that it has given us more than we could ever imagine.” The statement aptly portrays his humility and extreme love for the art which was instilled right from his childhood. Chaitanya, now 28, belonged to a middle class Maharashtrian family and used to see Marathi plays with his mother. He started acting for his college plays and also worked as a writer at Balaji Telefilms at the age of 18. It was then that he discovered World Cinema. In his cinematic career, Chaitanya has directed a documentary, a play, a short film and a feature film, all of which received high critical appreciation.
It is the advent of young filmmakers like Chaitanya Tamhane and numerous others who infuse life into the Indian Indie Cinema scene wherein stories like this slowly moulding the way the world perceives Indian Cinema and giving hope to filmmakers to portray many such imaginative yet life like stories. The COURT indeed presents a marvellous CASE and breaks away from the clutches of the rut of commercial cinematic adaptions.
Watch the Official Trailer
Tuhin Sen | TOC
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