Shoojit Sircar terms decision to not send Sardar Udham for Oscars ‘very subjective’, jury member had said film ‘projects’ hatred for British

Stating why Sardar Udham was not sent for the Oscars, one of the jury members said the film "portrays our hatred towards the British" and "harps on Jallianwala Bagh massacre".

Fans of Vicky Kaushal’s latest Sardar Udham have expressed their displeasure on the film not being selected as India’s official entry for the 94th Academy Awards. But the film’s director, Shoojit Sircar feels the jury’s decision to not select the film is “very subjective”.

Interacting with the media recently, Sircar 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.”

Sardar Udham is based on the Indian revolutionary Sardar Udham Singh who assassinated Michael O’Dwyer, the lieutenant governor of Punjab at the time of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in Amritsar. The film stars Vicky Kaushal in the titular role.

Stating why the film was not sent for the Oscars, one of the jury members, Indraadip Dasgupta said the film “portrays our hatred towards the British”. He also gave the length of the movie as one of the reasons for it losing out to Tamil drama Koozhangal (Pebbles) which has been announced as India’s official entry for the Oscars this year.

“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,” Dasgupta told The Times of India.

Another member of the jury, Sumit Basu felt Sardar Udham has a “delayed climax”. He 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.”

Koozhangal (Pebbles), India’s official entry for the 94th Academy Awards, is directed by filmmaker Vinothraj PS. The movie follows an alcoholic and abusive husband who, after his long-suffering wife runs off, sets out with his young son to find her and bring her back.

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