Vicky Kaushal starrer Sardar Udham was one of the contenders as an official entry from India at the Oscars, but finally didn’t make the cut. Tamil drama Koozhangal, directed by filmmaker Vinothraj PS, was announced as India’s official entry for the 94th Academy Awards. Jury members have talked about why Sardar Udham wasn’t selected, citing the film’s length and theme of revolting against the British as one of the main reasons.
Talking about the Shoojit Sircar directed film, jury member Indraadip Dasgupta said its production lives up to international standards and praised the cinematography of the film as well. But he added that the film 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 globalization, it is not fair to hold on to this hatred."
Another jury member Sumit Basu also said, “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."
During a rountdable interaction with the media on Sardar Udham, director Shoojit Sircar said he had no comment on the jury’s decision. “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," Shoojit said.
Sardar Udham is based on the story of the revolutionary freedom fighter Sardar Udham Singh, played by Vicky Kaushal. It was released over the Dussehra weekend on Amazon Prime Video.
After a few days of deliberation, Tamil film Koozhangal was picked as India’s official selection for Oscars 2022. A jury of 15 members in Kolkata watched 14 films from across the country and made the selection on Saturday. Among the films, Sardar Udham and Vidya Balan-starrer Sherni were also shortlisted.