Oscars 2023: From Pather Panchali to Jallikattu, 10 Indian movies that should have won the award. Over more than a century, Indian cinema has created some truly outstanding films that have received a great deal of praise from both domestic and foreign viewers. One of the biggest and most active film industries in the world, India produces a vast variety of films in many different languages and genres. Indian movies in particular have become increasingly popular in recent years thanks to their vibrant cinematography, action, melodrama, and dance sequences (case in point: the brouhaha over RRR). There are also original films from various parts of India that have received praise from reviewers for their creative and cultural value.
While a few Indians have received an Oscar or Academy Award, no Indian-made film—as opposed to one that featured Indians—can now claim an Oscar statuette.
Here are several Indian movies that should have won Oscars but were regrettably passed up by the Academy:
Pather Panchali (1955)
The iconic Satyajit Ray’s Bengali-language film, widely recognized as one of the best created, is credited with introducing Indian filmmaking to the international scene. The movie chronicles the struggles of a family in rural India, led by a little boy named Apu. During the 28th Academy Awards, Pather Panchali was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film, but it did not take home the prize.
Mother India (1957)
This Mehboob Khan film is widely regarded as an Indian cinematic gem. It portrays the tale of a mother who, after her husband deserts the family, fights to care for her kids and run her farm. The movie was up for Best Foreign Language Film at the 30th Academy Awards, but Nights of Cabiria ultimately won.
Salaam Bombay! (1988)
The young boy in this Mira Nair-directed movie runs away from home and ends up surviving on the streets of Mumbai. At the 61st Academy Awards, it was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film,” but fell short against Pelle the Conqueror.
Aamir Khan starred in this grand sports drama movie, which was helmed by Ashutosh Gowariker. At the 74th Academy Awards, it was up for Best Foreign Language Film but fell short of No Man’s Land. The plot, which takes place in pre-independent India, centers on a group of villagers who offer to play cricket against their British colonizers in exchange for a three-year tax break.
This extravagant movie, which was made by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, is an adaptation of the same-named classic Indian book. It received plaudits for its lavish sights and superb performances. Despite all the accolades it received, it did not receive an Oscar nomination.
The narrative of a deaf-blind girl and her bond with her instructor is shown in this Sanjay Leela Bhansali-directed movie. It received plaudits for its moving tale and superb acting, especially from the main actress Rani Mukherjee. It received positive reviews but did not receive an Oscar nomination.
Peepli Live (2010)
Peepli Live, a satirical comedy-drama film directed by Anusha Rizvi and produced by Aamir Khan, is the tale of two destitute farmers in rural India who scheme to kill themselves so that their family might obtain government assistance. The movie examines themes like media sensationalism, political corruption, and farmer suicides in India.
This Marathi-language movie, which was made by Chaitanya Tamhane, is about a trial that took place in a Mumbai lower court. It received plaudits for its incisive societal commentary and distinctive storytelling approach and took home multiple prizes at international film festivals. It received positive reviews, but it wasn’t nominated.
Village Rockstars (2017)
This Rima Das movie is about a little girl named Dhunu who wants to form her rock band and is situated in a secluded village in the northeastern province of Assam. With its magnificent cinematography and accurate depiction of the culture, traditions, and daily life of the peasants, the movie perfectly conveys the beauty and hardships of rural life in India. It offers a glimpse into a way of life that is frequently ignored or inaccurately depicted in the media.
Jallikattu is a Lijo Jose Pellissery-directed Indian action movie in the Malayalam language. It is based on Hareesh’s short story Maoist and shows what happens after a buffalo escapes from a slaughterhouse in a small town in Kerala, India. It has an unusual narrative structure that places more emphasis on the villagers’ responses to the circumstance than on the buffalo itself. By taking this tack, the movie becomes more about the people and their feelings than the animal. The narrative crescendos to a compelling conclusion that is both exciting and thought-provoking.