Malayalam film '2018' secures Oscar entry with a message on climate changetext_fields
Kochi: The Film Federation of India has officially announced that the Malayalam film '2018' will be India's official entry to the 95th Academy Awards, commonly known as the Oscars. This impactful cinematic masterpiece, directed by Jude Anthany Joseph, revolves around the tragic and devastating floods that struck Kerala in 2018, resulting in the loss of numerous lives and widespread destruction.
With the global call for climate action, the selection committee decided to put forth '2018' as India's representative at the Oscars. Ravi Kottarakara, President of the Film Federation of India, stated, "The jury has decided to fight global warming, through its selection. Their thinking is to spread the message about the issue." This decision reflects the film's underlying theme of nature's conflict with humanity.
Girish Kasaravalli, Chairman of the selection committee, further emphasized the film's metaphorical significance, saying, "The film, we believe, is a metaphor for the battle between nature and humankind. If we look at it as a metaphor, it is not only about Kerala floods or Chennai floods. It is a metaphor for what our notion of development is."
'2018' showcases the resilience and unity of Kerala during the catastrophic floods, highlighting the sacrifices made by ordinary individuals turned heroes during the crisis. Renowned actors, including Tovino Thomas, Kunchacko Boban, Asif Ali, Vineeth Sreenivasan, Narain, and Kalaiyarasan, portray these real-life heroes.
Fishermen, who braved treacherous conditions to rescue stranded people during the floods, are portrayed by actors Lal, Asif Ali, and Narain. Tovino Thomas takes on a pivotal role, depicting a character who, despite initially fleeing from the Indian Army, ultimately risks his life to save others during the flood.
Kunchacko Boban, Vineeth Sreenivasan, Tamil actor Kalaiyarasan, and Aparna Balamurali also deliver powerful performances in prominent roles.
'2018' was released on the same day as 'The Kerala Story,' a Hindi film that critics have accused of propagating negative stereotypes about the state of Kerala and its Muslim population.
'2018' was chosen by the selection committee from a competitive pool of 22 films. The list included 11 Hindi movies, among them 'The Kerala Story' and 'The Vaccine War.'
Four Tamil films were also in contention, including Mari Selvaraj's 'Maamannan' and 'Viduthalai - Part 1,' both of which tackle the issue of institutional casteism head-on. Four Telugu films were also part of the selection, with Dhanush-starrer 'Sir/Vaathi' being a notable inclusion in both Tamil and Telugu versions.