The Shape of Water's Best Picture win at 2018 Oscars reflects Academy's bent for honouring inexplicable films

Bikram Vohra

Mar,05 2018 13:19:58 IST

The Shape of Water has won the Best Picture Oscar at the 90th Academy Awards. I think the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences does this just to be perverse to people like myself, who are left holding the short stick.

This is for those of us who simply cannot understand how the best movie statuettes go to movies we do not understand. I have so often felt the odd one out and am beginning to have a complex about this. There have to be others like me who enjoy a good film without odd monsters and pointy-nosed aliens and sullen faces, large foreheads and pasty lips mouthing monotone dialogue.

Still from The Shape of Water, which won the Best Picture Oscar at the 90th Academy Awards

Still from The Shape of Water, which won the Best Picture Oscar at the 90th Academy Awards

As for the Oscars, ever since I failed to understand Dances with Wolves and it won in 1991 (Best Picture/Director/Adapted Screenplay/Cinematography/Editing/Sound Mixing/Actor/Original Score) I have come to the conclusion that these awards are given to films that sideline people like me and make us the exception. They are specifically shot to make us look bad. The Hurt Locker left me wounded to the core and I had to use superglue to stay in my seat. Birdman just did not fly and started with a broken wing… what on earth was it about? Remember The Artist and not knowing what was unfolding on the screen? And the worst thing about these films — including The English Patient and Braveheart — is that everyone else around you gets all intellectual and profound and they tell you that you failed to grasp the nuances. Oh really, nuances! I went to see a movie, okay? If I wanted to grasp nuances, I would have gone to a rendition of Beethoven.

Black Panther will have to leap about without my patronage as will all sci-fi movies. And so will The Shape of Water and anything that is supernatural or has a hunk of horror in it. No reason to pay to be scared — he monthly bills are enough to inspire fear!

Oscars 2018 complete winners list: Gary Oldman is best Actor, Frances McDormand Best Actress, Best Picture is The Shape of Water

I remember watching Moonlight and it was so boring, I slept through it. The subject was laudable but the movie dragged like it had a ton of rocks attached to it. After which I had to suffer these pseudo-nouveau types yapping on about sensitivity and the storyline and the pathos and the threading of the narrative and I almost wished for the sunlight to blind them all.

Get Out bordered on the absurd but everyone raved about it and it is this raving that minimises my intellect when in company. There you are, trying to figure out why this movie won, while people praise it to the skies; and since you haven’t the nerve to say that you have no clue what the film was all about (and risk being laughed out of the room), you nod dumbly. There are folks who have ‘interpreted’ the deep, dark core of the film and its impact on the inner psyche and here you are, you dumb ox, not even capable of penetrating the outer skin of the same psyche.

Is there no one out there who can say 'hey, let’s make a movie that people can relate to' and then give it an Oscar, instead of these exercises of grim folks in white coats and steel shirts?

Updated Date: Mar 05, 2018 19:20 PM