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This article was first published 21 years ago  » Movies » Devdas failed where Lagaan triumphed

Devdas failed where Lagaan triumphed

By Priyanka Nair in Mumbai
February 12, 2003 12:49 IST
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Financier Bharat Shah's $3 million didn't help Devdas secure a nomination in the foreign films category for the 75th  Academy Awards.

Sanjay Leela Bhansali's film had grandeur but it was still the story of a loser, unlike last year's Best Foreign Film nominee Lagaan, with its David triumphing over Goliath theme. Oscar voters are known to favour triumph tales.

Last year, Lagaan secured a nomination thanks to Aamir Khan's tenacity. The producer-actor persuaded several score voters to watch his movie. Devdas had 55 screenings before the nominations were announced. Shah apparently failed to get his cast -- Shah Rukh Khan, Madhuri Dixit and Aishwarya Rai -- and director Bhansali to promote the film, and spent $3 million on marketing it to Oscar voters.

When news of Devdas failing to make the Oscars shortlist broke, Bhansali and Shah Rukh were unavailable for comment. Only Jackie Shroff, who played Chunnilal in the film, spoke, saying, "Dukh hua, but we have BAFTA and many other festivals. We are not losing hope."

Devdas was among BAFTA's Top Five films this year. Time magazine's Top Ten Films list had Devdas at the No 4 slot.

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Priyanka Nair in Mumbai