Opinion DC Comment 04 Sep 2016 Jackie Chan, really!

Jackie Chan, really!

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published Sep 4, 2016, 1:07 am IST
Updated Sep 4, 2016, 7:07 am IST
No one would deride the work such actors put in risking life and limb while shooting stunts, as Chan explained.
Jackie Chan
 Jackie Chan

The decision to confer an honorary Oscar on the action movie star Jackie Chan is certain to prove very popular with his fans. This does, however, represent a sort of diminishing of the most prestigious awards in the film industry, which are usually reserved for critically acclaimed performances in celluloid. The winners of these awards get the same golden statute that meritorious performers do on the big Oscars night in February each year.

The latest awards, given away at the Governors Awards night in November, are probably governed by the Academy’s newfound resolve to be more inclusive. It appears a bit over the top, however, to see the encomiums of “extraordinary achievements” showered on a movie star who is neither great in thespian abilities nor a true martial arts star in the mould of a Bruce Lee. If longevity and commercial successes are the criteria then even the likes of Rajinikanth in Kabali would qualify for such an award.

 

Films are to be judged for their artistic and technical qualities and not by the scale of their magnetic qualities at the box office. No one would deride the work such actors put in risking life and limb while shooting stunts, as Chan explained. Even then, the Oscars, considered the ultimate in judging dramatic performances, would be risking discounting the principles they stand for. Entertainment is, of course, one of the primary goals of cinema and given the compulsions of the age even the Academy seems to stretch out to accommodate more aspects of the performing arts than merit.

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