Winning an Oscar is a glorious milestone for any talent in the film industry, but Academy Award winners AR Rahman and Resul Pookutty from India faced a different reality as work from Bollywood eluded them after their win.
Pookutty, a sound designer and audio mixer, tweeted that he and composer Rahman were victims of the ‘Oscar curse’, a popular theory that getting an Oscar could be a death knell for an artist as their display of genius at the Academy works against them.
“It’s faced by everybody. When you are on top of the world and people reject you, it’s the biggest reality check,” said Pookutty, who won an Oscar for sound design for his work in director Danny Boyle’s ‘Slumdog Millionaire’.
Pookutty’s observations lend weight to Rahman’s earlier claim that Bollywood alienates you once there’s an Oscar win to boast about. He believes that there was a ‘gang’ who were spreading rumours about it.
Rahman, who composed music for late actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s swan song ‘Dil Bechara’, revealed during its promotions that Bollywood filmmakers didn’t approach him after his Oscar win for good work.
Director Shekhar Kapur also supported their theory that Bollywood celebrates mediocrity and is wary of superlative talents.
Pookutty chimed in with: “Dear @shekharkapur ask me about it, I had gone through near breakdown as nobody was giving me work in Hindi films and regional cinema held me tight after I won the Oscar... There were production houses told me at my face ”we don’t need you” but still I love my industry,for it.”
Just like Rahman, Pookutty found that Bollywood wasn’t keen to hire him. Director Kapur put in perspective with: “You know what your problem is AR Rahman? You went and got Oscars. An Oscar is the kiss of death in Bollywood. It proves you have more talent than Bollywood can handle.”