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filmfare awards 2009 … bucking the trend

https://i0.wp.com/www.filmfestivalworld.com/fileadmin/media/resources/FilmFare_Award_trophy_1_full.jpgFinally, sanity is being restored, or at least an effort is being made to do so, in the 54th Filmfare Awards. I was so glad to see movies like Rock OnOLLO and MMJ winning, and movies like RNBDJ and Dostana taking a backseat. Although the nominations were a little fuzzy[some categories had 5 nominations and some had 6, just to please a few people I guess], but given the limited scope of the nominations, most of the awards were well deserved.

Let me start with the Lifetime Achievment Award section. Bhanu Athaiya was a very good choice, especially because costume designers have never really been given their due. In fact, the Best Costume Design category was introduced so late, in 1994, only after seeing what Manish Malhotra’s costume did to Urmila Matondkar; from a demure girl next door he turned her into a sex symbol overnight. Back to Bhanu, she won the Oscar for Gandhi[1982] and that’s been her greatest achievement till date. But considering her work in Bollywood, she did a good job in Lagaan, Swades,1942ALSChandni and Razia Sultan. Her list of work shows her predilection and brilliance for period dramas where she has a fantastic sense of color, fabric and designing.
Om Puri being awarded this, ahead of Naseeruddin Shah, that was a bit of a disappointment. I think they should have been awarded together at least. These two giants of the arthouse cinema in the 1980’s did some terrific work. They have not been given enough credit, but this award is probably a way of doing so.

Coming to the Critics AwardShahana Goswami was deserving of it. Her work in Rock On was awesome, her raw talent and the spontaneous expressions shone through very well. But at the same time, Manjot Singh for OLLO was not a very good choice in my opinion. In fact, Paresh Rawal and Abhay Deol deserved it more than Manjot. And outside ofOLLO, Paresh Rawal for MMJ or Naseer for A Wednesday would have been a much better choice. Nishikant Kamat forMMJ was again a good pick, but I don’t understand this Special Jury Mention for Prateik Babbar and Purab Kohli. What does this award mean? And why Prateik Babbar?? For slouching on the couch, being untidy, and having the foresight that Sushant Modi[Ayaz Khan] is not the right guy for his sis?? And Purab Kohli! He had nothing to lose in Rock On, he was just caught in-between Arjun Rampal and Farhan Akhtar’s ego clash. When they called the band off, he happily joined his dad’s business; when the band was reinstated he started driving around in the SUV once more. He was happy either ways and did not help further the cause of the story.

Talking about stories, Best Story for Rock On was a little surprising. Lots of films in 2008 had amazing stories to tell, like AamirA WednesdayMMJ. I kept cosoling myself that Dostana and Ghajini did not win it. Best Screenplay was awarded to MMJ and Best Dialogues to OLLO and I had no complains with it.

In the techincal awards section, two awards that I didn’t agree at all are Best Costume Design and Best Art Direction. I thought OLLO was shot on location, so where was the Production Design. And the costumes looked like everyday stuff, jogging suits, sneakers, waist-coats, casual wear. In fact, Jodha-Akbar deserved both these awards, for the elaborate sets and the intricate jewellery and costumes. I would like it if someone can explain this to me.

I was happy with all other awards, like Best Cinematography and Sound Design for Rock OnBest Editing went toMMJ, it could have gone to A Wednesday or Aamir too[except for the dragged last 20 mins]; and I cared less for Best ChoregraphyBest Action and Best Visual Effects where the winners were Pappu Can’t Dance SaalaGhajini andLovestory 2050, respectively.

I was totally ok with the debut award for male, being shared by both Farhan Akhtar and Imran Khan; similarly the female debut award should have been shared by Asin and Anushka Sharma, instead Asin took it home.

Arjun Rampal for Best Supporting Actor was good, but Kangana Ranaut for Best Supporting Actress was unexpected and undeserved. Shahana Goswami for Rock On or  Ratna Pathak for JTYJN would have been a much better choice. The problem with Kangana’s performance is that, she is unidimensional and has no range. Give her such a role, and 9 out of 10 times, she will just sleep-walk through it like in Life…In A Metro or Gangster or Woh Lamhe.

Music awards were doled out pretty judiciously. Sukhwinder Singh for Haule Haule and Shreya Ghosal for Teri Orewere really good choices. For the award of Best Music Director, I am sure it must have been a close fight betweenShankar-Ehsaan-Loy who produced some great score for Rock On and ARR who was also competing against himself with 3 nominations. But, ARR winning for JTYJN did not go down well, I shall consider this as an award for all the good work Rahman did in 2008, i.e., Jodha-Akbar and Ghajini included. And ARR for Best Background score of Jodha Akbar was good news. Regarding the RD Burman award, not sure how this is rewarded, but I think Amit Trivedishould have been awarded. Finally, the lyrics award for Javed Akhtar was also fine for his simple and meaningful words in Jashn-e-bahara.

Talking now about the mainstream awards, no complains about the Best Director and Best MovieAshutosh Gowariker did a great deal of research and a lot of hardwork went into Jodha Akbar. There was nobody more deserving than him, in the category. I would like to contest the Best Actor and Best Actress, though. Taking for granted that its more of a popular vote, Hrithik and Priyanka still did not deserve it; they may have won but they were not the best. In fact, newbie Anushka Sharma and Aishwarya Rai did a better job in RNBDJ and Jodha Akbar, repectively. Even if it was popular vote, then Aamir Khan and Aishwarya Rai should have won.

All said and done, I think the awards were balanced out pretty well. I would any day accept these results than watchRNBDJ/Ghajini/Dostana take away awards and accolades. I would like to see some transparency in the entire process, though. The system should change, at least introduce a jury for popular award and give 50-50 weightage to public votes as well as jury members votes. That way, there will be more clarity in the process.

At the end of the day, good cinema won. At least the awards will help further the cause of independent cinema and meaningful work, and be appreciative and motivational for film-makers who want to tell us new and different stories. And I hope this trend will stay, not just prove to be an abberation. Perhaps, haule-haule se hawa lagti hai

This post was first published on PFC

 
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Posted by on November 7, 2009 in bollywood, movies

 

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most memorable filmfare awards of 1992-93

Most awards, you know, they don’t give you unless you go and get them – did you know that? Terribly discouraging.
Barbra Streisand

The topic of awards is quite a sensitive one. But, at the same time its also a topic of much controversy when the right people do not get it and the wrong ones are awarded, for whatever reasons.

Like the practise goes, of giving away awards a year after they release, obviously; here too the awards were given away in 1993 for the films that released in 1992. This awards  night was the last time that I saw the entire show. One of the reasons being that, I had started losing respect for them.

Anyways, this award night was quite remarkable in more ways than one. This was also the last time that Aamir Khan attended the show. Not just attended the show, he performed too. Aamir and Juhi danced to the Ghoonghat Ki Aad Se Dilbar Ka song from the movie HHRPK. In fact, Filmfare awards was a kind of platform to promote upcoming movies and stars usually performed songs from their to-be released movies, thereby reaching a wider audience.

Shahrukh too performed, alongwith Kajol, to the songs of Baazigar. It was great to see Aamir and SRK on Filmfare podium. It just looked like the future of Indian movies was bright, in safe hands and heading in the right direction.

Coming back to the awards distribution, let me start with the last award of the night. The previous year, in 1992, Dimple Kapadia was called on stage to give away the award for Best Actor. She had pulled open the envelope with great enthusiasm and she shrieked into the mike with all her energy ‘Amitabh Bachchan for Hum‘ and had handed-over the award to Bachchan with great excitement. This being 1993, and Bachchan being nominated for Khuda Gawah, it seemed like it was more than a coincidence that Dimple Kapadia was asked to give away the prestigious award again. When she came onto the dias, she seemed to be so unexcited and disinterested. She did not even pull open the envelope, she just held it up in the air, against the light, and calmly declared ‘Anil Kapoor for Beta‘.

I felt Dimple was being teased, she herself might have felt that. That aside, when there were more worthy nominees like Aamir for JJWS and Bachchan, the award went to Anil for a movie that was carried entirely on Madhuri Dixit’s shoulder. Not just this award, Beta swept the awards with Best Actress for Madhuri, Best Supporting Actress for Aruna Irani, Best Female Singer for Anuradha Paudwal for Dhak-dhak number, and of course the Best Choregraphy for Saroj Khan for the same song.

JJWS won just 1 award for Best Film. JJWS did not win any awards in acting categories, what was more disappointing was the way in which JJWS was deprived of awards in music category. There was a minor goof-up on the stage, while the nominess were being read out for Best Lyricist, Majrooh saab heard his name and mistook it for the announcement of the winner and he just walked onto the stage. The award was very undeservedly given to Sameer for Teri Umeed Tera Intezar Karte Hain, and Majrooh’s fantastic lyrics of Pehla Nasha Pehla Khumar was swept aside. It took Simi Grewal’s experience that she handled, what could have become an utterly embarassing situation, by asking Majrooh to hand-over the award to Sameer.

After that, the Best Music Director award went to Nadeem-Shravan for Deewana, and Jatin-Lalit’s wonderful tunes of JJWS were side-lined; that was really disheartening. The worst was not over yet. The nominations in the Best Male Singer was read out and again the award went to Kumar Sanu for Sochenge Tumhe Pyar Karen Ki Nahi from Deewana. I was so disappointed that Udit Narayan did not win the award for Pehla Nasha Pehla Khumar. Not just disappointed, that was the first, last and only time that I cried for an award not being given to the most deserved one.

That very moment I told to myself, lets see 10 years down the line which song will be remembered. I did not have to wait for 10 years because within 2-3 years people forgot the tunes and lyrics of Deewana while Pehla Nasha became the anthem for all lovers, for everyone who is in love, for everybody who has romance alive in their hearts. The song has become immortal and there is hardly anyone who has not heard the song Pehla Nasha.

Pehla Nasha … a song that pushed an entire generation to fall in love, a song that resonates in our ears whenever we hear about a new budding love-story, a song thats present in every compilation of love songs and Valentine’s Day celebrations. Udit’s mellifluous voice, the simple and melodious piano sequence, the wonderful lyrics…the song is just pure magic.

There onwards, the trend continued and awards were being doled out to all the undeserving people. It turned into a popularity award instead of an award being given for talent or achievement. I soon lost faith in the awards as the sanctity of awards was being destroyed.

I was reminded of the celebrations that took place when the founders of the awards had called upon Gregory Peck to inaugrate the first Filmfare Awards. It was all so promising that we had an awards show on the lines of the Academy Awards [Oscars] and that awards would be given to recognise the contribution and talent of film-makers and as an encouragement to do better work ahead.

And here we had the institution of awards becoming a machinery being oiled by the celebrities whom the panelist/jurist/trustess favoured. The more I hated awards, the more number of awards ceremony sprung up from all quarters. We soon had Zee, Star, Screen, Stardust giving out awards. Anyways, coming back to Filmfare Awards, it was saddening to see the awards being celebritized.

To end the post on a bright note, this year the awards that were given away for movies in 2008 was much better and more fairer. I even wrote about it here. I hope they are in the right track on their way to recover lost glory.

 
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Posted by on April 25, 2009 in AWARDS, bollywood, movies

 

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