The Filmfare awards, India’s answer to the Golden Globe, SAG, Oscars and BAFTA all rolled into one, was telecast yesterday.
For the last couple of years, the awards are held at Yash Raj studios and the performances usually happen separately and the entire event is then edited and cutaway shots of the actors in the audience are interspersed as and when the editors in their wisdom feel they should be. That makes for interesting viewing because you’ll see that the person sitting next to Piggy Chops has changed at least 5 times. So either she’s really unpleasant to sit next to, or there’s something fishy at the editing table.
Since it was the 100th year of Indian cinema, one would think that it would be even bigger and better and hopefully not longer than before — at 4 hours, it is a bit of a stretch. You usually feel like you’re watching Lagaan without the entertainment or popcorn. Here are the top 10 things that have haunted my dreams ever since I saw the awards last night.
1. Nach Baliye rocks. Going by the sheer number of dance performances, each worse than the last, this was more Nach Baliye, less Filmfare. From Katrina Kaif looking stunning but simply standing and swaying to some music, and Ranvir Singh jumping around like Jiminy Cricket and SRK doing some half-baked Hugh Jackman-ish dance, you really felt that you were watching Nach Baliye. And that suddenly Rahul Mahajan and Dimpy would skip on to the stage. Which might have been more entertaining, but instead we got Amrita Rao and Chunky Pandey.
2. The land of the forgotten star. Even has-beens are allowed into Filmfare. The camera panning over the audience at the awards revealed has-beens, never-beens, will-never-bes all filling up the seats at the studio. From Chunky Pandey to Tanisha to Amrita Rao to Minisha Lamba, they were all there. Some of them even presented awards. At least it shows that the Filmfare folks are an inclusive lot, or desperate. The motto seemed to be if you have empty seats you better call anyone you can to fill them up.
3. The resurrection of Yash Chopra. Karan Johar in a white dinner jacket with a shiny black lapel played God and announced to Pam Chopra and the audience that Yash Chopra was a “living” legend. Pam looked shocked to say the least. I thought they might be introducing a 3-D film on Chopra. But no, it was simply the Queen's language getting the better of poor KJo.
4. The Vanishing Hosts. Now after the Golden Globes hosted by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, the SAG awards with Seth McFarlane and the BAFTA by the fabulously funny Stephen Fry – maybe I’d set my benchmark a little high. But still. Saif — who is starting to look like the lovechild of Paul Anka and a lounge lizard — and SRK — who must realise that when you’re pushing 50 unless you’re Ozzy Osbourne a wee ponytail simply looks stupid — were quite the letdown. Jokes on masturbation and not much else were the flavour of the day. Also, when Hugh Jackman does a better dance and musical opening number at an awards show, it’s time for SRK to hang up his dancing boots. And why did SRK and Saif suddenly vanish in the middle of the awards, to be replaced by KJo? Without even a by-your-leave. It was the third hour though, so not much was making sense anymore. However KJo has good elocution talents — he read the sponsor names beautifully.
5. What's up with Rekha? With Rekha togged up in her Kanjeevaram and flowing hair and Farzana sitting next to her in what looked like one of SRK’s old tuxes, they made for a very odd couple. And why does Rekha sport sindoor nowadays? Is it because she thinks it matches her saree, or is it a nod of acknowledgment to the husband past? Although you might have missed the smidgen of sindoor for her massive fake eyelashes.
6. The resurrection of Michael Jackson’s nose. On Minissha Lamba's face. It amazes me how so many of our actresses seem to have the exact same nose as Jacko. Is this how he will live on in our lives? Or is this their way of showing their love for the strange-nosed wonder? What's nice is that this nose cuts across all levels of celebrity — from Sridevi to Koena Mitra to Minisha Lamba, and one size fits all.
7. Gillette is obviously not a sponsor of Filmfare. This was made amply clear by the fact that everyone was sporting the same facial scruff. Sujoy Ghosh, Saif, Shah Rukh, Hrithik, Irfan, Ranvir Singh — they looked like the great unwashed and unshaved. Maybe grunge is back and we just didn’t know it.
8. Ganesh is the patron saint of Filmfare awards or any Hindi film awards show. If there isn't a Ganpati Bappa morya dance number, the show can simply not go on. So the last awards I saw had Sonakshi Sinha bounding around the obviously very sturdy stage and dancing to the chants of Ganpati bappa morya. The next awards had Piggy Chops held aloft over the audiences while Ganpati bappa morya played. And Filmfare had our answer to the man without bones, Hrithik, dancing like a man possessed to Ganpati Bappa morya again. Given the religious fervor with which he was dancing and the verve with which the audience was chanting, I expected Raj Thackeray and Udhav to suddenly run on to the stage with their party workers and start matching steps with Hrithik for a grand climax. But such was not to be.
9. White is the new black. Going by the two hosts — the main one and the understudy — dressing like a maître d’ is the way to go. Saif in his full white tux and KJo in his white dinner jacket looked like they’d either start playing some lounge music or taking drinks orders from everyone.
10. And finally, the takeover of Bollywood by the Bengali. It seems the Bong community is to Bollywood what the Jewish community is to Hollywood. Three of the best films of the year were made by Bong men — Shoojit Sircar, Sujoy Ghosh and Anurag Basu. Finally our community can hold their heads up high and say that Bong men aren't as useless as everyone thinks. May the acolytes of Satyajit and Ghatak live long and prosper.
Disclaimer: Firstpost is part of Network 18 group that also consists of channels like Colors that host its own film award function.