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Saturday, October 16, 2021

Whose awards are these anyway?

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FILMI FEMME takes a pragmatic look behind the scenes at .Bollywood’s award blockbusters.

The award season is in full swing in Bollywood, as well as it’s ‘phoren’ counterpart, Hollywood. So whilst Hollywood Boulevard has a handful of award ceremonies leading up to the Big Daddy of them all, the Oscars; Bollywood, (ahem!) has 15-odd ceremonies as every noted newspaper, periodical or television network now has an award honouring the so-called talent from B-town.

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Though the Black Lady, the Filmfare awards is the Big Momma, one can be assured that B-town has plenty of award nights to keep the stars busy and their shelves weighed down with trophies – the Screen awards, Stardust awards, Zee awards, the list is endless.

But this year the organisers are in a bit of a spot as the unanimous choice for the big awards, the ‘Best Actor’ and ‘Best Actress’ trophy winners have distanced themselves from the awards. Yes, Aamir Khan who, in the last 15 years has not attended a single awards night nor has ever bothered with sending his home productions for nominations, is once again in the running for ‘Best Actor’ for ‘PK’. The film has sent cash registers berserk and has been a favourite, but the Khan… well, he just “khan’t” be caught attending an awards night.

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Talking about the ladies, we come to the ‘Queen’ who reigned supreme, Kangana Ranaut. The actress gave a stellar performance but pronounced that she refuses to attend or accept any award, and her reason? “I have better things to do than sit through 5 hours of nonsense,” she stated. Hmmm….

Khan and Ranaut aren’t the only ones who have expressed their disdain for awards; Ajay Devgn too, has time and time again expressed his reservations on the sanctity of Bollywood awards and why he is mostly in absentia. “There are about 15 awards, they are just ways to increase channel TRP’s. Your presence, be it in the audience or on stage is what merits you an award. Do you seriously think they give any importance to talent?” he asked ironically.

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A point expressed by many including young Sonakshi Sinha who was disappointed that her stirring performance in ‘Lootera’ didn’t get her an award; on the other hand a film like ‘Holiday’ in which she hardly had anything to do, garnered her a nomination. “I mean seriously, ‘Holiday’ wasn’t my film and I didn’t do anything in it, so why even consider me for a nomination; but yes ‘Lootera’ was a brilliant film, but it got me nothing,” she rued. “Although yes, I like performing at awards,” Sonakshi added with a smile. Even Priyanka Chopra had expressed her disappointment on losing the top actor prize in ‘Barfi’ to Vidya Balan’s
‘Kahani’. Now could this have anything to do with the fact that although Ms Balan had presented a stellar performer, she also happened to be UTV head honcho’s better half? Hmmmm…

let’s no secret that organisers have tempted stars with trophies in exchange for an award, and its no surprises why non-actors like Katrina Kaif have bagged awards, or Kareena Kapoor, with more flops to her credit than hits, religiously perform at awards and have been given consolation prizes.

King Khan has often been charged for buying awards and affections, and has scooped trophies for the most hideous of his performances. But he’s also a constant performer and is present at awards nights. Perhaps that explains why ‘Happy New Year’ panned by critics and detested by the most sane of viewers, swept the Stardust awards, including ‘Star of the Year’ for Shah Rukh and ‘Dream Director’ for Farah Khan. So as the awards circus starts, so do the channel wars in upping the ante on ostentatious ceremonies, vulgar jokes and raunchy performances. Which makes us wonder, whose awards are these anyway?

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