Saturday, March 11, 2006

Filmfare Awards (yeah, and Oscars too)

Warning: For Bollywood watchers.

My local Indian film store guy is the kind of guy who would probably give you the shirt of his back with a smile. It is because of nice guys like him that people like me can persist in my behavior of promising to return a 4-day rental in only a week and then keep it for two months. After finally returning Ek Ajnabee, I brought home the recently conducted Filmfare awards (the Oscar of Bollywood cinema). After watching the ceremony (thank God for the fast forward button during the boring acceptance speeches and some trademark cringe-worthy Javed jokes), I have a few thoughts.

First, the Oscars.

You suck.

I got tricked into watching the Oscars - that too because Jon Stewart was hosting it - and after the first hour I lost all interest in it. I let it play in the background while I read the reviews of the latest Prince of Persia game. The highlight and most praised act of the Oscars - a performance by Three 6 Mafia - puhleeeze! The Filmfare awards opened with such an act.

Second. Neha Dhupia and Emraan Hashmi. The former looks baaaad without makeup. And the later, boy when Emraan confessed in the outtakes that he couldn't dance - he wasn't kidding. He just stopped being a role model for all young kids out there.

Third. Here's another difference from the Oscars. The Oscars are the Oscars. The Filmfare awards this year was the FairOne Filmfare awards. Last year it was the Manikchand Filmfare Awards. Next year it will be the Saundarya-Sabun-Nirma-Detergent-Pepsi-Bajaj Filmfare Awards.

Fourth. The Best Action Director award was won by a woman (for Dus). A woman. Fighting. In India.

Fifth. Whenever Amitabh Bachchan's name was mentioned, they would show his wife Jaya, and then switch to Rekha. Everytime.

Sixth. Another reason why the Oscars suck. The Filmfare awards stage and the set itself deserved an award. The lights, which flashed and changed colours on cue during the performances, the screens, and the arches were all flashy. The Oscars - drab.

Seventh - Ya, I do notice a lot of things. Shiamak Davar rules. His choreography, in particular the Zinda Hu Mein song by Lara Dutta, was mind blowing. No wonder Will Smith - aka Willu Bhai according to Abhishek - was floored.

One more thing. It was nice to see the filmstars actually come to an awards show with their parents and wives rather than 'partners'. Almost every award winner thanked their families and their parents. Abhishek Bachchan paid a tribute to his father (and then they showed Rekha again).

One reason why Indian films are so much more popular across the world, from Sudan to Indonesia, from Arabia to South Africa, is that they are a lot closer to many cultures than Hollywood. In the Middle East cinema halls (in the countries where cinemas are allowed) it was not uncommon to see an Arab man in a dhobe enter the hall, followed by four women in bukha, all seated beside a Pakistani family in salwaar kameez and sari, to enjoy the latest Indian flick.



NAB said...

Reasons why Filmfare is an excuse for an award show:

1. It's biased. I don't need to give reasons why. It just is. And people know that.

2. Ever wondered why one movie tends to win all the awards? And why is it always an SRK, Amitabh, Hrithik one? Hmm, I DO wonder. It's a straight flush, from lighting to actor and director. Even the background dancers would have won an award for that if they had a category like that.

3. They practice desi politics. Hey, that's so-and-so's nephews best friend...we need to give him an award. Hence, they will have a newcomer's award, a debut award, a photogenic award, a clean-shaven award, a heart-throb award, a potential-winner-of-one-of-our-REAL-awards-10-years-down-the-line award. Nepotism? Of course not. Just survival instincts. You don't want chota shakil (or whats-his-face) coming at you with an axe, do YA?!

4. The dances are well and good, but who else realizes that these people really CAN'T dance??! cameras with their amazing splicing functions make these ladies look like they are traditional kathak dancers. Na ah! you see them in real life at the award functions and realize they really can't. Thank God they LOOK good. I mean, that was a blow on to itself. Now you'll tell me Santa doesn't exist either! Sure!

5. They really don't look good. Accept it. And people, Santa doesn't exist either. The sooner you accept it the better. Which is why their make-up artist award is truely the most well-deserved one.

6. Amitabh and Rekha. Please. Give it a rest ALREADY! Do you people not have enough fodder with all your current crop of actresses that you want to USE the Big B and a classic at this day and age??! Jeez.

7. They don't recognize the talent in Ajay Devgan. Blasphemy or just blindness?!

8. I just don't like 'em.

Now I am done! =) That should have been a long enough comment to validate the otherwise lack of them for this post. I really liked it!

Btw, I met this kid at Queen's who's from UAE and I mentioned you. Are you meraj by any chance?

Aisha said...

lol @ the Rekha and his wife shots... I thought the Oscars were allright. Glad Crash won though. I dont see the pont of watching a bunch of rich folks patting themselves on the back for a job well done.

mezba said...

Nowal: One of Ajay's best work was the movie Suhaag - with Akshay and Nagma and Karishma (I think). I saw that movie and I was like this guy can act. Filmfare and these other awards only give awards to the most successful film, which may not be the best movie. The movie Iqbal deserved more than what it got - it was an excellent movie. Unfortunately the movie system in India is still star-based.

And nope, I am not meeraj, I am Mezba! :-)

Aisha: Got crash last night. Will watch it over the weekend.