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.
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.
Tags: Bollywood Filmfare