Dev Anand was incredulous while announcing the ‘Best Villain’. It was none other than Priyanka Chopra for her career-transforming performance in Abbas-Mustan’s Aitraaz.
“Where’s your trophy?!” the evergreen Anand wondered, clutching on to his own ‘The Golden Glory Viewers’ Choice Award’ (an honour that he shared with Rekha) when Priyanka Chopra waltzed seductively up to the stage.
Alas Priyanka’s trophy was nowhere to be seen. She handled the delay with grace. “Aisa hota hai,” she laughed when I spoke to her after the show. “It’s all part of such an event. And it’s up to the winners to behave like winners in spite of glitches.”
Unfortunately the evening’s compere Saif Ali Khan (a disaster without his fellow-anchor of two years Shah Rukh Khan) showed no grace when he was called on stage by Dev Saab to collect his trophy for ‘Best Actor In A Comic Role’ in Hum Tum.
Saif snatched Dev Saab’s trophy made his pre-rehearsed speech about family values and filial feelings (a guilt trip, traceable to his recent marital breakup).
Other major goof-ups included the event’s new eleventh-hour sponsor asking the winner for art direction (Sabu Cyril) if he paints on canvas or is he associated with cinema. And when Saif asked Mr Swarup to say a few words, the sponsor wondered if he was summoned to speak or give an award.
A lack of co-ordination between the anchors and the celebrities couldn’t take away from the nostalgia glamour and star appeal of the evening. Rani Mukherjee (once again, the recipient of two awards for Hum Tum and Yuva), Priyanka Chopra and Sonu Nigam paid elaborate song-and-dance tributes to the stars and music over the decades.
This reverence for cinematic history, an offshoot of the Filmfare awards entering their 50th year, was a refreshing change from the temporal titillation of the usual stage performances by stars.
Once again the Bachchans–Amitabh and Abhishek–and Shah Rukh Khan dazzled at the Filmfare awards. Once again they proved they have no peers. When Abhishek won the award for best supporting actor in Yuva it took him quite a while to reach the stage. The volume of congratulations from friends (including Amar Singh and Anil Ambani) and fans proved how popular the junior Bachchan has become in the last one year.
Abhishek dragged his father on stage and gave his award to his father saying, “As I believe there can be no actor better than my father this award belongs to him.” The senior Bachchan promptly returned the recognition saying it’s a tradition to give the son whatever the father earns in life.
Great showmanship, topped by Shah Rukh Khan’s performance of cinematic romance over the years, from Rajesh Khanna singing `Roop tera mastana` to Sharmila Tagore in Aradhana to, ahem ahem, Shah Rukh singing `Ladki badi anjani` to Kajol in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai Shah Rukh enacted all of them with habitual Ã©lan. What’s more, all the original screen queens, from Vyjanthimala and Sharmila Tagore to Zeenat Aman, Jaya Prada and Rekha, to Rani Mukherjee and Preity Zinta joined Shah Rukh for this astonishing piece of on-stage virtuosity, truly the highlight of the evening.
Khan was rewarded with two awards both richly deserved. The best actor award went to Khan for Swades. When he received Filmfare’s Power Award Khan said real power was Amitabh Bachchan’s performance in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Black.
Another winner who displayed generous grace was Anu Malik who acknowledged the late Madan Mohan’s tunes for Veer-Zaara over his own Main Hoon Na. And Kunal Ganjawala the winner for Best Male Playback, paid very heartwarming compliments to the evening’s special guest Lata Mangeshkar when he said, “To me you are the film industry.”
All in all this year’s Filmfare awards were far more empowered by a sense of historicity than during previous years. Shah Rukh Khan, the Bachchans, Dev Anand and others made up for Saif Ali Khan’s anchoring, and the conspicuous absentees like ‘Best Debutante’ Ayesha Takia.
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