Sunday, December 23, 2007

Things I hate about Indian film awards

Soon 2008 will dawn upon us. And the award season will start. Screen, Zee, Filmfare, Stardust and what-not film award functions will be held, all over Mumbai. All of them look the same, all seem biased to me. There was a time when I used to highjack my remote control for over 4-5 hours and patently see the entire function. Now, I hate them because they sound cliched amongst other things. Here are my reasons:

Variety entertainment
Award shows are less of awards and more of variety entertainment. They have now become, at least in the 20 years or so, a convenient platform to show off an actor's 'dancing' talent because 99% of the industry with all the famous directors, producers, etc are seated in the audience. So what better way to sell yourself to them than to show some of your so-called dancing "skills". Most of the dancing is horrendous with even the likes of salman khan doing some items there. It's a pain to watch them dance when they don't know the D of dancing.

The actual award ceremony does not take more than an hour and a half, but the show goes on for over four hours. The rest is obviously taken up by all these mindless performances.

Irritating emcees
Almost always, the emcees are irritating. Unlike the western award functions where hosts memorise their entire script and say it effortlessly, even when it comes to describing a certain film and its casts, details, etc to announcing nominees, complicated names, they say without peeping into cue cards, our hosts read out from the script much like a 3rd standard student reading out a para from their textbooks minus all the artificial drama and emotion. In my memory, the only capable hosts on India award functions have been the Siddhartha Basu and the combo of SRK-Saif; the latter put up a very entertaining skit some years back.

Further, if the hosts are a couple, they stage these stupid and artificial arguments or fights and try and be humorous and even witty. They end up looking miserable and don't amuse.

Biased jury and unfair winners
This is the one single reason why I hate all film award functions. Not that partiality doesn't happen in international awards, but our Indian awards have become quite biased in recent years.

All you need to be is a major production house, keep giving regular interviews to film magazines and bam, you've got an award! No wonder SRK has won so many film awards throughout his career that we've forgotten to keep track of. Yes, no one's interested anymore in any case, but still. Hrithik Roshan won the best actor award for his role in Krish as against some other better performers. It's like Tobey Maguire winning an Oscar for playing Spiderman. Gone are the days when credible performances, even by some of the elder actors, like Sanjeev Kumar, Naseerudin Shah, Shabana Azmi used to win awards for their mind-blowing performances.

The fault also lies in the voting system. Firstly, instead of a credible jury, the public is allowed to vote. Public is know to get swayed by emotion. Then again, how many would have seen a film called 'Dharm' or say' Blue Umbrella' and would nominate their lead actor Pankaj Kapoor who gave award winning performances in both these films? It's only when you are an SRK, Saif, Sanjay Dutt, Akshay Kumar and the likes that you get noticed and voted.

One final point. I have noticed that higher the movie's collections, better are its chances of winning awards or at least getting nominations across all categories.

Never-ending categories
In order to satisfy as many people and also to ensure that as many people as possible attend award functions, Indian award functions have numerous categories. So you have awards like the Best Villain, Best Comedian in addition to Best Supporting Actor. In 2001, Paresh Rawal got nominated in and won the Best Comedian award when in reality his was a lead role and should merited attention in the Best Actor category. In 2002 at the Zee awards, while Aamir Khan and Tabu won the best actor and best actress awards, respectively, for Lagaan and Chandni Bar, Suuny Deol and Kajol won the Best Outstanding Awards - Male and Female, respectively. What is the difference between Best Actor/Actress and Best Outstanding Performance, I fail to understand.

Chewing gum and ladies stroking their hair
Since most award functions are held outdoors, the attendees have to constantly tackle the wind. So all you see the actresses doing is stroking their long hair backwards and plugging their strands behind their ears, every minute or two, throughout the 4-hour extravaganza. Notice how they do it especially when the cameras are focusing on them. They look like rich housewives who are thoroughly bored and have nothing else to do.

If ladies have this irritating habit, could the male species be any far behind? What do they do? They chew gum. Chew, chew, chew and chew gum all the time. Chew gum when they enter, keep chewing it throughout, some chew with their mouths open and some chew even when they come up on stage to receive the awards! They think they look stylish. hmmm.

Adjectives in announcements

This is a copy of the British award system. Whenever any guest or a co-host or an emcee is called upon stage, the caller always uses an adjective. Just the name is not enough. It's always, 'The very beautiful Ms XXX' or 'The very talented Mr XXX' or 'The very gorgeous Ms XXX'. I find all this praise to be very artificial and so not-worth the time.

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