WHEN the country’s most respected film awards completes 20 years, it calls for celebration. Which is what the Kamla Pasand 20th Annual Life OK Screen Awards on Tuesday evening promises to be.
At a glittering awards function at the MMRDA Grounds, Bandra Kurla Complex, the best cinema of 2013 will be honoured amid a congregation of the finest talent in the industry, spiced up by a heady dose of glamour from the stars. The backdrop of the evening’s stage theme will be gold — befitting the mood and the occasion.
The beautiful mix of glamour and talent was in fact a defining characteristic of the cinema of 2013 — a landmark year during which the industry threw its weight behind independent cinema, bringing it into the mainstream. So, if Karan Johar produced Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, the first film of the year to up the box-office benchmark to Rs 200 crore, he also backed debut director Ritesh Batra’s international co-production, The Lunchbox.
And Disney UTV, which produced Chennai Express, also distributed Anand Gandhi’s experimental film Ship of Theseus and Hansal Mehta’s gritty Shahid, a biopic on the slain human rights lawyer Shahid Azmi.
The nominations reflect this. So, the talented Rajkummar Rao who played the title role in Shahid, and Bollywood newbie Dhanush who was the obsessive lover in Raanjhanaa, will be up against awards night regulars Aamir Khan and Shah Rukh Khan for the Best Actor (Male) trophy. The healthy competition promises to change to camaraderie on stage — as Shah Rukh takes on the role of the host.
Deepika Padukone was the golden girl of 2013 — with back-to-back blockbusters in Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, Race 2, Chennai Express and Goliyon Ki Rasleela — Ram-Leela. Still in a celebratory mood, she will move the party with not one, but four acts on awards night.
While Deepika’s performance promises to send the glamour quotient soaring, the actor — with two nominations in the Best Actor (Female) category — will face stiff competition from the upcoming Shraddha Kapoor (Aashiqui 2), Nimrat Kaur (The Lunchbox) and Parineeti Chopra (Shuddh Desi Romance).
In the running in the popular category is Ranveer Singh, who demonstrated his versatility with two distinct roles in 2013 — as the charming thief in Lootera, and an over-the-top lover in Ram-Leela. At Screen Awards, he is likely to floor his audience with an elaborate tribute to Hindi cinema’s comic actors.
The year also saw India produce action films that matched Hollywood: the sci-fi thriller Krrish 3, espionage thriller Madras Cafe and the third installment of the heist-caper series Dhoom. The Screen Awards will celebrate this with a live action act — a first for any awards night in India — directed by the action team of Dhoom 3, comprising Conrad E Palmisano and Sham Kaushal, and presented by actor Sonu Sood.
But as always, what will eventually reign on this night of glamour, glitz and larger-than-life entertainment, is talent and quality cinema.
As Irrfan, nominated in the Best Actor category for his performance in The Lunchbox, put it: “In 2013, there were many films I thoroughly enjoyed, such as Shahid, Ram-Leela and Raanjhanaa. The young talent is promising and makes the awards competitive.”