Life’s a trophy

In this season of award ceremonies,Bollywood scores in entertainment,Hollywood in eloquence

Written by Shailaja Bajpai | Published:February 16, 2012 3:50 am

In this season of award ceremonies,Bollywood scores in entertainment,Hollywood in eloquence

In this season of self-congratulation,when the film industry across the world gives itself a big hand (and a statue),there ought to be a prize for the most entertaining show. One of the many Indian awards ceremonies would win in the entertainment category,hands down. Ours glitter with all that is not gold (what else from tinsel town?),offer song and dance,slapstick comedy,superstars galore — it’s showtime,a colourful spectacle,loud and action-packed. Bollywood,after all.

If you care for this sort of thing,you’d have had a gala time,literally. For there’s an awards show almost every weekend since the start of the year. For some stars,this means a lot of hard work: Shah Rukh Khan has been an emcee for a segment in each show and has danced with the (other) stars every time. For some,it’s a chance to hog the limelight. And this year the spotlight goes to,sorry,was on Vidya Balan. At every show,we have been treated to her gorgeous south Indian silk sarees,her dirty jokes and some Dirty Dancing as she has used her hips instead of her lips to do her talking.

Another category of stars includes those who emerge from the shadows for this one month of award ceremonies and then return to their own worlds or,leastways,avoid the TV cameras. Take Rekha: each year,she gives away an award,looking as stunning as the year before. The camera invariably finds her out in the audience and we see more of her in a single awards show than during the rest of the year.

In Hollywood,the focus is on the nominees all of whom have to smile till their teeth fall out to avoid the title of Poor Loser. In India,however,more than the winners,it’s the performers who matter. Viewers don’t care much about who wins or who doesn’t,we’re there for the dances by Vidya Balan,Katrina Kaif,Shahid Kapur,Ranbir Kapoor,to name just a few of this year’s item numbers.

The emerging stars of the awards ceremonies are undoubtedly the hosts. Or,more precisely,their scriptwriters who have come with witting lines. Some emcees are genuinely funny — sometimes. Without a doubt,Shah Rukh Khan is the winner in this category: he knows how to laugh at himself more than most of our actors and is perfect as the suave,glib-talking,wisecracking host at all the shows. Maybe he should worry about over-exposure?

Umang (Colors) is an awards show without the awards. It is held every year in honour of the Mumbai Police and that ensures a very high attendance from Bollywood,with the habitual absentees showing up: think Aamir Khan and Ajay Devgn. The Khan,Sharman Joshi and Madhavan behaved like 3 Idiots on stage; Umang was so pleased with Aamir’s presence that every other shot was of him. Or then,of Vidya Balan and Sushmita Sen,who was lucky to be seated beside her. There was an “Ooh la la” performance by Malaika Arora Khan and then Madhuri Dixit,having shed years and kilos,danced like a younger version of herself — husband Dr Sriram Nene looked flattered.

What’s still missing at our awards ceremonies are good introductory remarks or acceptance speeches. Most of the presenters and winners are deadpan. Contrast this with the Grammy Awards (Vh1) or BAFTA where actors like Colin Firth were really amusing,while winners like actor Jean Dujardin were a delight,to say nothing of Meryl Streep’s Cinderella sandal moment as she rushed up to receive her Best Actress award. By the way,Anil Kapoor,“a Holly-Bollywood actor” as emcee Stephen Fry described him,was there to give away the award for best foreign film and once he had announced The Skin I Live In as the winner,he behaved as though he had achieved mission impossible and won a trophy himself!

One complaint we have about the shows,ours and theirs: they finish too late. Since the main awards are announced at the end of the show,you are up past midnight sometimes,for the final call. TV channels ought to have a healthier respect for our sleep. Yawn.

shailaja.bajpai@expressindia.com

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