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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Small Could be Big

Arguably it could only happen at the Star Screen Awards. As the Nokia 15th Annual Star Screen Awards 2008 takes place tomorrow...

Written by Nikhil Roshan | Published: January 13, 2009 11:37:24 pm

Two films as diverse as Jodhaa Akbar and A Wednesday score 14 nominations each

Arguably it could only happen at the Star Screen Awards. As the Nokia 15th Annual Star Screen Awards 2008 takes place tomorrow,tongues within the Hindi film industry are already wagging about the top two contenders. Interestingly,the two films with the maximum nominations couldn’t be any more different from each other.

Ashutosh Gowarikar’s Jodhaa Akbar,made at a whopper budget of Rs 37 crore and starring two of the biggest and most beautiful actors — Aishwarya Rai and Hrithik Roshan — could well be called his magnum opus and is clearly the biggest film to roll out in 2009. Contrastingly,newcomer Neeraj Pandey’s A Wednesday,was made with a charming shoe-string budget,without the conventional ‘stars’; it has two heavyweight talents instead — Naseeruddin Shah and Anupam Kher. Both films have garnered 14 nominations each.

Jodhaa Akbar,nominated for Best Film,Best Director,Best Actor (male,female and negative role),Best Lyrics,Best Story and Best Art-Direction,is a film of epic proportions,both in size and content. Gowariker took four years to make this period romance,at a secretive elaborate set in Karjat,which included 80 elephants,100 horses and 55 camels in its crew. Opulent sets and costumes combined with mega-star presence made Jodhaa… the most awaited film

last year.

So no doubt that the film,close behind in the race to the awards seems an unusual candidate. Pandey’s Wednesday was shot in a little more than a month but was shrewdly timed,considering the resonance of its subject matter with the current political climate in the country; the film was a box-office hit. The clash of Akbar and the ‘common man’ on the same battle-field,some say,reflects an about-turn from the big-budget star-starrer success formula.

Debutant Pandey is grateful. “I’m just happy such films are finally being accepted. As for competition,I think there is none. Every film stands in its own right,” he says.

Shah,not “carried away” with his nomination as Best Actor,plays the lead role in A Wednesday as the common man who holds Mumbai ransom under a bomb threat. “People are in a hurry to claim this as some kind of a movement. It’s similar to what happened in the 70s. Young directors came out with brilliant films and there was a sense of euphoria. They get carried away and their talent fades. If you see their history,their first films remain their best,” says the actor. He’s all praise for his film. “I loved the script the first time I read it. In fact,I was supposed to play Anupam Kher’s role of the policeman first. When everybody else turned down the role,it fell into my lap. I’m proud

of this film and not surprised how well it’s done.”

For Shyam Benegal,whose comedy Welcome to Sajjanpur is also competing in the Best Story category,it’s all about economics. “The emergence of more screens through multiplexes has helped. Due to the multiplexes’ need to fill up halls,producers have the option of narrowcasting on smaller budget films with off-beat themes,” he says. “In the end all awards are as good as the jury. The joint sensibility of the jury will show who wins.”

13 Ghajini,Rock On!!!
10 Race,Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na
9 Bachna Ae Haseeno,Sarkar Raj
7 Dostana
6 Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi,Singh is Kinng,Welcome to Sajjanpur
5 Fashion
4 Aamir
3 Jannat,Mumbai Meri Jaan
2 Golmaal Returns,Love Story 2050,Phoonk,Tashan
1 Bhootnath,1920,Drona,Halla Bol,Kismat Konnection,Krazzy 4,Maan Gaye Mughall-e-Azam,Mission Istaanbul,Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!,U Me Aur Hum,Ugly Aur Pagli,Woodstock Villa

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