Everyone's a winner at IIFA
When actor Riteish Deshmukh quipped in his acceptance speech at the 12th annual International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Awards that when you host an awards function for the fourth time, you are bound to get a Best Comedian award, he may have unwittingly touched upon a raw nerve.
The winner list for this year's IIFA was painfully predictable with Salman-starrer Dabangg taking home seven awards and Shah Rukh Khan's drama My Name Is Khan taking home four, making both films the big winners of the night. But do numbers really mean anything, especially when the two most coveted awards, Best Actor and Best Director, go to star players Karan Johar and Shah Rukh Khan? Agreed, these two heavyweights took it upon themselves to inject glamour into the IIFA weekend celebrations, while the stars of the hit Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai — the nominations leader, with 12 — were absent during the entire three-day cinema extravaganza. A strong contender, the film scooped just one award, for best supporting actress — almost a consolation prize, perhaps even an afterthought, especially since Prachi Desai has done far better roles than playing the docile girlfriend in a mafia tale.
The absence of Ishqiya in the winners list was another sore point. And Arshad Warsi's stellar performance as a hustler in Ishqiya was beaten to the best supporting actor post by Arjun Rampal for Raajneeti.
Interestingly, the five-hour awards extravaganza was dominated by talent that was as charismatic on stage as on screen. Every actor who won an award also performed, making this reporter wonder whether award ceremonies are as much about stage presence as screen presence.
Meanwhile, even Priyanka Chopra was conferred an award for her contribution to Greener Earth. In return, the audiences were also treated to some slick dancing by the Dosatana star. So why should anybody complain?