The fag end of a year and the beginning of a new one brings along with it hoards of awards ceremonies in Bollywood. And pretty much every important award event sees a decent turnout of the who’s who in the Hindi film industry, has a star actor or director hosting it, and performances by the dozen.
But in the uncomfortable marriage of dishing out awards, while keeping in mind feting the hosts and performers, the ceremonies often toe the line of being almost farcical. And a recently concluded ceremony was prime example of this.
Rajkummar Rao, who has delivered impressive performances in movies such as Bareilly Ki Barfi, and Newton, which was selected as India’s official submission to the Academy Awards, was in the race for the best actor award. However, he lost out to Varun Dhawan, who bagged the trophy for Badrinath Ki Dulhania.
Rajkummar was, however, given the ‘best impact award’, and was flummoxed on stage while receiving it. According to reports, the actor on stage said, “This is for Newton, I guess?”
Despite the fact that new award ceremonies mushroom every year, there are Bollywood personalities who, as a rule, stay away from nights like these. While Aamir Khan was the most vocal of the lot, the likes of Kangana Ranaut have made their displeasure known. “I find a lot of manipulations in shows,” the outspoken actress says. “I try to stay away from it. For example, they will tell you in advance that you will get an award, but you will have to perform at the function. So I stay away from these fake shows.”
Indeed, the award nights’ transition to become more performance-oriented has been a bit of a turn off for most top actors involved, including Ajay Devgn. Making his disdain known, the actor reiterated, “I talk about awards that are performance-oriented, and money-making ones. I do not like attending any such awards. All of us know that such functions are more like television shows. The more the actors perform, the more money the show brings.”
The actor, who won an award for his first directorial Shivaay in 2016, was absent from the ceremonies. “As I said, I don’t like attending awards. My wife Kajol loves to attend these functions. So she went and collected them on my behalf,” he smiles. Shah Rukh Khan reminisces a time when award functions meant a lot more, and the trophy counted for something. “There were not many award functions in those days. Now, they are a dime a dozen. They are all very good, but they all look the same.”
—With inputs from Lipika Varma and Sanskriti Media