The award season is on and here we look try to decipher what you call the ‘game of awards’

And The Award Goes To…

The awards season is upon us. To no one’s surprise, Alia Bhatt and Ranveer Singh have won the Best Actor and Best Actress awards for Zoya Akhtar’s Gully Boy at the Star Screen Awards concluded on Sunday. If the morning shows the mandate then these two talented youngsters should prepare themselves for a season of awards abundance.

Every year Alia wins popular awards. I ask her where she will keep the trophies and she laughs, confessing that she loves getting awards.

Who doesn’t? Except perhaps Aamir Khan who never attends awards function. And now the female Aamir, Kangana also doesn’t believe in awards.

Ayushmann Khurrana should also boycott these popular awards functions until they stop honouring him in the critics’ category.  By bifurcating the awards into ‘popular’ and ‘critics’ categories they are fooling nobody. What it really means is, ‘Look, guys, you were really good, perhaps the best.  But can’t give you the mainstream awards because….well, Alia, Ranveer and Zoya Akhtar look better on television than Ayushmann and Anubhav Sinha.”

Without a shred of doubt, Ayushmann Khurrana and Anubhav Sinha deserved the Best Actor and Best Director awards for Article 15. Together they have created in Article 15 the kind of reformist cinema that the pioneers Dadasaheb Phalke, V Shantaram and Bimal Roy envisaged.  Article 15 is a film that changes the way we look at society.  Gully Boy for all its excellence does no such thing.

There is a problem with giving the Best Actress critics’ award jointly to Bhumi Pednekar and  Tapsee Pannu in Saand Ki Aaankh. Not that they were not award-worthy.  But giving the same award to two actresses is sheer cowardice and laziness.  You don’t want to stick your neck out by honouring one or the other.  I understand. But excellence in acting or any other aspect of film-making is about grasping those nuances that made Jaya Bhaduri’s performance in Sholay better than Hema Malini’s. Imagine giving a joint best actress to the two!

Last year the National Film Awards jury gave a Special Jury award to all the 13 actresses in the outstanding  Gujarati film Hellaro, as they all stood out in their portrayal of the faceless women in a patriarchal society. (Stood out for being  faceless, get it?)

But I want to know why both Bhumi and Tapsee are considered equally worthy of a collective Best Actress Award. They weren’t playing twins in Saand Ki Aankh, were they?

And, hold on,  Yami Gautam has been given the award for Best Actress In A Comic Role for Bala (which according to me is the second-best film of the year after Article 15).

What a joke. Yami in Bala was a tragic product of a relatively backward society where being progressive is equated with makeup tricks and social-media pushiness. She played a very sad character with rare expertise. Funny that the learned jury found it funny. She deserved the Best Actress award above Alia.

But then Yami wouldn’t look THAT good on stage with Ranveer Singh, would she?

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