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The Big Ass Post on IIFA Awards 2011 – Toronto

IIFA awards 2011, Toronto

The awards season quite abruptly wakes up from hibernation right in the middle of the year coz, STOP! its IIFA time. Held at Toronto, Canada this year, this is a world-touring Bollywood Mela featuring the whos-who as well as the starlets, has-beens and wanna-bees of the Bolly clans. The headline breaking and eye-blinding bling of the star performances dancing their best Baraati steps occupy most of the spotlight, more than who’s winning what ( seriously, who gives a rat’s ass about those ). And like in a traditional marriage with all the band baaja, the awarding committee is indeed the Father of the many Brides marrying on that very night. Yes, IIFA (and other award functions) is no less than any pompous grand Indian wedding. It is all about the naachgana, the dhoom, the bang, the dhadaka. There’s food, there’s booze and there’s mithai. Special Mithai – only for the esteemed guest list who make it to the front 3-4 rows, being normally distributed to fit the perfect ‘bell curve’. The rest of us, simply don’t give a shit. You know why? Because, frankly, I feel as connected to Bollywood awards (pretty much all of them) as I do with weddings of friends of ‘door ke rishtedaar’. I don’t feel interested to be involved in it, even for a bit, but yet would like to watch the video to find out what shit got taped.

It won’t be wrong to state that the IIFA awards is an amalgamation of the following elements:

a) a Film Festival ( since it helps promote Indian films – both classic ones as well as upcoming releases, although how much does it help promote indie features and upcoming talent is quite doubtful ),

b) a Parent’s day function ( since all the debutante producer’s ke bacchhe get baptised and almost lose their onscreen virginity onstage in front of their papajee and mummyjee), and

c) a mutually benefical (aka you scratch my back, I scratch yours , aka you give me an award and I’ll show up) tamasha.

[Image heavy post after the jump, and the discussion continues]
Not to forget, there is Shiamak Davar’s mega dance-troupe dancing alongside Bollywood stars, the standup wannabe hosts trying way too hard to make sense of a failed script written by a Yashraj studio intern, and hours and hours and hours of waiting for the thousands of NRIs and Bollywood lovers, as the stars and starlets sashay down the green carpet posing at every possible flashing iPhone.

IIFA 2011 - Kangana Ranaut at Green carpet

How do I know all of these? I managed to get hold of a video of the entire ceremony – Yes, the whole unedited shabang, the director’s cut, including the green carpet. And I kid you not, this is proper verified shit from one of the attendees. The main event itself is 5+ hours long. 5 hours, are you fucking kidding me? This is not a one day match. A football match with extra time and penalty shoot out, inclusive of breaks, lasts no longer than 3 hours. Oscar awards get criticised every year for the length of the ceremony clocking at somewhere near 3 hours.  And no, please stop calling it “The Bollywood Oscars”. Since I have not seen any other unedited footage of other award shows, I cannot comment on them, but 5+ hours for an awards show is simply atrocious. The only sort of justification for it is that, you got to watch it as say – Glastonbury or Donnington. Yep, IIFA can well be termed as the International Bollywood Festival weekend, where all Bolywood stars get to say – Hello <insert name of host city> , every time they get to speak on a microphone, and express their gratitude (melodramatically, cmon they are Bollywood stars) to the host city for their hospitality and appreciation and love. Yeah, right! You all stayed in a sponsored 5 star hotel, walked down the green carpet under the spotlight, and spoke to the few journalists at the press conference. So please let loose the hospitality thanksgiving speech!

As you might have figured out, I do have a big problem with IIFA awards, for projecting itself as an awards show. No doubt, it is a golden opportunity for Bollywood enthusiasts for star-spotting. But the whole problem is that, IIFA projects itself as one of the major awards shows of the year, which is complete bullcrap. Here are some more stuff which I came across this year’s show.

IIFA 2011 - Ritesh and Boman as hosts

a) Ritesh and Boman as the hosts were absolutely useless, churning out one pathetic PJ after another. The script was boring and totally overstayed its welcome. There were more blank, silent and awkward onstage moments than attending a stranger’s funeral.

b) How long does it actually take for a presenter to get out from his/her secret lair? Why the fuck does it feel like they actually were cloning dinosaurs backstage? Isn’t that (by that I mean coming out to present the award, not the dinosaur thingie) something which should be taken care of in a pre-awards rehearsal show? Or am I asking for a bit too much?

c) Why is the “No show/ No awards” rule so religiously followed? There are plenty of instances exemplifying this. Anushka Sharma winning over Vidya Balan (even though I loved Shruti Kakkar), and Prachi Desai winning an award for Once Upon a Time in Mumbai. Ritesh Deshmukh winning an award (I don’t care for which movie). A complete eyerolling pfffft moment.

IIFA 2011 - Cuba Gooding Jr

d) What was Cuba Gooding Jr. smoking? Was he paid extra for the enthusiastic screams that he kept on belting out? Or has his career hit so low that he has developed an inferiority complex when he sees Anil Kapoor yell ‘Chaiwalaah’?

IIFA 2011 - Ranveer Singh

e) Ranveer Singh is the man of the moment. The dude can dance his butt off, and even swoon the ladies. For what is worth, he deserves every moment of this stardom.

f) On the other hand, Bipasha Basu cannot dance, not even for her life. Sunny Deol can dance better than her, and he showed it as well!

IIFA 2011 - Shilpa Shetty

g) On the other other hand, Shilpa Shetty can most certainly dance, almost instantaneously.

h) The whole hoopla created around Bachchans not attending, and Aishwarya getting preggy around the same time has got my mathematical skills all worked up. Will Abhishek Jr, or Bachchan Jr II (whichever they prefer) ever be allowed to step foot in IIFA land?

i) My favourites to win – Amit Trivedi for Udaan, and Sonu Nigam for Striker’s Cham Cham remain unnoticed and un-nominated.

IIFA 2011 - Dharmendra receives Lifetime Achievement award

j) Life time achievement awards for Dharmendra, Asha Bhosle and Sharmila Tagore receives – Outstanding achievement in Indian cinema. Can anyone define the difference between the two awards?

IIFA 2011 - Sharukh, Boman and Ritesh

k) Lastly, Sharukh Khan is GOD. C’mon you knew it. In IIFA land, and in the land of the many ‘Bollywood Temptation concerts’ he is indeed GOD (not even the messenger). He is out there spreading his message of peace and harmony through his godly arms-wide open pose, whilst his followers clap in unison and sing in chorus ‘Aaaaa-aaaa-aaaa-aaaa-aaaaaa… Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham’. The man is a business machine, almost to the extreme of being nicknamed the Bollywood T-1000. Be it from dancing with his hurt feet, compelling his devotees to overcome all odds and reach out to him just to touch his feet (facepalm!), or making girls faint with a single wink (even though the dude is touching his mid 40s), SRK remains the unbeatable crossover Bollywood loverboy icon that IIFA loves to exploit year after year, sometimes to an allergic extent.

IIFA 2011 - Man on stage touches SRK's feet

So those were my thoughts on this year’s IIFA awards. Mind you, when the show airs on Star Plus, you will get to see the Star Plus vibrating edited version, replete with smart editing of star reactions and controversial dramatic scenes enacted out by the hosts. Kindly leave your thoughts on the show, this post, or on dinosaur cloning in the comments section below.

[ For IIFA memes and other Bollywood related madness, please visit: BollyPop.in ]

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four + = 13

  1. Our takes on the dancing Bipasha and Shilpa are dead opposite, but clearly the view on tv was WAY better than what I had actually at the event. These photos make me even more convinced I should never pay to go to one of these events again. I had no idea Ranveer Singh was holding a pipe shooting off fireworks!

    But yeah. DAMN LONG for no particular reason (other than to change sets for each performance?). I don’t think the IIFAs are any more or less relevant than any of the other awards, but I also don’t care about awards generally.

    [Reply]

    Sujoy Reply:

    @beth,
    Ooh. I am almost quite tempted to do a list on Shilpa’s best dances to convince you that she’s the better dancer :P (Well, I think Bipasha can’t dance at all, and she just sways from one corner to another :P, but then, that’s just me apparently!)
    And I completely second you on the not paying to go for these events. You just pay to stare at a large screen, why not stay indoors and do that for free innit :P

    And I just don’t get it. It is an awards function, not supposed to be a friggin Bollywood movie shoot.

    [Reply]

    beth Reply:

    @Sujoy, I have no thoughts on either of them as dancers other than the IIFAs, and of course Bipasha had the benefit of a big stage number with lots of rehearsing and Shilpa’s was, apparently, improvised.

    I think I would go again to the location of the IIFAs while they are there just for the general fun of it all, but only if I have other reasons to go to that place too (like a meetup or I already have friends there etc)…. I’m hoping they go to Australia soon so I can meet some of those bloggers!

    [Reply]

  2. Thanks for an excellent review of the IIFAs, Sujoy! You nicely highlighted what seems wrong with them for me. Especially the ‘no show/no award’ thing. Like you, I love Shruti Kakkar, but Vidya missing out makes a mockery of any “award”. I was thinking about saving my pennies to cross the ditch if the IIFAs do make it to Melbourne, but with your fine piece confirming everything I’ve already read, I know that a show like this is not for me. Watching someone whose work I enjoy, like Boman Irani, choke onstage would be no fun, I think.

    [Reply]

    Sujoy Reply:

    @Stuart,
    Glad you liked you. The no show/no award is a rule with pretty much all of the award shows. Donno how much those tickets cost though? If they’re like 100 quid+, I am definitely not making any effort. Especially, when it makes no sense to get seated so far from the stage that you end up viewing the events on a giant screen.

    [Reply]

  3. @Sujoy, Yes, although to be honest, it’s not something I’m ever going to have to worry about. When even the nearest cinema that ever shows Hindi films is 350km away, an event like IIFA is unthinkable. If the Raj Kapoor exhibit that accompanied it went on tour, THAT I’d go to.

    [Reply]