Gautaman Bhaskaran
an indian journalist
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INDIAN CINEMA

Cinema In General

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Pans & Tilts…Bollywood ‘Oscars’…

Bollywood flew to Sheffield in Britain’s Yorkshire to present what it calls “Oscars”. Well, Bollywood Oscars. Conducted on the lines of Hollywood Oscars, the International Indian Film Academy Awards are handed over from a short list of five in various categories like Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress and so on. But unlike the Hollywood Oscars, the Indian Academy also honours playback singers and lyricists.

Here are some of the winners and what the movies were all about.

Rang De Basanti (Paint It Yellow)

WINNER: Best Picture; Best Supporting Actress (Soha Ali Khan); Best Music (A.R. Rahman); Best Screenplay (Renzil D'Silva and Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra); Best Editor (P.S. Bharti).
Also nominated for: Best Director (Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra), Best Actor (Aamir Khan); Best Male Playback Singer (A R Rehman & Naresh Iyer), Best Female Playback Singer (Lata Mangeshkar)
The director draws a parallel between an India ruled by the British and one currently led by corrupt politicians. He chooses as a peg the frequent MIG fighter plane crashes to show how kickback and sleaze have led to loss and death. The cast includes Alice Patten - the daughter of Britain's last Governor in Hong Kong, Chris Patten - who plays a filmmaker seeking to tell the story of the nationalists who fought British rule in the 1920s and 1930s.

Lage Raho Munnabhai (Carry On Munnabhai)

WINNER: Best Director (Rajkumar Hirani); Best Supporting Actor (Arshad Warsi); Best Dialogue (Rajkumar Hirani and Abhijit Joshi); Best Story (Rajkumar Hirani).
Also nominated for: Best Picture, Best Actor (Sanjay Dutt), Best Actress (Vidya Balan), Best Female Playback Singer (Shreya Ghosal)
Musical comedy sequel to the box-office hit, Munnabhai MBBS. In the new film, Hirani appears to recreate all that Mahatma Gandhi stood for. Munnabhai converts an unscrupulous builder into the epitome of virtue, but not before a series of dramatic developments push Munnabhai's attractive young girlfriend to despair.

Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna (Never Say Goodbye)

WINNER: Best Actress (Rani Mukherjee).
Also nominated for: Best Picture, Best Director (Karan Johar), Best Male Playback Singer (Sonu Nigam), Best Female Playback Singer (Alka Yagnik)
Set in Manhattan, the plot not only tackles marital infidelity, but is also gutsy enough to break up a marriage and let the lovers unite. Not often seen in Indian cinema.

Krrish (There's No One Like You)

WINNER: Best Actor (Hrithik Roshan).
Also nominated for: Best Picture, Best Director (Rakesh Roshan)
The director transforms his son, Hrithik, into an Indian version of Superman, has him perform unbelievable feats, but gives him a human heart. Shot in Singapore and India. Despite a fine performance by Hrithik, it has disappointed the critics.

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Hrithik Roshan has finally signed the much publicised Rs-35 crore movie deal with Adlabs. At one point, it seemed that the deal would not come through, but it did. Hrithik will do three films for Adlabs in three years, giving the bulk of his dates to them. Unlike the Hollywood system of yonder years, where the actors were contracted fully to a studio, Hrithik would be free to work for others. But Adlabs would get the first preference as far as his dates go.

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Tailpiece: Raima Sen, the grand-daughter of the legendary Bengali actress Suchitra Sen, now feels that she has come of age. “I am more mature as an actress now”, she said told the media recently. “You may call me a mama’s (Moon Moon Sen) girl, but honestly I take my own decisions now”. Also, I think it is high time she gets good, solo roles rather than play second fiddle to the heroine. Raima is a great actress, and need to be looked at by all those who feel that she can merely exist in the shadow of the lead star.

(Webposted June 13 2007)