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Posted on by Anuj Varma
IIFA Awards 2011, Toronto

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The IIFA awards held in Toronto, Canada, provided an entertaining evening for Bollywood fans. These awards were for movies released in 2010 – the award ceremony was held in 2011. Here is my recap of some of the winning moments – and some of the not-so-winning moments.

Hosts

Boman Irani and Ritesh Deshmukh (Ritesh D.) are both among the funnies men in Bollywood. Ritesh D. is among my personal favorites – as he combines two essential traits of a good comic – good comic timing and great facial expressions (he is one of the best impersonators in Bollywood as well).  However, while some of the scripts were  original, there was a lot of repetition of old material. At some point, the script writer(s) need to let go of the (same old) gay jokes – year after year. Also, the Chunkey Pandey angle has been milked as much as anyone can possibly be milked. It is time for IIFA to hire original script writers.

Performers

A grade performers

Some of the A grade performers included Bipasha Basu (Bips), Anushka Sharma, Shah Rukh Khan (SRK) and Priyanka Chopra (Piggy Chops). I have to say that I enjoyed all their performances. The greatest surprise was Bips, who did an outstanding job. She danced to all of the foot tappers of last year – including Mit Jaye Gum (Dum Maro Dum), Munni and Sheila. Although, when I saw Bips dancing to Munni Badnam Hui with Malaika Arora sitting a few seats away, I couldn’t help but wonder why IIFA organizers had bypassed Malaika. Truly – there are few ‘item’ performers better than Malaika in Bollywood. She remains associated with some of the most popular item songs –even before they were called item songs (e.g. Chaiyya Chaiyya –  dance atop a moving a train).  Still, Bips did a great job, so no loss of entertainment there.

B (or B+) grade performers

Kangana Ranaut?? I have nothing against her – I just don’t believe she can dance – or enjoys dancing for that matter. And she was the opening act! Instead of wasting the floor space, IIFA should have tried to promote some up and coming dancer from either Canada or from one of the recent reality dance competitions (Dance India Dance etc). Not only would they have provided a huge stage for a new, fresh talent, they would have actually showcased someone who could actually dance!

Perhaps my favorite performance was the (unscripted) Cuba Gooding Junior doing a moonwalk on stage. He was genuinely in love with all things Bollywood – and openly asked the gathering for a part in any upcoming Bollywood movie.

Shockers

While I could live with most of the award selections (Dabangg for ‘Best Screenplay’ was a bit hard to swallow – especially with Band Baja, Rajneeti and Ishqiya competing in the same category), there were two that I am convinced were bogus:

  1. Best Story – With stories such as Ishqiya, Rajneeti and Once upon a time competing,  the best story went to My Name is Khan ( MNIK ). My question is – was MNIK really a story? There were at least seven disjointed stories in the movie – and none of them was convincing in the least.
  2. Best Director – Karan Johar for MNIK. Again, I have nothing against Karan Johar. He is possibly the find of the century for Bollywood – given his world-class command of the english language, his ‘bosom-buddy’ stature with the biggest names in Bollywood – and of course, his world class hits – Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (any one of these would have put him in the super-directors league). However, winning best-director for a half-baked movie which started nowhere and went nowhere – smells a bit fishy. The movie was barely a hit. It flopped in India – marking the third successive flop for Shah Rukh Khan (Billu Barber, Dulha Mil Gaya). Again, this has no bearing on either Shah-Rukh’s individual accomplishments or Karan’s – just that MNIK was possibly the worst of their efforts – and not award worthy in any category (with the possible exception of music).

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