Since a child I have always had a fascination for Hindi Cinema. Due to time constraints, educational priorities and the fact that we had no cable connection in our house (which in India means having access to only Government regulated channel called Doordarshan) I got to watch very few of them. But now that I am at a point in life when watching a movie relaxes me the most, I am fulfilling my childhood wish of watching lots of Hindi movies.
Just as watching a movie is crucial for me, so is commenting on it which may be either a criticism or a compliment. I find a nice way to tally the comments I made throughout the year with the distinguished minds in Hindi Cinema is by watching the Award functions (another reason being to check out the actors, their hairstyles/costumes/makeup).
Yesterday night when I was watching the Star Screen Awards for year 2008 held in early 2009, I was so put off since the start with the presentation of the ceremony. None of the actors (male/female) were dressed up to the occasion (except for a handful). Probably because the Academy Awards held in Hollywood (Oscars) have set my standards a bit too high. Or may be coz I know that Indian actors can look so handsome/beautiful if they want to but I wonder why they come to award functions so casually dressed. Either they do not care or there are too many award functions to care. People may not have watched their movies, but they do take a note of them in the award functions.
Do I also need to add to it that the show host was absolutely distasteful? To make people laugh, he stooped down to levels one can only imagine (or probably not). He made me wonder throughout as to why I dint find any of his poor jokes funny (as audiences seemingly were enjoying them). I was in doubt since the start thinking that probably I have lost my sense of humour. Sajid Khan and sister Farah Khan were the hosts. Together with the distasteful jokes (about effiminate males and gayism), they were also passing comments on the speeches made by the recipients. For a short speech I heard comments like “For a writer like you it’s surprising that you do not have way with words” and for longer speeches I heard “Your speech was just a bit shorter than your movie”. Wonder if we can use the pretext of entertaining audiences by hurting those who work hard throughout the year to achieve these awards so that they can thank those who made it possible for them?
Towards the end director Ashutosh Gowarikar (whose movie “Jodha Akbar” won many accolades including best director) had the courage to voice against it. Sajid Khan replied saying that “It is a TV show [and so we got to make fun so that audiences laugh and TRP rises]”. I disagree. It’s is not a TV show. Why does not Sajid Khan host a TV show in which he pulls people’s legs and makes distasteful jokes so that the TRPs tick northwards? This is an award function, something seen by people all over the world, something which represents Indian cinema, something which gives a chance to the fans to see their actors dancing without cuts, something for which film makers (cast and crew) work hard throughout the year to be recognised at the end. I am sorry but Sajid and Farah this is totally unacceptable!