I wonder why we folks are so happy about Slumdog Millionaire winning so many awards. Of course, I love the fact that Rahman finally got some recognition. And Resul Pookutty got a foreign trip. But why are we so ecstatic about the other awards? Isn’t it a bit like Germany celebrating the fact that Schindler’s List swept the Oscars.
Instead, in true swadeshi style, let’s institute our own Bharatiya Oscars – The Bhaskars. After all, in India, drama, action & comedy aren’t confined to the movies. They are played out in glorious 3-D in all aspects of our life. So here is my list for the 2008 Bhaskars.
Best Story – A Deputy CM demonstrates his adherence to the law by falling in love with a former assistant advocate general. Unfortunately he already has a wife. The Hindu lovers become a Muslim couple – Chand Mohammed & Fiza. Once he has got into her Nikaahs, he decides to go back to his first wife. Fiza attempts suicide, accuses him of rape, and his family of occult practices but Chand is unmoved. He divorces her through SMS and she gets a role in a Bollywood movie. For this fascinating saga involving politics, law, love, religion, crime, horror, glamour & technology, the Bhaskar Award for Best Story goes to Chander Mohan a.k.a. Chand Mohammed for “Fiza Ke Liye”.
Best Screenplay – A bunch of plutocrats indulge in a decadent auction. The auction ends. The action begins. Chargers run out of power. Fancied teams are Royally Challenged. Vijay Mallya sulks. Preity Zinta hugs some Kings. Shahrukh hugs Shoaib. Vijay Mallya sulks. Cheerleaders entertain the crowds. Shiv Sena sulks. Mumbai crowds get folk dancers instead. Harbhajan behaves like a Silly Bhajji. Sreesanth sobs. Preity Zinta hugs him. Vijay Mallya sulks. Akshay Kumar lands in a chopper. Set Max shows a billion ads. Shane Warne leads the most unfancied team to the trophy. Everybody is happy. Except Mallya, that is. For a heady cocktail of money, glamour & action and for ensuring that everybody shamelessly played for the screen, the Bhaskar Award for Screenplay goes to Lalit Modi for “Paisa Bhi Hota Hai”.
Best Actor in a Supporting Role – He didn’t want the responsibility of being the star, but played a significant role in the development of the plot. He played the perfect counterfoil to the government. i.e. He countered every move and foiled every plan. For a scintillating performance in which he acted as if he supported the government, the Bhaskar Award for Best Supporting Actor goes to Prakash Karat for “Chowringee Lane to China.
Best Editing – A good script can completely collapse if it is not cut to perfection. A shining example was the Olympic Telecast. An unconventional editing technique was used whereby all interesting action was cut. The audience had to imagine the action by seeing the prize distribution. DD, like any good editor, took us, the audience, on an emotional rollercoaster ride. We wept when rowing was shown instead of gymnastics. We cursed when athletics was cut in favour of Greco-Roman wrestling. We laughed at the “expert analysis”. And we were inspired everytime we saw Vijender punch the air to the tune of Chak De India. Live telecast was transformed by radical editing into a dead telecast. The Bhaskar for Best Editing goes to Doordarshan for “Dekh Sake Tho Dekh Lo”.
Best Costumes – His authority may have been loose but his collar was buttoned. His policies rankled but his sleeve was creased. His words were meaningless and few. For he was a man of Achkan. He faced diplomats with polish (on his shoes) and terrorists with boldness (in his checks). For bathing us in his sartorial splendour, the Bhaskar Award for Best Costumes goes to Shivraj Patil for “Kapda, Kapda aur Kapda”.
Best Action – He asked for Maa Ki Dal, but got into trouble. He prayed for Man-ki Shakti. And-drew Symonds’ rage. Everybody told him to shut up. So, like Hellen Keller, he decided to let his hands do the talking. His opportunity came when a team-mate showed some cheek on the field. He responded to the cheek with some slapstick comedy. Unfortunately nobody found it funny and he had to face a suspension with disbelief. For a resounding performance that brought tears to the eyes of Sreesanth, the Bhaskar Award for Action goes to Harbhajan Singh for “Thappad Phad Ke”.
Best Actor in a Leading Role – He was over 70 years old, but willing to take up a leading role. Surrounded by friends who were actually enemies and enemies who were actually, well, enemies, he sailed his way with indifferent elan. There were bombs, controversies, recesisions, betrayals, and general pandemonium but he responded to everything with studied, emotionless, underplay. A thoroughly professional actor, he listened to every single thing, his directorji told him. For a convincing performance of acting as if he was leading the country, The Bhaskar Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, goes to Manmohan for the highly ornamental role he played in “Singh is Bling”.
Best Director – This year, the award goes to not a mere director but a managing director. It’s a story of one man against society. Of a man who defied conventions. A man who fought for his principles. Accounting principles, that is. Who believed that books are not salads to be left uncooked. Who fought against the norm that employees should have a corporeal presence. Who refused to hear his conscience because he had some Auditory problems. It’s a saga of human dreams that would have enraptured even Sigmund Fraud. The best director of the year goes to Ramalinga Raju for “Scamasutra".
Best Picture – A magnum opus for which 552 villains were assembled (unfortunately, there was no money left-over for heroes). By any stretch of imagination it is the longest movie ever made – 5 years approximately. It’s a movie with no story but lots of plots – devious plots. It’s a fluid script with many actors staging walk-outs. There is no action but lot of motion(s). And commotion. With over 500 people shouting concurrently, the audio levels were so high that even the Speaker packed up. The movie had a message. That while the country is forced into socialism, the parliament operates as a free-market. For 5 entertaining years of bedlam, the Bhaskar Awards for the Best Picture goes to the 14th Lok Sabha for “Chor Machaye Shor.”
Lifetime Acievement - The one actor who never seems to leave the stage is Deve Gowda. He has had a rich career in which he has acted in numerous mega-hits. He played the indifferent CM with a profit motive in "No Aankhen Bara Haath". He captured the spirit of a villager who fluked his way to Delhi in "Ragi Ban Gaya Gentleman". He portrayed the social worker who opposed infra-structure in "Viroadi". And a million other such roles. He has a wealth of experience and now an experience of wealth. For amassing an incredible amount of er... wisdom in one lifetime, the Bhaskar Award for Lifetime Achievement goes to Deve Gowda.
That wraps up the 2008 Bhaskars folks. Do send in nominations for 2009.