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The entire biz of awards

Friday, January 14, 2011

It’s awards season now, and the madness has started. The one good thing this year is that there are actually a number of films deserving awards, and there can be a debate about which film and which actor deserves it more. Most years, there is a walkover for one film, not because it is outstanding, but because it is better than the other releases of that year.

Usually, the popular awards go to the hits, and to stars who acted in them, because that’s the way the votes go. This year, the problem is that there have been so many small, non-star cast hits, so how to apportion trophies to please every camp? As it is, over the years, the awards categories have steadily increased – by adding supporting, comic, negative, newcomer categories, awards committees have ensured that the net of sham appreciation was spread far and wide. Then, to please any that may feel left out, a critics’ award was added to the list. Even then the number seemed inadequate – if stars don’t get awards, they don’t come to the functions, and if they don’t attend or perform, TV channels are not interested in telecasting the event – which is a big source of revenue and the raison d’être of a number of organisations. So to fill out the check list, you have outstanding, most popular, best pair, best all time jodi, and other random special categories.  So in the end, probably the only ones left out are the truly deserving – films that didn’t shout loud enough and actors who don’t go out and woo awards. (Rishi Kapoor should have got many more than he did, and also get one this year for ‘Do Dooni Char’.)

Who is being fooled? Certainly not the public, that is no longer gullible enough to take these awards seriously. Everyone knows they are not entirely above board, and the entertainment quotient of stars dancing in between trophy giving, back-slapping and foot-touching, is what really matters. And those acts are paid for – everyone knows that too. What use is appreciation if it isn’t genuine, and what use are trophies that are so devalued that they are ultimately used as paper weights and doorstoppers? Yes the awards hungama takes place from January to June and beyond. If only all that effort and imagination went into making better films, and discovering fresh talent!

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