The Screen song filled the air. Dhak dhak dil dil, dil dil dhak dhak perfectly encapsulated the mood of the evening: Indian hearts beat loudest for movies. And the Screen awards, the most respected in the industry, kickstarted the awards season to honour the best and brightest in Bollywood and in Marathi cinema, which continues to astonish with its startlingly original talent.
The year gone by was Indian cinemas centenary year. In his opening remarks, Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari, the chief guest, held out some awards of his own: single-window clearance for filmmaking, overhauling the archaic Cinematograph Act, nod for the Rs 600 crore National Film Heritage Mission, and the opening of The Museum Of Indian Cinema in Mumbai soon.
As anchor Shah Rukh Khan arrived, dapper in a sharp black suit, the temperature rose perceptibly. The audience was waiting for the superstar: he grinned, and we could see his dimple flash all the way across the MMRDA Grounds.
Yo Yo Honey Singh entertained with a rap medley, including his popular Blue Eyes, and the show was well and truly swinging. Next up was Sonu Sood, who did some dangerous stuff on a motorcycle, and then flung off his shirt both stunts drew hoots and claps.
2013 has been a year of the most unusual confluence in Indian cinema. The big mainstream giants shook hands with the small, individual rookies, and got a couple of the best Indian films into theatres. The Rs 100 crore figure lost its jaw-dropping quality: Bollywood welcomed its first Rs 300 crore film with Dhoom 3. As it happens every year, the big tent-pole productions made a lot of money. But this year was not all standard procedure business. A handful of films, like The Ship Of Theseus and The Lunchbox, which redefined the meaning of mainstream, coasted on novelty and creativity, and took Indian cinema to places it hadnt been before.
The awards reflected the year that just got over. The Special Jury Award went to Anand Gandhi for his marvelously inventive debut The Ship Of Theseus. The film got another award, as Aida El-Kashef bagged the Most Promising Newcomer (female). Ritesh Batra got the Most Promising Debut Director for The Lunchbox, the film that may not have made it to the Oscars but continues to steal hearts across the globe. Other new faces in the list of awardees included the talented Swara Bhaskar (Best Supporting Actor Female Raanjhana).
The writing awards usually tell you where the industry is going: the top awards in this segment were snaffled by the most arresting films. The Best Screenplay went to the trio of Hansal Mehta, Apurva Asrani and Sameer Gautam Singh (who also got Best Dialogue) for the most courageous film of 2013, Shahid. US-based Mohan Sikka, who wrote the short story Railway Aunty on which BA Pass was based, got Best Story.
Saurabh Shukla won the Best Supporting Actor (Male) for his role as the practical and pragmatic judge in Jolly LLB. And Swanand Kirkire took the Best Lyricist trophy for the melodious Manjha from Kai Po Che. The Best Ensemble Cast went to Club 60, whose leading man Farooque Shaikh died recently.
Ranveer Singh, whose rub-the-back-of-the-head move has become a dance floor craze, came on to do a jig and joust with the host. And then it was time for the big ones.
The Outstanding Contribution to Cinema Award went to Ronnie Screwvala, the man behind UTV, the studio which has been consistently doing some excellent work, producing and distributing both big and small cinema. The award was handed over, most appropriately, by the man who is now trying to get into the same space, producer-director Karan Johar.
The Best Director went to Shoojit Sircar for his Madras Caf, a most unusual Bollywood film in that it was based on recent history (the Sri Lanka conflict and the assassination of an Indian Prime Minister: they didnt name him, but we knew it was Rajiv Gandhi), and was as realistic as a mainstream film can be.
Fittingly, the Ramnath Goenka Memorial Award also went to Madras Caf. The Chairman of the Express Group, Vivek Goenka, who instituted this award, spoke about how difficult it was to choose the film which reflected the principles of founder Ramnath Goenka and the group. The winner, he said, ticked all the boxes, and was a film that Ramnathji would have enjoyed watching.
The Lifetime Achievement Award went to Amitabh Bachchan. Vidhu Vinod Chopra and Shatrughan Sinha gave away the award. Sinha came up with an affectionate citation, calling Bachchan hamaare nyaare pyaare Amitabh. Bachchan accepted with characteristic humility.
The big winner of the evening was Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (Best Film), Rakeysh Omprakash Mehras biopic on the life of ace athlete Milkha Singh. The Best Child Actor went to Japtej Singh, who plays the young Milkha; the senior Milkha, essayed by Farhan Akhtar, took away the Best Actor (Jury) Award. We predict he will sweep all the awards this year. As will the Screen Best Actress, Deepika Padukone, who was nominated for two films, Chennai Express and Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram Leela, and won it for both: she got both the Jury and Popular Choice awards. And host Shah Rukh Khan switched to the other side for accepting his Best Actor (Popular Choice ) award for Chennai Express.
And with that, the starry evening drew to a close. Until next year, when we will meet again, same place, same time. Adios.
And the award goes to...
Bhaag Milkha Bhaag
Best actor (male)
(Bhaag Milkha Bhaag)
Best actor (female)
Deepika Padukone (Goliyon ki Raasleela Ram-Leela,
Ramnath goenka memorial award
Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Male): Saurabh Shukla (Jolly LLB)
Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Female): Swara Bhaskar (Raanjhanaa)
Best Actor in a Comic Role (Male/ Female): Richa Chadda (Fukrey)
Best Actor in a Negative Role (Male):
Rishi Kapoor (D-Day)
Best Actor in a Negative Role (Female):
Shilpa Shukla (BA Pass)
S Ravi Varman (Goliyon ki Raasleela Ram-Leela)
Best Background Score: Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy (Bhaag Milkha Bhaag)
Pritam Chakraborty (Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani)
Best Singer (Male):
Arijit Singh (Tum Hi Ho Aashiqui 2)
Best Singer (Female): Shreya Ghosal (Sunn Raha Hain Na Tu Aashiqui 2)
Swanand Kirkire (Maanjha Kai Po Che)
Most Promising Newcomer (Male): Sushant Singh Rajput
(Kai Po Che)
Most Promising Newcomer (Female): Aida El-Kashef (Ship of Theseus)
Mohan Sikka (BA Pass)
Hansal Mehta, Sameer Gautam Singh, Apurva Asrani (Shahid)
Best Dialogue: Sameer Gautam Singh (Shahid)
Best Editing: Deepa Bhatia (Kai Po Che)
Best Sound Design: Biswadeep Chatterjee (Madras Cafe)
Best Special Effects: Red Chillies (Krrish 3)
Best Production Design: Wasiq Khan (Goliyon ki Raasleela
Best Choreography: Remo DSouza (Badtameez Dil Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani)
Most Promising Debut Director: Ritesh Batra (The Lunchbox)
Best Child Artiste: Japtej Singh (Bhaag Milkha Bhaag)
Best Ensemble Cast: Club 60 (Sanjay Tripathi)
Anju Modi, Maxima Basu (Goliyon ki Raasleela Ram-Leela)
Best Action: Manohar Verma (Madras Cafe)
Life OK Screen Jodi of the Year: Aditya Roy Kapur & Shraddha Kapoor (Aashiqui 2)
Lifetime Achievement: Amitabh Bachchan
Popular Choice (Male): Shah Rukh Khan
Popular Choice (Female): Deepika Padukone
Outstanding Contribution to Cinema: Ronnie Screwvala
Special Jury Award: Anand Gandhi (Ship of Theseus)
Best Film Marketing: Chennai Express
Best Film: Balak Palak
Best Director: Ravi Jadhav (Balak Palak)
Best Actor (Male): Sachin Khedekar (Aacha Divas Majha, Pitruroon)
Best Actor (Female): Tanuja (Pitruroon)
Most Promising Newcomer (Male): Prathamesh Parab
Most Promising Newcomer (Female): Shriya Pilgaonkar (Ekul Ti Ek)