Experiencing the Indian Film Awards 2014 Part 2: Saturday Awards Ceremony
I am switching up the order of my writings as this is fresh in my mind and I want to pen down all my thoughts in detail, since Saturday was the main awards ceremony. Part 3 will be the Friday night Magic of the Movies review and then I will try and post some more videos and pics too in a Part 3 sum up.
The main event, the Awards night was Saturday. Tickets said the Green Carpet (yes green, not red), starts at 430-7 and the event starts at 7. Well, not wanting to be in the middle of hundreds of screaming people in a sari in the humid heat, I skipped the green carpet, added in some Indian Standard Time for the start of the awards and arrived around 8pm for the show. First of all, parking was a mess. Yes, there were enough people directing traffic and we knew exactly where to go. But the lot to the stadium had everyone walking about 20 min in grass to get from the car to the stadium. Not very easy when you are in Indian clothes and heels. Anyway, taking up the challenge, I walked into the field level around 815 and waited..and waited..and waited. The ceremony finally started at….930. 2.5 hours late. The hosts for the evening were Shahid Kapoor and the man of all trades Farrhan Akhtar, who was up for an award for Best Actor that evening. Having researched the history of Tampa very well, they came into the stadium on a pirate ship dressed as pirates to act out the legend of Gasparilla. This was amazing for me, I was able to see them clearly as they passed by me on the left and headed for the stage. The other nice point was they spoke with and included the Mayor of Tampa in their initial script quite a bit. He was later introduced by Anil Kapoor and spoke a few words, though not greeted by the audience the way the stars were being cheered for.
Not missing a chance to hide the fact that Tampa swarms with Indian Gujurati’s Akhtar made a joke of how he always tries to speak a bit of the language of every city he hosts a show in (Singapore, Dubai, India, etc) and started speaking in pure Gujurati for the language of Tampa. At that point, the audience was in splits.
It was apparent very early on that Farhan Akhtar is not made for hosting anything, let alone such a big awards night. While the good looking writer, director, actor, singer, writer..basically a man of all *almost* trades is excellent at what he does behind the scenes, he really is too shy and dry to be a host. His presence was anything but powerful and his delivery was nervous and without much character.
Shahid Kapoor, on the other hand, did his best to entertain and pack the energy of himself as well as whatever was lacking from Farhan into the show. He, however, needs a strong script, which he did not have, and a strong partner in crime to excel. After all, he is no Shah Rukh Khan who can hold the attention of a large stadium of people of all ages for many hours on end. Their script was full of jokes that fell flat and were funny at first but got old quickly.
Some of the noticeable flaws in the awards show included:
— Whoever was behind the scenes with the screens monitor that announced the nominations made too many mistakes. When nominations for best music director were supposed to be shown, they showed the nominations for Best Director. John Travolta’s accomplishments were finally played after he was given the award rather than before, as it should have been.
— The teleprompter was the “star” of the show. I think it got more attention than the hosts themselves at times. Shahid and Farhan were complaining about the teleprompter not being high enough and I could see it from my seat as it was directly behind me. The stage was leveled back and slightly up, not quite sure how they could read the script from there. On top of it, the teleprompter was located right between 2 aisles. Shahid Kapoor kindly asked people from the audience who were up trying to take pictures from right in front of the teleprompter that he could not see it, can they please move. about 2 hours into the show, he was in the middle of a comedy act and lost it and stopped the show and yelled “Can you pleaseeeeeeee move from the front of the teleprompter…i cant see ANYTHING”. His tone of voice was that of begging and despair. I can only imagine how frustrating it can be when you don’t know your next line. There were several times Farhan Akhtar just skipped a huge chunk of his script and left the stage, possibly because he could not see what he needed to. Unfortunately for him, to the audience, it just appeared like he forgot to introduce the next set of people.
— The camera did not cut to the stars sitting in the front row as often as they did Friday night to gage reactions. During a speech that Anil Kapoor was giving on supporting and educating the girl child, the camera accidentally went onto Ranveer Singh, shutting down Anil Kapoor’s speech for a good few seconds with screams and applause. Of course Ranveer is a fan favorite..he actually interacted with them through the 4 days!
— The awards ceremony went until 3am. It was to conclude no later than 1130/12am. For each extra minute the stadium went past its deadline, it cost the promoters $1000. Yes, I said minute.
–Many of the stars did what they had to do and left the show within an hour or two. Again, for those that have spent money on this to see the stars, “why bother coming all the way to the USA for a couple minutes?” Kareena and Saif came, they gave away an award and left. (Rumor has it they were upset their seats were not front row and center).
–One big complaint made by people watching the show was the Penn Masala group that performed. While I will not review my thoughts on their performance I have one question to ask (as do many): Did I pay all this money to see some USA college group sing for 10 minutes? Sorry but I did not think they were very good and I believe people clapped at the end for the fact they left the stage. Phew.
–Shatrughan Sinha, who received the lifetime achievement award by his daughter Sonakshi Sinha, used his acceptance speech as a platform to rally for his political party since the elections in India are going on right now. Not sure if he thinks so many NRI’s are going to do? Fly to India to vote?
— Siddharth Malhotra’s performance was flat. The guy is a very good looking guy(and I am a fan of his looks and acting) and got tons of noise and applause Friday night for just looking at the camera monitor and smiling. However, his performance had no energy or zest. He should stick to acting and modeling because live performing is just not his thing.
–Rishi Kapoor’s acceptance speech for best villain was sarcastic and accepted without a smile. He drily stated how he got no respect or awards when he played a film hero for many decades so he was forced to change into a negative role. He also very sarcastically mentioned he wanted to thank Rakesh Om Prakash Mehra for this award because had that director put a villain in his movie, Bhaag Milka Bhaag, that movie would have won in this category too, like every other category. He walked into the function late and left as soon as he collected his award. Wonder how much he was paid for that?
So, what were the highlights of the show?
— Ranveer, Ranveer Ranveer. His energy, his persona with the fans, the way he danced like there was no one watching, was electrifying. Farhan Akhtar and Shahid Kapoor made a comment post Ranveer’s performance that just watching Ranveer perform is so electrifying that heir mobile phones can charge just with him being in the room. It is a true statement. He then cleaned himself up post his performance and presented the Best Actress award to girlfriend Deepika in his most “American Accent” copying many college girls precisely “OH MY GOWD HES SOOO HOT”. Everyone was in SPLITS.
–Madhuri Dixit–I think I praised her quite a bit in my last post, but like Ranveer, she started her performance in the middle of the stadium where many people were sitting. Cheered the audience on, asked if anyone would take a selfie with her and then explained how Tampa was her home for 2.5/3 years after she was married. Her husband, Dr Ram Nene, patiently sat alone in the front supporting his wife. The entire performance and persona was amazing.
–Priyanka Chopra pulling up John Travolta on stage to dance with her on her popular song from Gunday “Tune Maari Entryan”. Travolta did not disappoint and was a great sport and played alog. He was later presented by superstar Hrithik Roshan as his childhood idol and given an IIFA award.
— Kevin Spacey coming on stage to present Deepika the Entertainer of the Year Award. Once she gave her thank you speech, Shahid and Farhan told him he had to do the Lungi Dance with them. While they ran to get 4 lungi’s Kevin Spacey was asking Deepika what a lungi was as she whispered and gestured with her hands on how to put one on. The 4 stars did not disappoint to this impromptu dance that left everyone in splits. Hollywood and Bollywood integrated nicely.
–Deepika and Priyanka’s performance was very well choreographed however Shamik Davar’s background dancers were not in synch. While they did very well, if you watched carefully, it was obvious they needed to have practiced better to dance exactly at the same time.
–The way Bollywood honored the real Milkha Singh, the flying Sikh, who was sitting in the front row. Whoever collected each award for their part in the movie based on his life, thanked him and honored him. It was refreshing to see that respect.
All in all, I had an amazing time..however, others..who’s view of the stage and stars and zest for Bollywood was not as much as me….well, I have heard some disappointing reviews. The most frustrating part was that the show went on till 3am…come on people..don’t they say..timing is everything?
Posted on April 30, 2014, in General and tagged Bollywood awards, Bollywood brings glitz to tampa, Farhan Akhtar, IIFA, IIFA 2014, IIFAAwards, Indian Oscars, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Madhuri Dixit, Milkha Singh, Ranveer Singh, Tampa Bay Bollywood. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.