It is perhaps the answer to an Indian edition of the Cannes Film Festival. What started as a one-day affair in London in the year 2000, now stands host to a packed weekend for all cinema enthusiasts who can look forward to various workshops, film festivals, exhibitions and so much more.
This year’s edition shall see superstars Shahrukh Khan and Shahid Kapoor co-host this magnanimous event being held at Macau starting today, July 4 till July 6. While the nominations list was released around 2 months back, it must’ve been a Herculean task to zero down to the final list. While the entire cast and crew is responsible to make the film into a fabulous end product, what matters eventually is which film was considered to be at the top of its game or which actors/actress managed to steal hearts with their riveting performances (sans the popularity votes).
Who according to you shall take home the awards in the Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Director categories this year?
Read on below for the complete list and what we thought of these films from the year gone by.
Barfi – A film lauded for its immense sensitivity towards the seldom spoken truth – the strong wave of that warm, fuzzy feeling described in one word as love. The beautiful portrayal of a relationship between a deaf and mute boy played by Ranbir Kapoor and an Autistic girl played by Priyanka Chopra made it much more special and the film a complete heartwarming treat to watch.
Vicky Donor – This perhaps was the dark horse of the whole lot of films that released last year. A simple story of a Punjabi boy meets Bengali girl with a strong and never-told-before concept that practically surprised the Indian audience became a favorite amongst everyone who watched it. A tight script, great direction and memorable performances especially Annu Kapoor as Dr. Chaddha and Kamlesh Gill as Biji.
Paan Singh Tomar – It’s rare that Irrfan Khan has ever disappointed his fan following which goes far and beyond the Indian subcontinent. The same holds true to this film directed by acclaimed director, Tigmanshu Dhulia (who also played the villain in Gangs of Wasseypur I & II). Paan Singh Tomar was a biographical sports film, based on the life of a national-level sportsperson, an ex-Armyman turned into a rebel operating out of the Chambal Valley – a choice that was made for him and he went with the flow.
Kahaani – Vidya Balan stunned everyone through her performance as an undercover spy in the avatar of a pregnant woman looking for her husband. It is true when they say hell hath no fury for a woman scorned. This is one such example. Impeccably portrayed.
Gangs of Wasseypur I – one of the best revenge sagas in Bollywood, well-told, well-portrayed and masterfully directed by Anurag Kashyap, known for his penchant of off-beat cinema that has slowly given him the popular status he currently holds. Performance-wise, it was hard to keep a finger on one actor who played his part well – Manoj Bajpai, Piyush Mishra, Tigmanshu Dhulia – wonderful would perhaps be an understatement.
English Vinglish – Widely marketed as Sridevi’s comeback film in Bollywood, this was a simple yet sweet story about a housewife who wants to be accepted by her family since she feels neglected and is looked down upon due to her inability to communicate in the English language, a fad that holds prime importance for many of us.
Talaash – You would expect wonders when you saw the super successful duo, Aamir Khan and Rani Mukerji work on a film together after Ghulam. But what didnot go down too well was the rather miniscule role that came into Rani Mukerji’s kitty while Kareena Kapoor proved to be the surprise package in the film.
BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE:
Hrithik Roshan in Agneepath – An official remake of the Amitabh Bachchan-starrer, Agneepath, which also fetched the actor a National award for the role of Vijay Deenanath Chauhan; this film was a rather violent version of its predecessor, nonetheless a great performance by Hrithik Roshan.
Ranbir Kapoor in Barfi – The actor’s barely spent so many years in the industry to be reckoned as one of the biggest stars already, but his work has spoken for itself. From commercial cinema to some performance-backed roles, Ranbir Kapoor has proven his acting prowess time and again.
Manoj Bajpayee in Gangs of Wasseypur I – His role as Bhiku Matrey in Satya catapulted his career to a new height. He is one of the few actors who is a complete pleasure to watch on the 70 mm screen.
Shahrukh Khan in Jab Tak Hai Jaan – This film was indeed made with a lot of love by late director, Yash Chopra, who has been quite instrumental in spreading the loving feeling through his films. Jab Tak Hai Jaan was his last film. Packed with a fab yet serious performance by Shahrukh Khan depicting two different phases of his life. In my opinion though, he is a great actor who we’ve seen in better roles in the past. Somehow he wasn’t really in the skin of the character as Major Samar Anand.
Irrfan Khan in Paan Singh Tomar – Original script, a promising role and a performance par-excellence by Irrfan Khan. There’s nothing more one can say.
Ayushmaan Khurrana in Vicky Donor – Ayushmaan Khurrana quite changed the way one looks at first-time actors. The role wasn’t as easy as it seemed, but the comfort with which he pulled off this role was somewhat quite a feat. It’s always great fun to watch this Delhi boy grow into a responsible man. Don’t you think?
BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE:
Priyanka Chopra in Barfi – The accolades for this film didn’t only go to the director and the lead actor, ’cause Priyanka Chopra had a lot to do with the way the film turned out. One of her best performances till date. And performed with great panache. I wonder who other than Priyanka could’ve looked more Jhilmil than her.
Deepika Padukone in Cocktail – Deepika is perhaps one of the most promising actresses in today’s date. One of the few successful model turned actresses. Although she hasn’t had too many character roles to play so far, since she’s mostly associated with being a ‘wild-child’ in most films, the intent she puts into each role of hers doesn’t go unnoticed. Like it did for Cocktail. She was the main crowd-puller when the film ran to packed houses on its opening weekend.
Sridevi in English Vinglish – Fondly known as the Hawa-Hawaii since her Mr. India days, Sridevi took a sabbatical at the peak of her career to take care of her family. English Vinglish was her official comeback film and a great one at that. Mostly appealed to the housewives who found themselves empathizing with the role.
Huma Qureshi – Gangs of Wasseypur I – She is considered to be director Anurag Kashyap’s latest muse and in just about 2 films has proven that she can act and live upto the expectations built around an actress’ performance. Although her role in Gangs of Wasseypur I was only a precursor to the vastness of her character in the second part, whatever little she played, was still one to look out for.
Kareena Kapoor – Heroine – This film was an amalgamation of a lot of stories from Bollywood and Kareena Kapoor played the part quite well, from an item number to being the possessive girlfriend to being a controversy queen. What disappointed me however, was the immense scope of improvement in the characterisation of the good actress gone bad in this Madhur Bhandarkar film. I must mention here that the actress hasn’t looked this fabulous in any film of hers so far. Looks-wise, this was surely a benchmark.
Vidya Balan – Kahaani – She has time and again proven that she is one of the best that the industry has. Her late discovery however, may seem like a sorry story considering that she has grown manifold in the last 8 years since she was officially launched in Pradeep Sarkar’s Parineeta. Her role of a scorned woman in Sujoy Ghosh’s Kahaani, is definitely one of her best performances so far. The ease with the performance, the almost effortless adaptation of the essence of her character, all shows everytime she comes on screen. She is truly every Indian man’s fantasy.
Do tell us what you think of each of these films/actors/actresses and who according to you shall win at this grand festival.