The 61st Britannia Filmfare Awards – India’s most prestigious award function for Hindi films – will take place on 15th January, and will be hosted by Shah Rukh Khan and Kapil Sharma. Around a decade ago, Shah Rukh Khan and Saif Ali Khan became one of the most memorable hosting duos close on the heels of their success in Kal Ho Naa Ho, after which a slew of hosts – including Ranbir Kapoor and Imran Khan, and Karan Johar and Kapil Sharma last year – tried their hands at it.
The list of nominees for 2015 has been released, a year in which ‘Bollywood’ enthusiasts enjoyed the best of many words – mainstream, indie as well as a bit of parallel cinema. All in all, it was a good year at the movies. These awards have however become very star-driven over the last few years, and looking at the nominations again, things don’t seem to have changed much. Hopefully, the deserving ones are awarded, irrespective of who they are and where they come from.
Let’s take a look at some of the more popular categories, with our typical crystal-ball predictions:
Best Actor In A Leading Role (Male)
Ranbir Kapoor – Tamasha
Shah Rukh Khan – Dilwale
It continues to astound how Shah Rukh Khan gets nominated for his worst performances over the last few years. All he has to do is show up, and voila, a nomination! The notable snubs, and perhaps the more deserving ones in this popular category are Ajay Devgn for Drishyam and Akshay Kumar for Baby.
Who Should Win: Amitabh Bachchan for Piku
Who Will Win: Ranveer Singh for Bajirao Mastani
It’ll be a close call between Ranbir and Ranveer, who were flanked admirably by Deepika Padukone in both films. But as history suggests, it always goes to the guy in a period drama – whether he deserves it or not. Ranveer was good, but Mr. Bachchan, who was way better than any of the younger actors again, will probably be overlooked in favor of ‘the future’.
Best Actor In A Leading Role (Female)
Deepika Padukone – Piku
Who Should Win: Deepika Padukone for her role in Tamasha, which she hasn’t even been nominated for, ironically enough.
Who Will Win: Deepika Padukone for Piku.
Kangana Ranaut and Anushka Sharma are not far behind, but it has been Miss Padukone’s year. Ranaut essayed perhaps the most memorable role of the year as the young Jatt athlete in TWMR, and Anushka pushed the boundaries in the gloomy, brutal NH10. In the end though, Miss Padkone’s seemingly normal interpretation of a Bengali working single girl in Delhi will be rewarded.
Tanu Weds Manu Returns
Who Should Win: Badlapur
Who Will Win: Bajrangi Bhaijaan
The first decent Salman Khan film in years will be given its due in the popular categories, where the likes of Masaan and Titli (or even Talvar, to an extent) will be ‘demoted’ to the critical categories. Badlapur was clearly the best mainstream film of the year, and while the snubs here include NH10, Dil Dhadakne Do and Tamasha. More often than not, it’s the highest grossing film of the year that usually walks away with the main award. No logic needed. Also, one need not be surprised if Bajirao Mastani steals it – what with its direct shining comparison to the disastrous Dilwale in the same weekend.
Who Should Win: Sriram Raghavan for Badlapur
Who Will Win: Whoever wins Best Film, between Kabir Khan and Sanjay Leela Bhansali
The unimaginativeness continues here, with the same directors nominated as their films. Perhaps the likes of Imtiaz Ali, first-timers Kanu Behl (Titli) and Neeraj Ghaywan (Masaan) have been snubbed, and it’ll be no surprise if Kabir Khan walks away with the biggest awards of the night. Phantom is now a forgotten nightmare.
Best Supporting Actor (MALE)
Who Should Win: Nawazuddin Siddiqui for Badlapur
Who Will Win: Nawazuddin Siddiqui for Badlapur
Hopefully, the jury won’t lose their minds and give it to any of the others. This is a straightforward decision – the easiest of the night.
Best Supporting Actor (FEMALE)
Anushka Sharma – Dil Dhadakne Do
Who Should Win: Shefali Shah for Dil Dhadakne Do
Who Will Win: Priyanka Chopra for Bajirao Mastani
It helped that Bajirao Mastani earned money at the box office and became a hit. If not, it’d have been looked at in the same light as Bombay Velvet – which was as grand a film, but dismissed from award list consideration simply because it couldn’t earn a dime. This is in stark contrast to the Golden Globes, which set an example by awarding Steve Jobs, an overall flop in the US Box Office, for best screenplay and best supporting actress. It breathed new life into the panned film, which definitely won’t be the case here. If DDD had fared better, Miss Shah would have won most awards.
Dil Dhadakne Do
Who Should Win: A R Rahman for Tamasha
Who Will Win: Ankit Tiwari, Meet Bros. and Amaal Mallik for ROY
The critically-panned film Roy, which didn’t set the box office ablaze either, was a rare combination of chartbusting music and bad collections. Most of the songs have been massive hits – Tu Hai Ke Nahi and Chittiyaan Kalaiyaan being the most notable, which could tilt the scales in their favor of Rahman’s Tamasha score, which isn’t his best, but definitely stood out amongst others this year.
Amitabh Bhattacharya – Gerua (Dilwale)
Anvita Dutt – Gulabo (Shaandaar)
Gulzar – Zinda (Talvar)
Irshad Kamil – Agar Tum Saath Ho (Tamasha)
Kumaar – Sooraj Dooba (Roy)
Varun Grover – Moh Moh Ke Dhaage (Dum Laga Ke Haisha)
Who Should Win: Varun Grover
Who Will Win: Varun Grover
The stand-up comic, screenwriter (Masaan) and lyricist Varun Grover is favorite because of the song winning all the main awards at most prior functions. Irshad Kamil could just steal it, but perhaps it is worth noting that Dum Laga Ke Haisha’s snub in the main music director category (for Anu Malik) could be made up here.
Best Playback Singer (MALE)
Ankit Tiwari – Tu Hai Ke Nahi (Roy)
Arijit Singh – Gerua (Dilwale)
Arijit Singh – Sooraj Dooba (Roy)
Atif Aslam – Jeena Jeena (Badlapur)
Papon – Moh Moh Ke Dhaage (Dum Laga Ke Haisha)
Vishal Dadlani – Gulabo (Shaandaar)
Who Should Win: Ankit Tiwari for Tu Hai Ke Nahi
Who Will Win: Papon for Moh Moh Ke Dhaage
This could be a clean sweep for the lilting ballad – and director Sharat Katariya should take equal credit for the way it is filmed and fitted into the movie.
Best Playback Singer (Female)
Alka Yagnik – Agar Tum Saath Ho (Tamasha)
Anusha Mani – Gulabo (Shaandaar)
Monali Thakur – Moh Moh Ke Dhaage (Dum Laga Ke Haisha)
Palak Mucchal – Prem Ratan Dhan Paayo (Prem Ratan Dhan Payo)
Priya Saraiya – Sunn sathiya (ABCD 2)
Shreya Ghoshal – Deewani Mastani (Bajirao Mastani)
Who Should Win: Alka Yagnik for Agar Tum Saath Ho
Who Will Win: Monali Thakur for Moh Moh Ke Dhaage
Monali Thakur, who also acted as the titular ‘Lakshmi’ in Nagesh Kukunoor’s disturbing 2014 film, is first and foremost a very talented singer. She does full justice to Grover’s lyrics, and together, Papon and her provide for a moment of quiet and wooing in a heartwarming film filled with resentments and verbose arguments.