Let’s face it, Filmfare’s distinction between popular and critic’s choice is a bit of a hogwash. It’s a scheme to award those closer to merit along with the comparatively more popular choice. It’s an apology to those who actually deserve the award, but who might not necessarily make for good television. That’s why Filmfare needs the BIG stars. Their attendance, their dance performances and also their miserable attempts at poking fun at themselves and their contemporaries.
The 2019 Filmfare awards were no different, as the stars defeated the actors yet again. The awards ceremony prioritised the presence of celebrities over rewarding those who shook the industry with their hardwork. Criticising Bollywood awards are becoming a bit of a chore, where talent and hardwork is one of the last determinants of a possible winner. So instead of outraging over it (again!) we chose our own winners.
These are the films/actors/technicians that should have won, provided Filmfare really cared about merit.
Best Film: Raazi
Who should have won: Andhadhun
Sriram Raghavan’s twisted thriller was arguably the best Hindi film of 2018. Raazi wasn’t even in the top 5. Would a film like Raazi have won if the film didn’t star Alia Bhatt and wasn’t produced by Karan Johar? Who knows.
Best Actor in a Leading Role (Female): Alia Bhatt, Raazi
Who should have won: Tabu, Andhadhun
Tabu’s femme-fatale was several times more complex than Alia Bhatt’s Sehmat. But Tabu’s attendance wouldn’t really do a lot for TRPs? Would it?
Best Actor in a Leading Role (Male): Ranbir Kapoor, Sanju
Who should have won: Vineet Kumar Singh, Mukkabaaz
We are not questioning Ranbir Kapoor’s acting prowess, but Vineet Kumar Singh’s singleminded dedication to play the titular character in Anurag Kashyap’s Mukkabaaz was Raging Bull-level cool. But when were popular awards ever about recognising hard work ? We needed to recognise Ranbir Kapoor this year. How else would you show him thanking Alia Bhatt for his win?
Best Debut Actor(Female): Sara Ali Khan, Kedarnath
Who should have won: Radhika Madan, Pataakha
Arguably the most exciting young female actor in Hindi cinema at the moment, Radhika Madan played a foulmouthed village girl (Pataakha) and an amateur martial artist (Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota) within the span of a year. She should have ideally got the award right? Pagal hai kya? Sara Ali Khan has two consecutive ‘hits’ and Saif Ali Khan and Amrita Singh for parents’? Craft be damned.
Best Debut Actor (Male): Ishaan Khatter, Beyond The Clouds
Who should have won: Avinash Tiwary, Laila Majnu
Avinash Tiwary arguably delivered the most scintillating performance by a debutante in Hindi cinema, in 2018. But Shahid Kapoor’s brother will obviously get the go-ahead before Tiwary. Also, Dhadak was a success.
Best Director: Meghna Gulzar, Raazi
Who should have won: Shoojit Sircar, October
Even Meghna Gulzar’s biggest fans (especially those who have seen Talvar) will tell you that Raazi was hardly her best film. Forget being the best directed Hindi film in 2018. Shoojit Sircar’s uncompromising vision for October (with a mainstream Bollywood star) should have gotten a nod. But Raazi was the bigger hit.
Best Actor In A Supporting Role (Male): Gajraj Rao, Badhaai Ho and Vicky Kaushal, Sanju
Who should have won: Pankaj Tripathi, Stree and Gajraj Rao, Badhaai Ho
There isn’t much to pick apart in the supporting actor categories. But one only wishes that the likes of Gajraj Rao and Neena Gupta would get Best Actor/Actress nominations instead of being bungled up in the supporting cast.
Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Female): Surekha Sikri, Badhaai Ho
Who should have won: Surekha Sikri, Badhaai Ho or Neena Gupta, Badhaai Ho
Best Dialogue: Akshat Ghildial, Badhaai Ho
Who should have won: Akshat Ghildial, Badhaai Ho
This is probably one award they got right, where Akshat Ghildial’s dialogues were a rage even when the trailer of the film dropped.
Best Original Story: Anubhav Sinha, Mulk
Who should have won: Sriram Raghavan/Arijit Biswas/Pooja Ladha Surti/Yogesh Chandekar/Hemanth Rao, Andhadhun
While Anubhav Sinha’s Mulk was a solid film, it’s hard to imagine it being awarded for ‘original story’ in a year where Sriram Raghavan and his team set us on arguably the wildest chase of the year. This almost seems like an effort to ‘accommodate’ Mulk during the evening.
Best Music Album: Padmaavat, Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Who should have won: Manmarziyaan, Amit Trivedi
Sanjay Leela Bhansali winning Best Music in a year where Amit Trivedi created his 14-track magnum opus soundtrack for Anurag Kashyap’s Manmarziyaan, is probably the single biggest joke of the evening. Also, where Niladri Kumar’s Laila-Majnu didn’t even get a nomination. WHAT DOES MUSIC HAVE TO DO WITH A FILM’S BOX OFFICE?
Best Playback Singer (Male): Arijit Singh for Ae Watan, Raazi
Who should have won: Arijit Singh for Bin-Te-Dil, Padmaavat
Arijit Singh gave the standout playback performance in his rendition of Bin-Te-Dil in Padmaavat. Him winning for anything else kinda’ proves how clueless the jury is about awarding the right song/album/film.
Best Playback Singer (Female): Shreya Ghoshal for Ghoomar, Padmaavat
Who should have won: Rachita Arora for Bahut Dukha Mann, Mukkabaaz
Rachita Arora’s soundtrack for Mukkabaaz was arguably the most underrated of the year. But of course, the jury would have to know about its existence before going ahead with the safe option of Shreya Ghoshal in one of the year’s biggest hits. It’s surely the easier way out.