Please don’t refer to the Filmfare Awards as the Oscars in India. Please!

Being a part of a country that’s host to the second biggest film industry in the world, it’s often so sad when cinemagoers mindlessly refer to the Filmfare Awards in India synonymously to the prestigious 83 year old Academy Awards in Hollywood.

Even though unfortunately most of us have come to terms with a ripped off word like ‘Bollywood’ being attributed to the Hindi film industry, many of us are not comfortable with people using Filmfare and Oscars in the same sentence, obviously with some inter-referring meaning.

While the Oscars give due weighting to all kinds of cinema, be it domestic or international, with big stars or small ones, however there is one thing they seem to focus less on, i.e., the performance of the movie at the ticket counters.

When I try to recollect any film which received similar status in India, my imaginary eyes feel sore and cannot reach beyond a certain point because there doesn’t seem to be an answer, apart from just a handful of few movies that didn’t fare well, but struck a cord with a certain section of the society and rocketed high with only critical acclaim.

Even though people these days question the credibility of the Academy of the Oscar awards, I still think of it to be in high regard, unlike its so-called Indian counterpart. The Oscars are not just like any other randomly picked up commercial ceremony held. It does have a purpose of making the best of cinema reach out to people and encourage the work of those, who probably didn’t receive the best box office collections.

On the other hand, Filmfare is going to the dogs, year by year and I mean it. There is absolutely no status maintained. Our long lost Indian film ancestors would be making a mockery of the whole situation, if they were alive today.

Some of you might be thinking why my opinion over the topic is so staunch? Well, I have a few examples to share, frantically many, but not enough space and effort to do so. Have a look at the previous year’s nominees, may be for all categories and laugh at yourself for watching these awards. ‘Dabangg’ receives the “prestigious” 56th Filmfare award for Best Film. Isn’t it shameful?

The film had nothing but a successful 24 hours played item number, over-the-top action and the stories of a cop who almost did nothing. The reason, we all know, might be how Salman Khan’s presence at the award ceremony would help in making promos that would mindlessly, creatively and drive-away for the consumers to believe how SRK and he had a fight and then finally build up a huge viewership statistic and then reach new heights in the TRP race.

Shahrukh obviously makes an appearance hosting (Let’s give him credit for that, because he’s good.) raking in some big bucks and not caring too much about receiving the award since the moolah is in his pocket, but he would obviously demand receiving the award if he wasn’t making money per minute that night. Such is the hypocrisy of this world.

While films like Guzaarish didn’t do well at the box office, they were turned down for the awards (even though it deserved some) because of the same reason. Hrithik Roshan walked off that evening, probably after he found out how scripted and downgraded the awards were.

Like we’ve heard of issues like paid news, we’ve also got to know what paid awards mean. Some actors make appearances only if they’re being felicitated with an award or their loved ones are, and some give a peek-a-boo for five minutes but their small visit is capitulated into one of the biggest aired promos and interviews.

Leaving aside these innumerable examples, what I’d like to point out as my last opinion, is the relationship shared between the awards ceremony and the people of the industry. While at the Oscars, even the biggest stars at the Hollywood walk of fame would genuinely want to be associated, in India, stars make a visit if they’re being paid for an award, if they’re dancing without any rhythm or their publicist says how important it is to make sure the limelight strikes right on them.

In India, where thousands of crores are spent on making films, didn’t you think a few films like ‘Do Dooni Chaar’, ‘Udaan’, ‘Tere Bin Laden’ and ‘Guzaarish’ deserved more attention than films like, ‘Housefull’, ‘Anjaana Anjani’ or ‘Tees Maar Khan’? Are awards only given to those who prove their viability on the box office and not the minds of an average going cine-goer? I understand the scarcity of experimental scrips, producers and directors, but I would not accept how ‘Dabangg’ wins the best film award in comparison to few of the above mentioned movies. Award ceremonies have lost their shine, glamour and appeal. They’re nothing but money dwelling machines making an appearance once in a year.

Vishant Pachisia