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Monday, 26 January 2015

The HIndie Awards 2015: Acting Awards Part 1

The HIndie Awards 2015

The year saw quite a few fantastic performances. 

Now Awards Season is upon us and while most shows have got it right in terms of winners, they've failed to acknowledge truly great nominees and more importantly a whole host of underrated actors. 

While Tiger Shroff sweeps most best new actor awards, one wonders what Bollywood be like if Nepotism weren't ingrained in its history. We'd have lost tons of great actors no doubt, but a Tusshar Kapoor, a Fardeen Khan, a Zayed Khan and now a Tiger Shroff would not have won Mal debut awards that they shouldn't. 

But then again, one wonders what if our awards shows were at least honest if not better. 

Not that my blog awards are top notch. One of this special awards on this blog that you'll see below reside on my ulterior motives. 

The award in question is...

HIndie Award for Best Ensemble Cast

Rahul Bhat, Ronit Roy, Tejaswini Kolhapure, Girish Kulkarni, Vineet Kumar Singh, Siddhanth Kapoor and Surveen Chawla with Mukesh Chhabra (Casting Director) for Ugly

Not to take anything away from their performances or the film, but one major reason Ugly wins this award is because of how brilliant both Rahul Bhat and Ronit Roy were in a year where there were just slightly better performances edging them out. 

If not for that, I might have given this one to Finding Fanny. 

Still it's not the only reason. Speaking truthfully, none of the actors can truly be called leading in Anurag Kashyap's fearsome film. They all form part of cohesive unit that allows each of their characters to gather enough power to push the sublime narrative forward. 

Each main actor gets a moment in the sun to shine and each one supports the other as they reveal the layers of their characters and the plot at hand. 

Bhat's return to film is a fantastic one, he is simply magnificent as the desperate father and conflicted schemer. He wears the badge of a loser convincingly while stringing the audience along. It's sad to see how wasted the past decade or so was for him, when you see how amazing he is here. 

Ronit Roy plays to type as a harsh inspector with an iron fist at home, but deftly mines depths of chaotic natures. He is as despicable as the rest, but the last expression he sells puts the films message in a nutshell while giving you more on these men and women than we could comprehend. 

Tejaswini Kolhapure is so fantastic as the addicted and somewhat uncaring mother, she doesn't get much scope but when she does, she steals the thunder. So much so, that she could have been the only viable candidate to push into a leading category. 

Vineet Kumar Singh and Girish Kulkarni bring different things to the table that inject the right amount of character and situation to the film. While Kapoor and Chawla are aptly suitable in smaller roles. 

Overall this ensemble doesn't necessarily work as a tandem but rather in an chaotically ordered fashion, where they play off each other to take the plot forward towards its riveting end. 

HIndie Award for Best Breakthrough Performance (Male)


Sharib Hashmi as Sunny for Filmistaan

A decade long struggle for Sharib Hashmi ended in 2012 when he was cast opposite Shahrukh Khan in Jab Tak Hai Jaan.

For Sunny, the character Hashmi plays in the charming indie Filmistaan, that would have been a highly surreal moment and heart attack inducing. It's what defines Sunny, he's an out and out hardcore Bollywood buff.

Sadly for Sunny he has an acting keeda and repeated failures push him to be a part of the filmy world bringing him out to the edge of the Indo-Pak border. Sunny's captured by conflicted Jihadist militants hording over a quaint Pakistan village.

Yet he doesn't waver. The underlining tension and drama that Sharib Hashmi molds into comedic laughter and spirited resolve, are a wonder to behold. He has an innate sense of timing, pulling of the most funniest lines and actions with aplomb.

Cinema is a powerful tool in Filmistaan and Hashmi as Sunny wields it with joyous glory. He creates a crackling chemistry with Inaamulhaq and while he's sublime in the comedy, he is transcendent during the hearty dramatic moments.

A moment as Sunny stands up to the militant leader played by Kumud Mishra, Sunny is unrelenting, he gets beat but still holds onto his camera. It's a moment of profound effect that Hashmi echoes about Sunny's undeniable passion for cinema, despite his idiosyncrasies.

In a year that's once again seen terrible star kids gain magnum applause, here is a man who has persevered and deserves to be celebrated like Sunny does his cinema.

PS: Watch him mouth Salman Khan's Maine Pyar Kiya dialogues with craft during the mute pirated film screening scene in Filmistaan.

HIndie Award for Best Breakthrough Performance (Female)

Patralekha as Rakhee for Citylights

There's a tense moment in Citylights, where Rakhee finally confronts her husband about his hopes, desires and overall naivety and stupidity regarding their move to the big city and their plight. 

It's an emotionally striking point where the newbie actor has to convey her emotions and rage through her dialogue while shouting. It's not a point that most female actors can get through to you at all, it's obviously hard, shouting and speaking tends to get a bit too squeaky and indecipherable. 

Yet there's something so brilliant about the way Patralekha delivers her dialogue here that everything gets through; from the overt anger to the underlining burden and shame she carries now. 

It's due to the inflictions she puts and the balance she gains during that moment. The point does feel like she is madly shouting but she really gets the obvious sub text out to the viewer as she points at how hungry their daughter is. 

It's these smaller bits that allow her to give such a performance that she nearly threatens to overshadow Rajkumar. Nearly, of course. 

Just imagine this. She's a debutante, in a film where she has intricately complex character arc, opposite a man whose just won a national award for a film he did with the director of this one and that man is her boyfriend thus raising questions to the credibility of her casting. 

Yet despite this, Patralekha jumps the hurdles and gives a performance that is distinctively her own. The little shifts in body language through the film are well worth a watch, her accent pitch perfect and her reactions to instances mind blowing. The final scene is only made moving thanks to the weight of emotions and character arcs she carries on her expression. 

This is one actor, hopefully here to stay.

So that's that for the special acting awards. There's a lot more to check out in the acting department but before that we'll take a detour to an award I have doubled for my own indulgence and that is the screenplay awards. 

Up Next: Dramas collide with Comedies/Musicals as Road trips, take into an enjoyable empowering feature, a bombastic sequel, some pitch perfect comedy and then towards dreary subject matters with stark game changing thrillers and a celebration of cinema in HIndie Awards for Best Screenplay Drama and Comedy/Musical 

'Nuff Said

Aneesh Raikundalia 


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