Monday, March 7, 2011

Tweeple Film Awards 2011

The Tweeple Film Award nominations have been announced and I have to say that I am among those who are disappointed at the results. I had assumed that the whole idea of these awards was to highlight performances and films that had been overlooked by other awards shows. In reality, what ended up happening was the same films and actors who were nominated for other awards were nominated here, as well.

To understand the nominating process is to understand why - namely, that the selection was done by big name film critics and by popularly nominated “tweeple” (i.e. twitter folk like me). Here is the Catch-22, the film critics are the same ones who generated the consensus opinions on the films that won awards in other awards shows. We don’t know how the breakdown in tweeple voting went just yet but it’s pretty clear that they went with the same consensus choices, too.


So, the real question is - what were the Tweeple Film Awards supposed to prove other than the fact that people who follow films tended to agree with most of the awards handed out by the big awards shows with a couple of exceptions that I’ll discuss.

[I’ll also note that most of my picks didn’t make it to the final list of nominations but I think that’s because not too many people actually saw - and appreciated - smaller films like
Pankh.]

Here are the categories everybody cares about:

BEST FILM

Udaan
Love, Sex Aur Dhokha
Ishqiya
Peepli [Live]
Band Baaja Baaraat

The only real outliers here are
Love Sex Aur Dhokha, which was only only otherwise nominated for the Star Screen Award, and Ishqiya, only nominated for the Apsara Awards.

Missing from this list are both the popular films like
Dabangg, which scooped up a lot of awards because the general public liked it, and the smaller deliberately difficult films that the critics either didn’t get or didn’t see.

As for me, aside from
Ishqiya and Band Baaja Baarat, there weren’t many Hindi films that really grabbed me as GOOD films in 2010. Tees Maar Khan and Dabangg were hugely entertaining but not the complete package. Guzaarish and Kites were both hot messes.

My real favorite films of 2010 - like in 2009 - were from down South:
Raavanan, Madrasapattinam, and Endhiran.

BEST DIRECTOR

Vikramaditya Motwane for
Udaan
Dibakar Banerjee for
Love, Sex Aur Dhokha
Abhishek Chaubey for
Ishqiya
Maneesh Sharma for
Band Baaja Baaraat
Anusha Rizvi for
Peepli [Live]

Interesting that it’s the exact same group of films that were for
Best Film... this is one of those categories that I feel like everybody has different criteria for. That’s the thing with a lot of us film enthusiasts - we’re not trained.

Again, Abhinav Kashyap for
Dabangg and Karan Johar for My Name Is Khan are not on the list. (Not that they really deserve Best Director but I highly doubt that people were judging the category on anything other than whether they thought the films were GOOD or not.)

BEST ACTOR IN A LEAD ROLE

Rishi Kapoor for
Do Dooni Chaar
Ranveer Singh for
Band Baaja Baaraat
Rajat Barmecha for
Udaan
Omkar Das Manikpuri for
Peepli [Live]
Hrithik Roshan for
Guzaarish

Here is where things get a little more interesting because the
Lead Role category isn’t tied to the whole culture of herogiri that other awards are. Notably missing are those big Heroes: Salman Khan and Shahrukh Khan. However, Ranveer Singh was nominated for playing a hero role and Rajat Barmecha was nominated for being in a film that everybody liked.

What is a real shame is that missing from this list are those consistent heavy hitters who turn in stellar performance after stellar performance but with no recognition because they aren’t Heroes. I’m talking specifically about Naseeruddin Shah and Arshad Warsi for
Ishqiya - both of whom we’ll see below in the supporting actor category.

What are the dividing lines between “Lead” and “Supporting?" And if Arshad and Naseer were BOTH supporting actors, does that make Vidya Balan the sole lead role of
Ishqiya? That really doesn’t sound right to me.

BEST ACTRESS IN A LEAD ROLE

Vidya Balan for
Ishqiya
Anushka Sharma for
Band Baaja Baaraat
Neetu Singh for Do Dooni Chaar
Kajol for
My Name Is Khan
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan for
Guzaarish

This is more or less the exact same list as all the other awards and CRIMINALLY missing are Sameera Reddy for
Red Alert and Lilette Dubey for Pankh. Neither film is amazing but both of these performances just shone - and both roles were much more complex than Kajol’s or Anushka’s. Just because the critical consensus ignores a film doesn’t mean that those actors should be unappreciated.

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Ronit Roy for
Udaan
Arshad Warsi for
Ishqiya
Pradhuman Singh for
Tere Bin Laden
Raghuveer Yadav for
Peepli [Live]
Naseeruddin Shah for
Ishqiya

Three of these actors should be in the
Best Actor category. Pradhuman Singh did a fine job but there were better performances out there - almost all the supporting cast in Raajneeti for one thing. I’d also humbly suggest Amit Purohit as Salim in Pankh and Ankur Vikal in Striker.

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE (FEMALE)

Amrita Puri for
Aisha
Aditi Vasudev for
Do Dooni Chaar
Farrukh Jaffar for
Peepli [Live]
Neha Chauhan for
Love, Sex Aur Dhokha
Shernaz Patel for
Guzaarish

I cannot believe Priyamani isn’t on this list - also Katrina Kaif and Shruti Seth in Raajneeti were very good.

So, is having awards chosen democratically that essentially reward the same films that everybody already awarded (except those excluded due to excessive popularity) really necessary?

If the experiment is continued next year, here is what I'd like to see:

1. Do not let the critics from mainstream publications vote on the nominations. Their voices are already heard in many outlets and lead to nominations packed with the same old faces we see everywhere else.

2. Make sure the jury who are voting on nominations have actually seen most of the films. I can't help but think that reason nobody voted for Sameera Reddy's amazing performance in
Red Alert was that nobody saw it.

3. Have specific criteria that the jury are supposed to be looking for. What should the jury be looking for in
Best Director? Is it the way scenes were set up? The performances he or she got from the actors? And what about for Best Actor? Can a comic performance be considered? Are Hero performances to be excluded entirely?

4. If
filmi performances and films are going to be out of the running, make sure that jury members are aware of this. Maybe make a list of films that will not be considered for certain categories - this year it was unspoken that Dabangg didn't count as a GOOD film despite its massive popularity. Have criteria and stick to them.

5. Understand that you can't please everybody all of the time. I believe it was Calvin from
Calvin and Hobbes who said that a good compromise leaves everybody mad. Don't pander to certain constituencies like the Passion For Cinema crowd because it's no better than Filmfare pandering to Karan Johar.

7 comments:

Lime(tte) said...

Just my point of view - though not all of it is that bad.

Filmi Girl said...

@Lime(tte) You're right - it's not that bad. :) These are the nominees for most of the other awards programs.

My point was that if TwiFi was supposed to be different - they failed.

If they wanted to confirm the other awards shows, then they have. :)

Bombay Talkies said...

The point of TwiFi was to have an awards program that was completely transparent. I don't think the point was ever 'here's a certain type of film we're going to reward.' I don't think you can set criteria and tell people what to base their nominations on because then you're basically saying "vote for these films, not those."

I appreciate the transparency. I never expected the nominations to be massively different from the big awards shows. There are some good surprises here that I like. The critics only made up 25% of the jury--obviously these nominations aren't entirely their doing.

Just as you said...can't please everyone.

Filmi Girl said...

@bombay talkies

It was an interesting experiment and if nothing else it showed that most of the awards given out are given to people who the public generally agrees on.

I'm perfectly willing to accept that I was mistaken in what I thought the purpose of the awards were. :)

Maybe I just got caught up in the hype surrounding something new and different and assumed everybody else felt the same way... and you know what they say about assuming...

Bombay Talkies said...

Well it'll certainly be interesting to see the outcomes, and hopefully the process is smoother next year. I personally think the regular jury should have had a say in the music nominations. I hope they change that next year. And maybe now that the concept is out there and is popular there will be a better effort at choosing a jury. I don't mean better as in "eww all these people suck" but I think a lot of people had a few random picks in there and some exceptional bloggers weren't on the list to even be considered for the jury (ie where on earth was Beth?!). Hopefully next year will be more to everyone's liking. :)

dunkdaft said...

Agree that there's nothing much different as TwiFi was publicized. Big time disappointment to me was the music nominations. One artist / three nominations ! And I instantly told those guys when they roped in the mainstream critics, that way they become pretty much same as regular awards.
Priyamani / Arjun Rampal/Ankur Vikal for Best supporting and Arshad for Lead- were my nominations too. :-(

theBollywoodFan said...

It's really interesting that the awards process in the mainstream is validated with these results. I agree it must just be very hard for people to see movies that don't gain much coverage, especially given the number of releases each year and the length of our films. (Not that I'm complaining about them, they're what differentiate us positively to an extent.)

The tough bit with those independent of the industry is that there's far less incentive to see as many films as possible, even for those of us who love cinema the way we do. Work and life must take priority. It's different when work is Bollywood. Must be nice. :D

If I were Filmfare/Star/Zee, I'd rush to issue a memo to someone in management who read about these awards at the outset, and cite this post as supporting evidence, Filmi Girl. ;) Thank you for this fine coverage!

Note from Filmi Girl:

I love Bollywood - and all the ridiculous things that happen in Bollywood - but it doesn't mean that I can't occasionally make fun of various celebrities and films.

If you don't like my sense of humor, please just move on by - Trolls are not appreciated and nasty comments will be deleted.

xoxo Filmi Girl