SCREEN TOUGH GUY Salman Khan’s corrupt cop romp Dabangg won a clutch of awards including best picture at the 12th International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) awards - popularly dubbed the ‘Bollywood Oscars’ - held late Saturday.
The film directed by Abhinav Kashyap won in the hugely important music categories, as well as best screenplay. The award for best male playback singer went to Rahat Fateh Ali Khan for Tere Mast Mast Do Nain fromDabanng.
“I love you so much,” screamed Mamta Sharma over and over, after winning the award for best female playback singer for the song Munni Badnam from the same movie.
For best music direction, the award went to Sajid-Wajid and Lalit Pandit for Dabangg.
For best lyrics, the award went to Niranjan Iyengar for Sajda and Noor-e-Khuda in My Name is Khan.
Presenting the best debut award to Sonakshi Sinha, yesteryears’ diva Hema Malini said, “I saw this girl and never thought she will become an actress.”
A beaming Sonakshi said: “Toronto, Thanks for giving me the gift of IIFA. I will cherish it forever.”
Actor Sonu Sood also picked up the award for best performance in a negative role as the evil head of a regional political party in the film.
My Name is Khan followed with four nods for best story, best lyrics, best director for Karan Johar and best actor for Shah Rukh Khan’s portrayal of a Muslim suffering from Asperger’s syndrome who is detained at a US airport after his disability is mistaken for suspicious behaviour.
The making of the film was “emotional and therapeutic,” Johar said after the win, adding it taught him “restraint and love.”
Tens of thousands of fans swarmed Toronto’s Rogers’ Centre stadium for the event.
Shah Rukh Khan, Anil Kapoor and the Deol family were among the dozens of Bollywood superstars in attendance, along with Oscar-winners Hilary Swank and Cuba Gooding Jr.
A tense moment followed when a fan grabbed Shah Rukh Khan onstage, leading him to complain that the man was hurting his leg.
“This is the problem, only men grab my thighs,” Khan joked as his assailant was escorted off stage.
Khan’s return to the awards show after a six-year absence had earlier been put in doubt by a knee injury that had required being taped up at a hospital and “a couple of injections.”
He said he had fractured a part of the bone and the ligament was “swollen to three times the size it should be.”
He had vowed to perform at the IIFA show but in the end his dance steps were tremendously scaled back, and he urged the audience to fill in the rest by dancing in the aisles.
‘Who said award shows are not fixed?’
Anushka Sharma won for best leading female role for the romantic comedy Band Baaja Baaraat, which marked the directing debut of Maneesh Sharma.
Ranvir Singh won the award for best debut male award for his role in Band Baaja Baaraat.
Accepting the award from veteran actor couple Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh, the young actor said, “It is special to me as the award is presented by my idol. (But) it is just the beginning.”
Arjun Rampal and Prachi Desai won awards for best supporting roles in the thriller Raajneeti and the gangster movie Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai, respectively.
Ritesh Deshmukh, who co-hosted the Indian film industry’s glitziest awards show with Boman Irani, won best performance in a comic role inHousefull.
“Who said award shows are not fixed?” he quipped. “If you host the awards show for four years, they give you an award.”