A good bit of the sheen has been rubbed off the famous ‘Black Lady’ statuette, leaving her looking a tad sorry... Discontent is pouring in over certain abnormalities in the nomination list of the 63rd Jio Filmfare Awards 2018. And it is not doing the 65-year-old awards brand, which prides itself on celebrating ‘the best Hindi films of the year’, any good.
Here are some of the questions being asked – of course, there has been no answering response from Filmfare…
How does Newton, the film which had been India’s official entry for the Oscars' Best Foreign Language Film category, get completely ignored by Filmfare? How did the film not even get shortlisted and earn even a single nomination? Ironically, the Amit Masurkar directorial had won Best Film at the Star Screen Awards. The critics have, more or less, all hailed the black comedy as the finest film of 2017, and the film was also a thumping success at the box office. So how come the glaring omission?
Interestingly, while Rao’s Trapped has bagged itself a Best Film nomination, its lead actor who carried the film on his shoulders was left out in the cold!
As if to add insult to injury, poor Rajkummar finds himself relegated to the Best Supporting Role (Male) category for his role in Bareilly Ki Barfi! How was this even allowed to happen?
And while Varun Dhawan is a most entertaining actor, he was deemed worthy to rub shoulders with Shah Rukh Khan (Raees) and Irrfan Khan (Hindi Medium). Really, dear jurors?
How was Salman Khan deemed unworthy of even a nomination in the Best Actor category, which features the likes of Varun and Hrithik for Kaabil?
And really, Tiger Zinda Hai misses out completely but Badrinath Ki Dulhania secures a Best Film nomination? Who are they kidding?!
How does the selection committee ignore the wonderful Pankaj Tripathi or the equally scintillating Swara Bhaskar in Anarkali of Aarah? And the utterly lovely Vikrant Massey from Konkana Sen Sharma’s A Death in the Gunj – actor, director and film, all coldly ignored?
The list of complaints goes on and the big question is: just what is the selection criteria and process? Is there any transparency to the proceedings at all? The generally voluble Filmfare editor Jitesh Pillai has been unexpectedly silent on all these queries. This is in stark contrast to the time he recently hit out at Kangana Ranaut for alleging that the Filmfare awards were rigged.
Filmfare will have to do more than simply share a stock explanation of how the awards jury works. Their choices will need to reflect its status as the ‘first and most recognized awards in Indian cinema’. The Black Lady desperately needs to win back some shine now.