We Know Bollywood Awards Are a Sham, but Here’s Why

Why are Bollywood awards so terrible?

3 min read

So at a leading award ceremony a few years ago, Kriti Sanon and Shahid Kapoor were awarded with a ridiculous award which was called ‘Nothing to Hide Award’. What does that even mean?

Over the years, the reason why people don't take these awards seriously is because of their silly categories and having more and more of them have only made things worse. So here are some of the most ridiculous categories at these award shows.

1) Parineeti Chopra once received an award for ‘Style Icon’, in a year where she had no releases.

2) Amitabh Bachchan has been given the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ way too many times so they have to find new ways to award him. So they give him awards like ‘Extraordinary Achievement Award’, or ‘Star of the Millennium’. Not of the decade or the century, the MILLENIUM! Maybe next time they can give him ‘Most Active on Twitter Award’.

3) Two years ago at yet another award function, Taapsee Pannu won an award called 'Impactful Female of the Year/Girl Power Award'. And the next year she wasn’t even nominated for her acclaimed performance in Manmarziyaan. Oh but then the slots are fixed, I get it. I get why she wasn't nominated.

4) And finally my personal favourite is one called ‘I Am More Than You Can See’ which was given to Kareena Kapoor.

The first fundamental problem with these ceremonies is that they’re televised. So these awards are started by a film magazine or publication and are then watched on TV. Because it’s on TV, the TRPs need to be high, so that they can get sponsors and advertisers on board for the next awards ceremony. For eyeballs they need big stars like an Alia Bhatt, Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh, Shah Rukh Khan and so on to attend the awards. The stars come if they’re being given an award, or if they’re being paid insane amounts to perform at the awards show. And this cycle just continues.

Most of these award shows also have two divisions in the acting categories - ‘Critics Choice’ and the other is the ‘Popular Choice’.

The Popular Choice awards are based on public voting while the Critics Choice is given by a panel of filmmakers. But who are these filmmakers and what is the process like? Maybe there could be some more transparency on that, right?

In 2018, Ranbir Kapoor won the 'Best Actor (Popular)' and Ranveer Singh and Ayushmann won the 'Best Actor (Critics)' at one of these ceremonies. Is it because Sanju is a bigger hit than Andhadhun and Padmaavat? Why should that even be a barometer to judge a performance right? It should be based on merit.

We don’t really know what the parameters are. What they need to do is get rid of these divisions, and have one solid category. You can divide them on the basis of genre, like the Golden Globes does. They have musicals and drama etc., but not on the basis of ‘Popular’ and ‘Critics Choice'.

Some stars like Aamir Khan and Kangana Ranaut have boycotted these ceremonies.

Aamir hasn’t been attending award shows for years, but it needs to be a collective effort.

The major difference between the Oscars or actually any other international award show and the Indian ceremonies is that everyone attends the awards. For example, last year Olivia Colman won the award for 'Best Actress' at the Oscars, but all the other nominees were present including actors like Glenn Close. They’re all there clapping for each other and yes it might be fake, but they take the ceremony seriously and attend it.

The Oscars also go live and it’s a spectacle with some great performances.

Our shows are, on the other hand, an unending series of unfunny gags, with actors dressing like this.

There is some hope though - the Film Critics Guild Awards, started a few years ago, is a pan India, pan language body that comprises of top critics of the country as a part of their jury. For now it’s not televised and one can only hope that it doesn’t fall into the trap of sponsors and stars.

So the Oscars aren’t perfect they’re often discriminatory and there is white supremacy, but we can at least aspire to have the kind of celebration of cinema that they have or at least match up to it. Until then, we live in hope and if you like this video like, share, subscribe to The Quint!

Video Editor: Veeru Krishan Mohan

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