Filmfare Award for Shahrukh and Rani

<a href='//' title='Shahrukh Khan' class='article_display_tag' data-id='shahrukh-khan' id='article_tag_data_shahrukh-khan' style='display: inline-block;'><strong>Shahrukh Khan</strong></a> and <a href='//' title='Rani Mukherjee' class='article_display_tag' data-id='rani-mukherjee' id='article_tag_data_rani-mukherjee' style='display: inline-block;'><strong>Rani Mukherjee</strong></a>Nostalgia walked hand-in-hand with contemporaneity as India's oldest and most coveted cinema awards celebrated their 50th year in a glittering ceremony at the MMRDA grounds here on Saturday.

Golden was the hue of the evening — a specially crafted gold trophy, retro performances by top stars and anchoring peppered with anecdotes and trivia from a misty past.
Bollywood's best and brightest — Dev Anand, Sharmila Tagore, Shammi Kapoor, Rekha, Javed Akhtar, Shabana Azmi, Shatrugan Sinha, Karan Johar, Farhan Akhtar, Kajol, Mahima Chowdhury, Manisha Koirala, Kareena Kapoor — were all part of the audience thronging the venue, as were political heavyweights like Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh.

When Amitabh Bachchan walked in with his faithful entourage — Amar Singh and Anil Ambani, the audience forgot what was happening on stage and stood up to catch a glimpse of the actor, proving that the decades may come and go but the Bachchan charisma remains intact.

The four main awards of the night were swept up by Shah Rukh Khan (Best Actor for Swades ), Rani Mukerji (Best Actress for Hum Tum ), Kunal Kohli (Best Director for Hum Tum ) and Yash Chopra (Best Film for Veer-Zaara ). First-time winner Kohli declared his love for his wife, who blew kisses at him from the audience.

Rekha, who presented the Best Actor award to Shah Rukh, quoted an arcane couplet on love, adding that the commonality between her and the Filmfare awards was that they had both entered their fifth decade.

he show was emceed by the irrepressible Saif Ali Khan with Sonali Bendre and Farida Jalal. Last year, Saif and his partner-in-crime Shah Rukh Khan had brought the house down with their wicked swipes at Bollywood celebrities.

This year, SRK was missing on stage but the irreverence wasn't — the audience cracked up repeatedly as Saif lampooned friends and colleagues and ad libbed with his trademark deadpan demeanour.

The performances kicked off with an anthem composed especially for Filmfare's golden jubilee by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy. It was sung by Abhijeet Sawant and Amit Sana, finalists of the popular television talent hunt 'Indian Idol'.

The star acts which punctuated the show were all in rewind mode. Part of the retro chic was the presence of a live band, a feature that was last seen in the Shanumukhananada film nights of the '70s.

This year Sonu Nigam harked back to the golden days with a 25-piece band which accompanied him in a medley of songs from the 1940s on. Beginning with the soulful 'Babul Mora' and ending with his own qawwali from Main Hoon Na , Nigam spanned both decades and genders, adding a touch of mimicry and bringing the house down. There was no doubt that his act rocked.

If Sonu was the voice of the past, Rani Mukerji and Priyanka Chopra were its twinkle toes. Rani danced to a medley of popular hits from ' Hothon Pe Aisi Baat' to 'Choli Ke Peeche' while Priyanka Chopra sizzled to sultry dance numbers from the '70s and '80s, such as 'Yeh Mera Dil Pyar Ka Diwana' from Don .

Undboutedly, the most unique act of the evening was Shah Rukh Khan's delineation of romance down the ages — shaking a leg to popular tunes from the '60s on, he was accompanied by the original leading ladies themselves — from a bespectacled Vyjanthimala to the gorgeous Sharmila Tagore and the sultry Zeenat Aman, Jaya Prada and Rekha, down to Kajol, Rani and Preity Zinta. As each actress was serenaded by Shah Rukh, the audience went wild.

In keeping with the sepia hue, Lata Mangeshkar, Dilip Kumar and veteran composer Naushad, the first winners of the Filmfare awards in their respective categories, were felicitated by Amitabh Bachchan and CM Deshmukh.

While Amitabh showered praise on the trio, it was Naushad's exceptional thank you speech which moved the audience. "I am grateful that Filmfare has remembered me after 50 years," said the maestro, who was in a wheelchair. "Beech mein nahin yaad kiya ."

He then quoted a couplet, the essence of which was that it was better to let some things go. The couplet and his subsequent remark on the pedestrian quality of certain latter-day songs and lyrics triggered a roar of approval and thunderous applause from the audience.

Farhan Akhtar and Ashutosh Gowariker gave away another special award — to Ramesh Sippy whose Sholay was adjudged the best film of the past 50 years. There was a lot of good-natured banter between Akhtar, Gowariker and presenter Karan Johar about who, among them, was Sippy's greatest fan.

The Lifetime Achievement Award went to an actor who was discovered 40 years ago in a Filmfare-United Producers contest. Rajesh Khanna went on to become a rage after his first hit Aradhana — girls sent him letters written in blood, the word 'superstar' was coined for him by the media, and Khannamania generally prevailed until the superstar was unseated by the next claimant to the crown, Amitabh Bachchan. Khanna, dressed in flowing white kurta-pyjama accepted the award with customary 'shairana andaz', quoting a couplet.

An audiovisual tribute against the haunting background melody of ' Bicchede Sabhi Bari Bari' from Pyaasa was paid to those from the cinema fraternity who had passed away in the previous year — Vijay Anand, Gulshan Rai, Yash Johar, Mehmood, Nirupa Roy, Parveen Babi, Amrish Puri and Laxmikant Berde.

The event was sponsored by the Swarup Group of Industries, Reliance India Mobile, Bright Advertising, Velocity Car Rentals, ICICI Lombard, Hyatt Regency, Coca Cola, Damas, the UB Group and Chateaux Indage. Radio Mirchi and Sony Television were the official partners of the event, which was managed by 360 Degrees.

Courtsey: Times of India