Screen Awards: Milkha, Ram-Leela and Madras Cafe dominate
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As quicksilver star dancer Shahid Kapoor descended on the stage, the music swelled and the fireworks went up in beautifully orchestrated bursts. It was time for Lights, Camera, Action, as it all came together for the Kamla Pasand 20th Annual Life OK Screen Awards.
The Screen song filled the air. "Dhak dhak dil dil, dil dil dhak dhak" perfectly encapsulated the mood of the evening: Indian hearts beat loudest for movies. And the Screen awards, the most respected in the industry, kickstarted the awards season to honour the best and brightest in Bollywood and in Marathi cinema, which continues to astonish with its startlingly original talent.
The year gone by was Indian cinema's centenary year. In his opening remarks, Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari, the chief guest, held out some awards of his own: single-window clearance for filmmaking, overhauling the archaic Cinematograph Act, nod for the Rs 600 crore National Film Heritage Mission, and the opening of The Museum Of Indian Cinema in Mumbai soon.
As anchor Shah Rukh Khan arrived, dapper in a sharp black suit, the temperature rose perceptibly. The audience was waiting for the superstar: he grinned, and we could see his dimple flash all the way across the MMRDA Grounds.
Yo Yo Honey Singh entertained with a rap medley, including his popular "Blue Eyes", and the show was well and truly swinging. Next up was Sonu Sood, who did some dangerous stuff on a motorcycle, and then flung off his shirt — both stunts drew hoots and claps.
2013 has been a year of the most unusual confluence in Indian cinema. The big mainstream giants shook hands with the small, individual rookies, and got a couple of the best Indian films into theatres. The Rs 100 crore figure lost its jaw-dropping quality: Bollywood welcomed its first Rs 300 crore film with Dhoom 3. As it happens every year, the big tent-pole productions made a lot of money. But this year was not all standard procedure business. A handful of films, like The Ship Of Theseus and The Lunchbox, which redefined the meaning of "mainstream", coasted on novelty and creativity, and took Indian cinema to places it hadn't been before.