The Big Bolly Show
Song, dance and all that jazz — t2oS was in the house to witness the IIFA magic in Bangkok
- Published 1.07.18
The baton for the 19th IIFA Awards was in possession of Bolly’s Gen Y brigade but a certain 63-year-old lady upstaged them, fixing the spotlight firmly on her. The 2,000-strong audience at the Siam Niramit theatre in Bangkok sat spellbound as Rekha took the stage for her first performance in a decade, making it the highlight of the six-hour extravaganza, organised by Wizcraft, on June 24. t2oS lists the highlights of the evening.
NIGHT OF R & R
Looking beautiful in pink, Rekha mesmerised with a 21-minute act to a medley of classic Bollywood hits. She brought the auditorium to its feet when her Muqaddar Ka Sikandar number Salaam-e-ishq played out.
The Bolly diva showed off some signature Amitabh Bachchan moves too — who was not in the auditorium — prompting the young gang of Varun Dhawan, Ranbir Kapoor, Arjun Kapoor, Kartik Aaryan, Shraddha Kapoor and Kriti Sanon to scramble to the stage to join her. Ranbir gave her a hug and Rekha did a curtain call with the young stars saying, “Today, sharing stage space with them has made me a better actor and a better performer”.
The other top draw of the night was “rockstar” Ranbir, who made an aerial entry from the back of the auditorium strumming a double-neck guitar. His act opened with a stunning light-and-sound medley as he danced to Bulleya, Badtameez dil and Besharam, and capped it off with Sadda haq.
Karan Johar and Riteish Deshmukh, both of whom know a thing or two about anchoring big-ticket shows on screen and stage, made a grand entry, with Riteish being carried in a palanquin. Reason? He was cosplaying as Ranveer Singh’s Alauddin Khilji from Padmaavat, but his name was the somewhat off-putting Hilauddin Hilji!
If the showy entry was reserved for Riteish, his co-host KJo had the funniest one-liners, delivered with his trademark deadpan. From mock-complaining “Main toh IIFA ka trophy lag raha hoon”, showing off his golden D&G jacket as he matched steps with dancers sporting masks of his ‘students’ — Alia Bhatt, Sidharth Malhotra, Varun Dhawan and Tiger Shroff (remember how “nepotism rocks” had rocked IIFA New York in 2017?) — to turning up his nose at Kriti Sanon’s voluminous Mark Bumgarner silver gown with “Kriti is wearing a 2BHK apartment today”, Karan didn’t need ‘Koffee’ to start the evening on a steaming note.
Anil Kapoor, a “friend of IIFA” for more than a decade now, dominated almost every gag, tribute and honour presentation.
He teared up when paying tribute to Sridevi, spoke eloquently about good friend Anupam Kher when presenting him with the Lifetime Achievement award, and brought on his My name is Lakhan moves, with Karan Johar for company, in a three-minute act where he showed he could even teach Ranbir Kapoor a few new moves for Galti se mistake. There’s no stopping this 61-year-old young man.
Karan and Riteish supplied them aplenty and the one we loved the most had filmmaker Anurag Basu breaking into a jig to his Jagga Jasoos hit Galti se mistake.
Karan Johar also came up with a slew of impromptu lines. Like when Boman Irani came up to tutor the hosts in Thai and forced Riteish to tell Karan, “Main tumhare bachche ka baap banne waala hoon”, KJo shot back: “Aur tumne mujhe ab tak bataya nahin?!” Or when Riteish flashed a picture of a hairy Anil Kapoor to claim that Jungle Book was first made in Bollywood, Karan quipped: “Shukr manao ki Anil Kapoor backstage hain… tum baal baal bach gaye!”
FEEL THE SWAG
Varun Dhawan’s moves to his biggest hits — we loved the cool steps to Judwaa 2’s Aao toh sahi — was a knockout act, especially with the play of neon lights and VD’s unending energy. Kartik Aaryan mixed it up well with Swag se swagat and Suit suit, and Shraddha Kapoor earned claps — Baarish to The Humma song — for her act. In comparison, Kriti Sanon was low on energy when she came on stage with Arjun Kapoor. But Arjun did make up for it with his zesty moves to Hawa hawa and Chumme mein chyawanprash.
Varun Dhawan, Arjun Kapoor, Ayushmann Khurrana and Kartik Aaryan being on stage together meant a lot of dhamaal and bro bonding. The four boys clearly have a fun equation off screen, and their inside jokes livened up the evening. And with some help from Riteish, the trio of Arjun, Ayushmann and Kartik left Varun red-faced as they tried to strip him off his white shirt and urged him to show off his six-pack abs to the screaming girls in the audience. Varun bolted backstage, half his shirt buttons open!
The evening was a tribute to three actors who had passed away in the last few months — Vinod Khanna, Shashi Kapoor and Sridevi — and they were remembered in the ‘In Memoriam’ section.
Director Ramesh Sippy received the tribute trophy for Vinod Khanna (his family wasn’t present). Rishi Kapoor received the honour for his uncle Shashi, from son Ranbir. Rishi was his usual chatty self, referring to Shashi as “an absolute brat when he was young” and revealing how Shashi — who directed him with Amitabh Bachchan in Ajooba — used to carry a cane to discipline them on the sets of the 1991 fantasy-superhero film!
The evening’s most emotional tribute was paid to Sridevi. Sridevi’s husband Boney Kapoor — escorted to the stage by his son Arjun, who constantly held on to his father’s hand during the tribute — broke down often, saying how much he missed her and requesting audiences worldwide to give the same love to their daughter Janhvi who makes her big debut with Dhadak on July 20. “Janhvi will carry on her legacy,” teared up Boney.
THE TOP HONOURS
Best Picture: Tumhari Sulu
Best Story: Amit V. Masurkar (Newton)
Best Direction: Saket Chaudhary (Hindi Medium)
Best Actor in a Leading Role (Female): Sridevi (Mom)
Best Actor in a Leading Role (Male): Irrfan Khan (Hindi Medium)
Best Music Direction: Amaal Mallik, Tanishk Bagchi & Akhil Sachdeva (Badrinath Ki Dulhania)
Best Playback Singer (Female): Meghna Mishra (for Main kaun hoon from Secret Superstar)
Best Playback singer (Male): Arijit Singh (for Hawayein from Jab Harry Met Sejal)
Best Lyrics: Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, A1 Melody Fana & Manoj Muntashir (for Mere rashke qamar from Baadshaho)
In the run-up to the big awards night, the technical honours were handed out at the Siam Niramit theatre.
The hosts: Ayushmann Khurrana and Kartik Aaryan, teaming up for the first time, had some initial hiccups — teleprompter acting up to lines not rolling off the tongue easily — but they recovered quickly to make it a fun evening. They were cheesy (“If you have Sawadee Kha, we have Shah Rukh Kha, Salman Kha and Aamir Kha”) and cheeky (referring to each other by their initials, “AK” and “KA”, the two couldn’t help saying, "We just did a 69 out there!”).
The LOL moment: When the Bolly gang in the front row was asked to sing some of their favourite romantic numbers, substituting “dil” for “chaddi”, music man Pritam went, “Badtameez chaddi, badtameez chaddi, badtameez chaddi... maane naa maane naa” and Karan Johar crooned “Chaddi cheez kya hain aap meri jaan lijiye!” The most ewww line came from Riteish Deshmukh a little later: “Achha hain main audience mein nahin tha nahin toh mujhe gaana padta, ‘Dekha jo tujhe yaar, chaddi mein baji guitar!’”
The highlights: Jagga Jasoos took home three trophies, for background score, choreography and special effects. Vijay Ganguly and Ruel Dausan Varindani, the winners for best choreography, danced to Galti se mistake, with Kartik and Ayushmann joining in.
The ‘fashion quotient’ of some Bolly stars was tested — resulting in more laughter — when the host duo pulled out a few costumes and walked into the audience. So Arjun Kapoor strapped on a lungi (with velcro) and showed off some crazy moves to Hum kaale hain and Dia Mirza slipped on a sari (“This is without velcro!” she mock complained) and danced to Tip tip barsa paani.
The evening’s top two minutes? When Karan Johar entered the stage to shake a leg to the Aankhen chartbuster Laal dupatte waali — with a laal dupatta around his neck. Joining him were Anil Kapoor, Shraddha Kapoor, Ayushmann and Kartik. KJo’s moves were a big hit, but he was no match for Anil Kapoor’s energy!
The glam: Fashion met film with Shantanu & Nikhil showcasing their mustard and monochrome collection with Anil Kapoor (yes, the man did it all!) and Dia Mirza as showstoppers. Vikram Phadnis had stunners Diana Penty and Radhika Apte as showstoppers for his Bolly-inspired line.
The top performance: Nushrat Bharucha’s spirited moves to her Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety chartbusters — Bom diggy diggy, Chhote chhote peg and Dil chori.
The finale: The curtains came down on the three-hour event with what was possibly the best bit of the entire weekend. Konkona Sensharma, looking sharp in all black, took the mic to talk about the need to preserve India’s cinematic heritage, culminating her speech with how Raja Harishchandra, the 1913 classic directed by Dadasaheb Phalke and considered India’s first full-length feature film, has been “partially lost”. Cue for Pritam and his talented orchestra to sync their performance to a 13-minute screening of Raja Harishchandra. The performance, as expected, won a standing ovation.
Pritam and his entourage of singers — Sreerama Chandra, Amit Mishra, Shalmali Kholgade, Antara Mitra, Nakash Aziz and Calcutta girl Nikhita Gandhi — followed it up with an almost hour-long performance of the music man’s biggest hits.
ON THE SIDELINES
The theme of this year’s awards was the preservation of Indian cinema’s heritage, for which IIFA Foundation teamed up with Osian, an art fund dedicated to the cause of preserving Indian cinema. Some rare posters of Bollywood films were on display at the Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park, on June 21, culminating into an auction. Race 3 star Bobby Deol and filmmaker Ramesh Sippy were the Bolly presence at the inauguration. Dia Mirza bid for and bought the Mother India poster featuring Nargis and Sunil Dutt at the auction two days later, held in the presence of Anil Kapoor and Anupam Kher. “I’ve bought this for Sanjay Dutt,” dimpled the actress, who plays his wife Maanayata in Sanju.
VARUN, VARUN, VARUN!
Gen Y Bolly had turned up in full force but there was only one star that the screaming fans, mostly young girls, had their eyes peeled on. Varun Dhawan triggered hysteria when he walked into EMQuartier, a luxury shopping destination, on a cloudy Saturday afternoon dressed in white trousers, a pale blue shirt and white tee. While the fans held up placards that read “I love u Varun” and “Varun will u marry me?”, the Bolly hottie danced to his hits like Tamma tamma again, Tan tana tan and Palat.
Salman Khan may have given IIFA Bangkok a miss — courtesy his Dabangg Reloaded Tour in the US and Canada — but rumoured girlfriend Iulia Vantur was quite the star, green carpet to press conference stage. She looked chic and impressed with her voice, singing her
Race 3 song Selfish on stage. On the awards night, she even shook a leg with Bobby Deol.
Kartik Aaryan — a massive sensation after the success of Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety — was a big hit among the girls, being mobbed everywhere... hotel lobby to event venue. Courtesy rumours of a film with Karan Johar and with Varun Dhawan being his workout pal, the young gun has also made his way into Bolly’s elite circles, partying it up every night of the IIFA weekend with the likes of Varun, Arjun Kapoor, Shraddha Kapoor, Karan Johar and Kriti Sanon.
ROCK THAT GREEN CARPET
Priyanka Roy in Bangkok