Saturday, July 16, 2011

IIFA 2011- A Living Room Watcher's Perspective

I'm used to watching IIFA for free on StarPlus. It always aired a few weeks late, but aired nonetheless. This year, I didn't have any Indian channels, but heard that IIFA would be available on Pay-Per-View. I was super excited until I heard the price--almost $30. Yikes! I resolved not to watch and just catch the results/performances whenever they ended up online. Then it was confirmed that Shahrukh Khan would be attending and performing. That was my breaking point and I decided to shell out the cash. Was it worth it?

The event began with a live pre-show hosted by Lisa Ray. I have one word for the pre-show: unorganized. I expected green carpet glimpses and short interviews and sound bytes of celebrities in the pre-show. Instead, we mostly got reruns of past IIFA performances. You know, cause we can't just find those on YouTube. The whole time, Lisa looked confused about what to do, what to say, and would awkwardly stop in the middle of sentences to listen to her earpiece. When we finally got to the green carpet segment, they cut it off super early because they realized the show was actually starting.

Then the actual awards ceremony began, somewhat abruptly due to poor time management on the network's part I'm assuming. Riteish Deshmukh and Boman Irani were hosts...and fell pretty flat. They've hosted IIFA multiple times in the past, but the jokes just didn't seem as funny this time. I think part of the reason might've been that glimpses of the audience laughing or smiling weren't edited in (In fact, we didn't really see very many audience glimpses at all).

Everything just began to drag on. The first performance wasn't until a full hour into the show. It was Kangana Ranaut who looked beautiful, but pretty much just stood there while the background dancers danced around her. She's a good actress, but performing is clearly not her forte.

Honestly, after a while I just got bored. I have a way bigger appreciation for the edited version I'm used to watching, but this 6 hour long "real" version got old really fast. Organization, for one, was really lacking. They spent what seemed like 10 minutes looking for Priyanka Chopra to receive her green award, but she was clearly backstage getting ready for her performance. They really couldn't have planned that better? Then there was Dharmendra. Who spoke for, like, 45 minutes about God knows what (I really stopped listening after a while). I know he's respected and all, but learn to "play the music"! I felt really bad for the many non-Hindi speakers who were either in the live audience or watching from home.

Performances were also mostly lukewarm. It just seemed like there was a lack of energy within everyone. One performance which stood out to me was Ranveer Singh's. His energy, excitement, and dancing made me literally say "now that's a performance!" Priyanka's was also good, but the long awkward pauses in between her dancing segments took away a lot of the magic. The Deols were a hot mess. Just sayin

The winners were, for the most part, predictable. Shahrukh won for best actor for My Name is Khan, which I was definitely ecstatic about. Anushka Sharma's best actress win for Band Baaja Baraat was surprising, but well-deserved in my opinion--especially since Kajol wasn't even nominated! Dabangg, of course, won best film. I will never understand this.

If IIFA 2011 had a redeeming factor, it was one man--Shahrukh Khan (obviously). He hosted part of the show with Riteish and Boman, and that was honestly the only time I laughed. Shahrukh has amazing stage presence, which also showed in his "performance." SRK was all confirmed to do the finale performance for IIFA...and then he hurt his knee. But, for his fans, Shahrukh braved through it all and continued with a modified performance. He danced for a short segment, and then tried to engage the audience in the dancing. The effort he put into trying to put on a good show for his fans was heartwarming. At the end of his little gig, all the celebs came on stage to join him in some good ol' Bollywood matkas and jhatkas, making it one of the best award show endings in recent times.

So, what's the verdict? For me, IIFA 2011 was 5 hours too long. I ended up getting pretty restless, and probably only continued watching just because I paid so much for it. The organizers have a lot to learn about live telecasting and show organization in general. It was interesting to watch the show for the first time as it was actually happening, but next time I'll take an edited version!

1 comment:

  1. I have to agree with you - it was a bore fest. I saw it on Star Plus last week - so obviously it was free. But one thing I don't get, on the schedules it was listed as the IIFA Awards 2011, and at the same time in the ad breaks they were advertising the awards for next week (Sunday 24th) at 8pm! Confusing or what! But nevertheless I sat through it (my mum slept through it...), and have to agree with a lot of things you said.

    Rangna Ranaut should stick to acting (she was great in Tanu Weds Manu), Dabangg didn't deserve best film (it's winning everything when it's a hype machine for Salman and Sonakshi is getting praise left right and centre when she ain't all that), and I think Anushka deserved best actress (she was very good in BBB).

    Next year (and following years) I will choose to watch the least confusing awards ceremony! (hopefully featuring my film...)