AND THE WINNER IS RDB: Rang De Basanti has swept up five of the main awards (Best Film, Best Director, Best Music, Best Cinematography and Best Editing) (Agency Photo)
MUMBAI: It was a sepia-tinged return to the time when the Filmfare awards ceremony was a closed-door affair exclusively for the film industry. After decades of open-air events, replete with colour, crowds and boisterous gaiety, Bollywood's most sought-after film awards slipped back into their pre-'90s avatar albeit with Oscar-style nominations -- at a formal function at Mumbai's plush Yashraj Studio. The fun and excitement quotient, of course, remained the same.
The evening belonged indisputably to three films, which divided the honours between them: Rang De Basanti, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's post-modern take on pre-independence revolutionaries, Omkara, Vishal Bhardwaj's dark and hard-hitting adaptation of Othello and Lage Raho Munnabhai, Raj Kumar Hirani's endearing look at Mahatma Gandhi through a gangster's eyes. While RDB swept up five of the main awards (Best Film, Best Director, Best Music, Best Cinematography and Best Editing) as well as Best Actor (Critics) for Aamir Khan and the R D Burman award, Omkara's tally was a staggering eight and Lage Raho Munnabhai's five. The Best Actor and Best Actress awards went to Hrithik Roshan for Dhoom 2 and Kajol for Fanaa.
Through the evening MC Shah Rukh Khan, joined in different segments by Juhi Chawla, Lara Dutta and Preity Zinta, kept the audience in splits with his one-liners and deadpan asides. Samples: "My resolution this year: Main Bachchan saab ki koi bhi film nahin karoonga." SRK brought the house down, reminding viewers of the laugh-riot he had created with co-host Saif Ali Khan at the Filmfare awards function a few years ago. This year, Saif's sudden illness came in the way of his partnering SRK. Said SRK, "The only thing I miss is my friend Saif. He's a bit laid oops, a bit laid up this year."