How can you possibly top a night with Shah Rukh and Vivek? With another full day of Bolly goodness, that's how!
After the haze that was Friday night, Saturday morning came far too quickly, but there was so much to do that, even with a mild hangover, I got my butt out of bed and got ready to face the day. After some much needed lunch, we did a quick stop at the TIFF Lightbox to have a look at the Raj Kapoor exhibit. They were running clips from a few of his films, including Shree 420, and if you had the time you could pose to have a picture of your face superimposed on a still. Unfortunately for us, their camera wasn't working, which was really too bad because that would have been cool. Oh well.
From the Lightbox, we made our way to the Fairmont Royal York, which was the hub for all the celebs and I think official press central. I'm not sure how we managed to get in unnoticed, as there were people standing at the front doors requesting to see people's room cards. In any case, we were there, milling around among all the peeps, hoping to connect with a wizcraft person in order to secure an interview with a favorite actor. Unfortunately, that didn't work out for us, but we had a very exhilarating visit, even managing to somehow make our way up to the 19th floor executive suites. I don't mind telling you that my heart was racing the whole time! I felt like we were going to get busted any minute, and almost did end up getting kicked out when we were loitering a little too long on the main lobby floor by another very scary white security guard. There was a few celeb sightings, although my stupid bladder kept me from seeing Arbaaz Khan and Malaika Arora!!!
We weren't exactly sure who this was underneath the sunglasses and 5 o'clock shadow, but he looked like someone we should know. If you figure it out, let me know.
After we decided our celeb stalking wasn't going to get us to our final goal, we decided it was time to check out the events and goings on around the Rogers Center, so we made our way through the busy Toronto streets and eventually came to the Samsara stage, where we got to see Raghav perform. I wouldn't have known Raghav from Adam, but I do know this song, and it rocked!
As the afternoon wore on, we headed out for a bite to eat, where we witnessed some protest of something or another (I'm guessing, like most things, it was over some sort of political "damn the man" protest). After some deliciously bad for you pub food, and a pit stop to THE cutest dress shop ever, we hoofed it to our hotel room to get ready. In our hurry to get to the Rogers Center by a start time of 7pm, we forgot to take any pictures in our lovely formal wear. Silly us! Since when does an Indian event EVER start of time? The show was supposed to start at 7pm, I think it finally began at 9pm, and ran a staggering 5 1/2 hours, due in part to every single celebrity thanking Toronto and saying what a warm welcome they've received. Yes, we all feel the love, now let's move it along!
So, the list of winners has been circulating now since that night, so I just want to touch on a couple of things I loved about the awards themselves.
#1 - Boman and Ritesh were very good at hosting the function. There was A LOT of gay humor (dancing in drag, near kisses and lots of embracing!), and in between they were funny and eloquent and it was a delight to watch them interact. They did a hilarious sequence of short films, that made fun of everything from Munnabhai to My Name is Khan to DDLJ to Sholay. Ritesh did a really funny character with no arms that must be from some movie, but I didn't recognize it. If anyone knows who I'm talking about, let me know. I'd like to be in on that joke.
#2 - Ranveer Singh! What a performance, and, in my opinion, the very best of the night. Sure Bipasha's was sexy, The Deol clan did a fine job, and Priyanka's was, well, that's when I got up to stretch my legs, but none compared to the sheer exuberance that the newly crowned best male newcomer gave to his audience. I had thought that Anushka was going to join him on stage (and I'm not sure what the story is there), but it was so much fun! Kya energy, kya style, kya performance!
#3 - Arshad Warsi is ROBBED!!!! Everyone knows I am a huge fan of Arshad's and Ishqiya was in my top 5 favorite movies of last year, but when I look at his performance of Babban, I just can not believe that he didn't win this. Now, to be fair, I haven't seen Ranjeeti, a film that spouted several best actor nods, but I just can't see anyone comparing to the raw, yet perfect culmination of role and actor that we saw in Arshad and Babban. He said in an interview this past weekend that he does the movies like the Dhamaals, the Golmaals, the Munnabhais for the audience and he does the films like Ishqiya for himself. I'm so happy he has apparently signed on for 3 more serious films in the immediate future. Maybe we will get to see him finally take home some well deserved accolades!
#5 - Shah Rukh wins best actor for My Name is Khan! Okay, I get it. A lot of people did not like this movie. I, on the other hand, loved every single second of it. I firmly believe the reason it made such an impact on me is because I am a parent, but I also believe that Shah Rukh was amazing as Rizwan Khan. It was a character very far removed from the lover boy Raj and it took a tremendous amount of talen to play the part so effectively. I will always applaud actors that take risks with their careers, even if we only see them do it once in a while.
And, while we are talking about Shah Rukh, I just have to say, I appreciate the fact that, despite his fractured knee, he still came on at the end of the show and did a little dance tutorial for all of his fans. Oh sure, someone else could have stepped in and filled the bill, but I honestly and truly believe that he is someone who really doesn't want to let people down, so something is better than nothing. I had a good time watching him show us how to do the belt move from Dabangg, or the guitar move from Rock On, and the amusing "back stories" behind them. That is something you would NEVER see at an Academy Awards, and part of the charm behind this movie industry!
Final last notes...
While the show did run a tad long (!), I loved how people got their time to talk. I dare anyone to tell Dharmji that his turn is over!
What a terrific adventure it all was! I have heard rumours that IIFA may be held in Las Vegas next year, in which case I better start saving now, because there is NO WAY I am missing that one!
Until next time....