The recent awards season saw the usual hoopla with A-listers winning inane awards, not for their work, but for who they are. By now, everyone knows that Indian award shows are a sham, with actors being paid to attend them, and production houses buying awards for their films. It’s like these shows serve as a masturbatory tool for actors, filmmakers, and sponsors. One such award show was the Zee Cine Awards, one of the oldest award shows in India. This year, in commemoration of the brilliant cinema we saw, it decided to give the award for Best Film to Golmaal Again.
Now, I know what you’re thinking – how did the words ‘best film’ and ‘Golmaal Again’ come in the same sentence? Even I was confounded. How, among all the amazing films that Bollywood has produced this year, did Zee pick one of the worst possible films as the best? The film, that stars Ajay Devgn, Parineeti Chopra, Arshad Warsi, Kunal Khemu, Tusshar Kapoor, and Shreyas Talpade, is part of one of the most problematic film franchises in India. The film has the five main characters discover that they are the only ones who can see the ghost of their murdered friend (Parineeti Chopra), and vow to help avenge her.
The result of translating such a plot onto the screen was nothing short of abysmal. Even the most die-hard Golmaal fans admitted that they were disappointed with the film. Not because of the problematic jokes, and linear tropes, but because it was plain boring. And the powers that be picked this film to represent the year 2017. Even if you set aside the fact that the film is problematic, the fact that it was chosen as the best film itself, has negative repercussions.
Zee has told its loyal Indian audience that this waste of film reel is what they deserve as the best of entertainment. Instead of celebrating worthwhile and ground-breaking films, such asNewton (India’s Oscar pick), Lipstick Under My Burkha, Tumhari Sulu, Ittefaq, and more, they crowned sexism, bigotry, and bad humour as the winners of the year – a year that saw so many social issues being talked about and dealt with.
So thank you, Zee Cine Awards, for insulting our intelligence, and telling us that good work in India will rarely be seen, let alone praised. Thank you, for showing us just how big a sham your operation is. And thank you, for opening the eyes of even your biggest fans, so that finally we can be done with you and your worthless appraisal.