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Spinning predictable magic

Vikram taking it home for the second time.

BECAUSE YOUR safety is our concern,'' goes the new tag line of chief sponsor at the Filmfare awards function at Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium on Saturday evening.

The very next moment, we have three ads of pan masala splashed on the screen. This, within 100 meters of Ripon Building, the Chennai Corporation headquarters! May be, nobody knew that sale of pan masala was banned in Chennai.

``A day in the life of India''? Nothing at the award's function threw up a surprise worth the hype Filmfare is associated with. We all knew Vikram would walk away with the big prize for bringing `Kasi' to life. Likewise, Laila for the critically acclaimed `Nandaa'. Neither the feel good long running `Anandam' winning Best Picture. Nor Cheran, it's his third best director award. And it was high time the legendary M.S. Viswanathan got a lifetime achievement.

Filmfare is known for creating moments you can cherish, teary-eyed, emotionally-choked, recipients and spinning magic through its spectacular acts that spring up surprises. Sadly, not the Filmfare South awards. Here, the audience doesn't even clap enough, as hostess Yukta Mookhey discovered.

There was a half-hearted standing ovation where only less than half the audience stood up for the veteran receiving his Lifetime achievement award. And even lesser for Dasari Narayana Rao, a legend who has given the industry 147 films!

The audience enthusiasm was far from existent when Ratnavelu took home the award for Best Cinematographer for `Nandaa' or when Lawrence got it for Best Choreographer for `Parthaale Paravasam'. Reema Sen and Bombay Jayshree took home the awards for Best Newcomer and Best playback singer respectively. And Harris Jeyaraj predictably for `Minnale'.

The acts started with a fusion `Nritya' before the technical awards category. `Gemini' fame Kiran came on to swing to `Deewana Deewana' before Lawrence entertained the crowd with his medley

that ranged from Michael Jackson to 12B to `Mahaganapathy' (the song that shot him to the limelight). There was the ``drop-dead gorgeous'' Diya Mirza enchanting audiences with a medley of `Bindiya Chamke' (Tumko Na Bhool Paayenge) and `Satrangi' (Deewanapan) numbers.

Jyotika doing the `O Podu' number.

The build up to the finale was Jyotika doing the popular `O Podu' number to be joined by Lawrence (no, not Vikram, though it would have made a world of difference to the function had he come on stage even for the last two lines). The finale was Bipasha Basu, the apple of everybody's `Aankhen' who swung to `Mehbooba Mehbooba'.

The best speeches in the awards category would surely go to four persons: Dasari Narayana Rao for his take-on success and message to directors (``Don't be beggars in front of heroes"), Vikram for raising an `O' for the brave blind people of the world and for telling the audience that ``daringly different films require daringly different audiences'' and thanking his fans for being daringly different, Laila for calling her parents on to the stage to tell them she loves them and Bhoomika for the confident long thanksgiving speech laced with wit and feel good rhetoric.

The blitz brigade included Gemini Ganesan, K.Balachander, AVM Saravanan, A.M.Rathnam, G.Venkateswaran, R.B.Chowdhary, P.C.Sreeram, Vasanth, Saran, Bala, SJ Surya, Ambika, Gautami, Shalini, Soundarya, Nagma, Ramba, Madhavan, Abbas, Prabhu Deva, Shaam, Vivek, Srikant, Amrita Arora, Sonali Kulkarni, Sangavi, Silambarasan and Trisha.

By Sudhish Kamath

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