Bajirao, Mastani triumph, Bhansali rules at Filmfare

MUMBAI: To defeat his rivals in a dramatic scene in 'Bajirao Mastani', Ranveer Singh climbs on the back of a soldier and then on to the head of an elephant. On Friday, thankfully, he simply had to climb a few stairs to victory. Love conquered all at the 61st Britannia Filmfare Awards 2015 where Sanjay Leela Bhansali's historical romance drama swept up nine awards, including best actor (male), best director, best film, besides awards in technical categories.

With this win, Bhansali can well be called the other Big B of Bollywood. In 1996, he made his directorial debut with 'Khamoshi' which won five Filmfare awards and in 2005 'Black' took home a record 11. Now with 'Bajirao Mastani' adding nine feathers to his cap, Bhansali has virtually mastered the art of making history.

'Piku', Shoojit Sircar's adorable feature about the connection between motions and emotions, came a close second with five black ladies. The statuesque Deepika Padukone—she of the anime eyes and henna hair—won best actor (female) for her portrayal of the daughter of a cantankerous hypochondriac in 'Piku'.

Filmmaker Shoojit Sircar presented the lifetime achievement award to veteran actor Moushumi Chatterjee. "At last, I won this," said Chatterjee clutching the black lady. "Thank you Filmfare, jury and fans who got me here. Khush rahein, vyast rahein aur aap sab mast rahein," she signed off.

Two things elevated the award ceremony to the level of a spectator sport this year: a grand new venue and, of course, a dapper doctor named Shah Rukh Khan. Held at The Dome at Worli's NSCI, an indoor stadium where pro-kabaddi players have slapped their thighs as their rustic game received a shot of glamour. The event saw host SRK taking digs at everyone from censor board chief Pahlaj Nihalani —"He was known for the film 'Aankhein', now he is known more for his 'nazariya' (perspective)" — to 'Piku'—"Chaar baj gaye par potty abhi baaki hai".

Additional comic relief was supplied by fellow hosts, the wry Kapil Sharma and quick-witted Karan Johar. "This event is not about coffees but about trophies," opened Johar. Given SRK's affair with the Filmfare stage is longer than DDLJ's affair with Maratha Mandir, tight friend Johar mockingly accused Khan of a mental health condition called HD—Hosting Disorder. Sharma's interruptions during SRK and Madhuri Dixit's prolonged embrace on stage, brought the house down.

Salman Khan, the man who can turn mundane, everyday movements into legitimate dance steps, made a dashing entrance in a silver cage that hovered above the audience as the soulful 'Main hoon hero tera' played in the background. By the end of his performance, the audience had been 'Bhai-zoned'.



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