Those ridiculous awards

The season of film awards is about to return with a vengeance. If I don’t attend or appreciate awards it is not out of a sour grapes attitude but it’s simply because I do not believe in them — whether it is the Oscars or the hundreds of awards given in our country by media houses and other organisations who know that such functions mean big business.

Sponsorship by various industrial groups and the telecast of the programmes at prime time ensure an easy cash flow. Apart from the commercial gain angle, I have not understood how awards are decided and presented.
Take the example of the Best Actor’s Award. If the comparison is between Aamir Khan in an X role, Ranbir Kapoor in a Y role and Shah Rukh Khan in a Z role, a doubt arises. What if the roles were to be interchanged? What if Shah Rukh had played the X role, Ranbir the Z and Aamir the Y role?
How can one know whether they would have done better than the other one or not?
So are awards given to actors or the characters they portray? If it’s the characters, then they are conceived and developed by writers. Moreover the impact made by a character depends on a variety of factors such as the screenplay, co-actors’ performances, editing, photography and direction. By no stretch of the imagination can credit be given to the actor alone.
Unlike as in theatre, the only true judgement of cinematic acting can be done between the start and the cut of a shot. In this time span alone, the actor draws upon an emotion on cue and releases it when the director says ‘Cut!’
How much an actor has elevated the character, only the director can know. Plus, it’s highly possible that same performance can be completely screwed up by the director on the editing table or if it is wrongly placed in the screenplay. The impact can also be diluted by an ineffective co-actor. Doubtlessly, a number of people’s talents — the complex interweaving of skills — adds up to the sum total effect of a film moment or of the film itself.
My successful films are due to my team and my failures are due to me alone. Reason: every actor and technician contributes their talent as per my vision. In many cases, they enhance it to a far greater degree than what I had expected. If I use them wrongly, the film does not work. But when it works and I am being praised, I know in my heart which individuals have specifically lifted a particular moment in the film or the entire film itself.
Primarily, technicians and actors work towards satisfying the director. And the director is working towards satisfying the audience. So only by the sheer understanding of the mechanics of filmmaking, I find the concept of an outside body giving awards not only redudant but also ridiculous.

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