A few years back, I invented a game called Filmfare Roulette.
Yes - I know, I know... you guys love me for this! But let me explain the game, no?
Age: 6 years and above
Minimum stake: Rs 10 (or any denomination of which a currency note exists)
All the players sit with the a bunch of ten-rupee notes ready during the live telecast of Filmfare Awards. As the nominees are announced, the players place their bets on whom they think will be the winner. The punter(s) guessing correctly gets/shares the winnings. In the unlikely event of no one being correct, the stakes get carried forward to the next bet.
The game is fun because like horse racing or other forms of skill-driven gambling, there is an element of predictability a shrewd punter can bring to the table. I mean, if you have followed Filmfare Awards down the years, you would know that certain stars are the favourites, irrespective of the performances.
Since it is that day of the year when the Black Lady will be out again, I thought I will go through the nominations of the year and try to predict the winners.
And if you have guests over for dinner tonight, you may lure them into playing this game and then clean them out. Of course, a fat chance you have of inviting guests who would be interested in watching Kareena and Saif simpering for the benefit of the cameras!
So, here are my Hot Tips. If Bollywood was a stock market, I would be CNBC!
Best Female Playback
Alisha Chinai is out. They gave her an award for her comeback song (Kajra Re). Last year, they gave the prize to Sunidhi Chauhan and on top of that, she does not appear too many times in the magazine. So, I guess it will have to be Shreya Ghoshal. And it has to be for the Barso Re from Guru, which is a suitably 'classical' number.
Best Male Playback
All the nominees have won at least once. Except KK. But KK is now peaking and looking good for lots of nominations in the coming year. Ditto for Shaan (who won it last year). On the other hand, Sukhwinder won it last for Chhaiyya Chhaiyya and he is not looking good for too many. So, they would most likely give it to Sukhwinder for Chak De India. And it would please the Yashraj camp as well.
Gulzar for whatever he is nominated for. Because, the last time Gulzar lost out on a Best Lyrics award (while being a nominee) was when Khayyam won it for Kabhi Kabhie.
And the Filmfare Jungle Saying #1 says - When Gulzar is nominated, he wins.
Javed Akhtar with an ordinary Main Agar Kahoon, Prasoon Joshi with an award last year and Sameer with lots of awards in the past are not helping their respective causes!
Filmfare has a problem here. The Best Album of the year - by a long shot - is Life... In A Metro. But there is Filmfare Jungle Saying #2 - When AR Rehman is nominated, he wins (unless there is Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy in the running). Now what?
For such dilemmas, there is an escape route available for them called the RD Burman Award for Most Promising Musical Talent. And hey presto! Pritam fits the bill perfectly. So he will get the consolation prize and Mr Rehman will walk away with Best Music for Guru.
Vishal-Shekhar has composed the title track of Radio City, which is a rival of Filmfare group company (Mirchi), so the people who liked their Om Shanti Om score can start getting sorely disappointed.
Best Supporting Actress
Konkona Sen Sharma has two nominations, of which Life In A Metro looks to be a killer. So, she is probably getting it. UNLESS, Aditya Chopra (the most powerful person in Bollywood) decides to get a bauble for his would-be wife. In that case, Rani Mukherji gets it for Saawariya. Of course, Saawariya has been such a big dud that this is the first time Sanjay Leela Bhansali has not been nominated for Best Director, despite having a film in the running. So, Konkona remains the favourite.
Best Supporting Actor
Aamir Khan - for Taare Zameen Par - has to be given this because this award has to be looked at in conjunction with the Best Director nominations. Aamir Khan is nominated there as well and doesn't look good to win. In any case, the other nominees in this category have zilch star power.
It has been a dry year for Yashraj, except for that one ace in their pack - Chak De India. And Shimit Amin is taking the Best Director prize for it. More so, because the other favourite - Aamir Khan - does not play ball with Filmfare.
If you ask me, Anurag Basu did a brilliant job with Metro and deserves the prize. But the best he's gonna get is a Critic's Award for Best Film.
The most difficult prize to guess this year. Of the nominees, Madhuri Dixit (Aaja Nachle) and Vidya Balan (Bhool Bhulaiya) are there to make up the numbers. If Aaja Nachle had been remotely successful film, Mads would have taken it for sure. But...
Of the balance nominees:
* Rani Mukherji - If she gets the Supporting Actress prize, then doesn't have a chance.
* Kareena Kapoor - Jab We Met is her first seriously solo hit and she is known to give great quotes and has graced the January Filmfare cover.
* Aishwarya Rai - Guru needs to be given something.
I will resolve the dilemma this way. If any of the Bachchans are about to give away the award, then Ash is gonna take it for sure. Else, I am not hazarding a guess.
Kareena gets the Critic's Award. When she is delivering the speech, there will be two people in audience to focus on.
Filmfare Jungle Saying #3 - When SRK is nominated, he wins! So, he gets it for Chak De India. There might be an off-chance that they might give it to him for Om Shanti Om - to honour his super-successful home production but then we are quibbling over minor details here.
Now, what do they do about the most accomplished performance of the year - Darsheel Safary? Simple, they give him the Critic's Award for Best Actor.
Deservedly, Chak De India - and it keeps the Chopras happy as well.
Now, that's a suitably cynical look at the most prestigious film awards of the year. But when you will see Deepika Padukone walk up to get the Best Newcomer prize from Shahrukh and the camera will intermittently focus on Sonam Kapoor (J Factor) or Ranbir Kapoor (Ex Factor), you will forget all this and whistle!