Absentee stars. Empty seats. Local protests. The 11th IIFA awards on Saturday night was like a coming out party for Colombo that almost fizzled. The award ceremony at the Sugathadasa Stadium was missing the glam of its past editions.
A-listers such as Shah Rukh Khan, Katrina Kaif and Priyanka Chopra skipped the extravaganza. IIFA brand ambassador Amitabh Bachchan and family didn’t come either.
Only one of the 3 Idiots — Sharman Joshi — arrived, though the film won 16 trophies. The thin attendance could be because the Tamil film industry had criticised the organisers for hosting it in the Sri Lankan capital.
Bollywood crazy Colombo, however, was not disappointed. “We love you Hrithik!” young girls cried, as the actor arrived with wife Sussanne. Most actresses were wearing sarees though Sophie Choudry sported a provocative gown.
Saif Ali Khan walked the green carpet with girlfriend Kareena Kapoor. Bipasha Basu was busy signing autographs. Vivek Oberoi tweeted, “What an unforgettable night…”. Sanjay Dutt was seen with Kangna Ranaut. Anil Kapoor looked cheery as ever.
The evening also saw Salman Khan dance with Govinda and Zarine Khan. Boman Irani and Riteish Deshmukh did spoofs on Big B and Shah Rukh Khan.
Sri Lanka-born actress Jacqueline Fernandez won the Best Debut Female Actor award for her role in Aladin, sending the crowd in a tizzy. “We Sri Lankans love Bollywood. It’s a proud moment for us,” said Khadiyah Yoonus, an audience member.
Sophie, What were you thinking?
“Sophie Choudry’s dress doesn’t do anything for her. Halle Berry had worn a similar dress when she won her first Oscar. In Berry’s dress, the flowers were at all the right places! The dress is daring, but too feminine for her personality. It is not contemporary chic or appropriate. It was the wrong choice.” Payal Jain, designer
Best Actor (Male): Amitabh Bachchan for Paa
Best Actor (Female): Kareena Kapoor for 3 Idiots and Vidya Balan for Paa
Best picture: 3 Idiots
Best Supporting Actor (Male): Sharman Joshi for 3 Idiots
Best Supporting Actor (Female): Divya Dutta for Delhi 6
Best Director: Rajkumar Hirani for 3 Idiots