Singapore: If the opening night of the International Indian Film Academy Awards was all about celebrating Indian cinema with a classy film such as Shanghai, the second night in Singapore’s Esplanade was all about turning up the heat with glamorous stars, great music and some fantastical fashion.
On Saturday, IIFA Rocks did not stand on rocky ground.
With A-listers such as Ranbir Kapoor, Bipasha Basu and Sonakshi Sinha walking the green carpet, the handing over of technical awards set a perfect prelude to Saturday night’s awards presentation ceremony.
No surprises, the crowd-favourite Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara enjoyed awards glory as it took home five awards including Best Screenplay (Reema Kagti and Zoya Akhtar) and Best Cinematographer (Carlos Catalan). Shah Rukh Khan’s magnum opus Ra.One and Vidya Balan’s The Dirty Picture did themselves proud as they took home four and three awards each.
“It’s a proud moment. This movie is what it is because of everyone who has worked in it. I am so excited that my crew who are here with me … winning,” said Akhtar as she raised her golden statuette. Meanwhile, The Dirty Picture Costume designer Niharika Khan raised a toast to Vidya Balan.
“I thank Vidya [Balan] for letting me take her clothes off,” said Niharika, alluding to the revealing costumes she put together for the drama.
However, the star of the night was Ranbir Kapoor, who arrived last on the green carpet along with his father Rishi Kapoor.
“It’s been a fantastic year. It will be wonderful to win but what matters to me is whether you have done some good work or not,” said Kapoor.
On stage, he was the star attraction as he had some fun along with IIFA Rocks host Ayushman Khurana. At his sporting best, the Bolllywood blue-blood was asked to replicate the iconic dialogues and dances left behind by his illustrious clan.
“Do you want my family to beat me up?” quipped Kapoor. He didn’t bow down as he repeated the dialogue from his great grandfather’s epic Mughal-e-azam and danced to his grandfather Raj Kapoor’s Jhootha Hai Japani in typical Charlie Chaplin-esque fashion. But what got the crowd cheering was his spoof on his cousin Kareena Kapoor to Bebo Main Bebo. When it came to seductive expressions and hip thrusts, he showed that Bollywood masala came naturally to the Kapoor clan.
Another star of the night was Parineeti Chopra. She may have ticked off the press by scampering off the green carpet without acknowledging the press-pit, but on stage she was a firebrand. Again on Khurrana’s request, the rising star gave a vote of thanks in the way that would have made her on-screen characters Dimple (Ladies Vs Ricky Bahl) and Zoya (Ishaqzaade) proud.
“If you don’t give me the award, I will put a bullet through your brain,” said Chopra in Hindi, who played a feisty, gun-toting village belle in her second feature.
Meanwhile, Priyanka Chopra and Shahid Kapoor used the night to hawk their forthcoming romance Teri Meri Kahaani.
“Guys, if you think we were hot right now. Wait till the film releases,” said Chopra. While Kapoor did a fabulous job of aping the legendary Shammi Kapoor’s twists in a white tuxedo, Kapoor played the perfect eye-candy. She also channelled the inner saleswoman in her by talking up an electronic gadget rolled by one of the sponsors. Did she get away with it? Yes. Better still, she even made that chip sound as covetable as a pair of Christian Louboutin heels.
The night also turned into a playground for celebrity show-stoppers on the ramp. While Bipasha Basu showed some leg — and lots of it — in a strapless fuschia Suneet Verma gown with a super-high slit, actors Dia Mirza, Shazahn Padamsee, Aditi Hydari strutted down the catwalk in Masaba designs. Fortunately, the ravishing Nargis Fakhri left dramatics to her talented Rockstar hero Kapoor and did what she does best. Twirl and pout prettily. The vociferous cheering from the crowd was proof of where she stood with her fans.
The evening also a hit a high note with stirring performances from Shafqat Amanat Ali and Mica among others.
If IIFA Rocks was a teaser for what’s in store for Saturday night at the IIFA Awards (popular) then it did well on the entertainment front.