The night belonged to Bollywood superstar Ranveer Singh, but the flamboyant actor claimed he felt uncomfortable being jubilant and celebratory when his country was mourning the death of the Pulwama martyrs.
Singh was in Dubai’s Global Village on Saturday night to collect his Best Actor trophy for his role in the controversial epic ‘Padmaavat’ at the 13th edition of the Asiavision Movie Awards, held annually to celebrate the best in South Indian and Bollywood cinema.
“It’s a little bit weird being here. While this award is a celebration, the mood in my nation is slightly different... While I am standing here today, my thoughts and prayers are with the brave jawans [soldiers] who lost their lives in the line of service,” said Singh, decidedly sober, in his acceptance speech.
In a rare display of patriotism by Bollywood actors at an award ceremony, Singh requested hundreds of his fans who had gathered to witness him take home the award to pay their respects to the martyred soldiers.
“I request everyone present here to rise for a moment and observe a minute of silence for our brave jawans. Let’s please observe a silence for our heroes... Jai Hind,” said Singh, who was visibly subdued.
As soon as the minute ended, chants of Vande Mataram and Jai Hind erupted from the crowd.
“But I still want to thank all of you all for being the wind beneath my wings. You help me soar,” he added.
Singh, who’s flying high after the release of ‘Gully Boy’ last weekend, also seems to have brought in the rains with him into the UAE. However, the unexpected showers didn’t deter his fans from witnessing their matinee idol in action as hundreds chanted his name in adoration.
Malayalam actress Manju Warrier, who won the Best Actress for her role in ‘Aami’, also dedicated her win to the security force personnel killed by a suicide bomber in India-administered Kashmir on Thursday.
“I am remembering them as I take home this award. I want to dedicate this award to the lives lost, their soul and the families who lost their loved ones,” said Warrier, who’s something of a constant at the Asiavision Movie Awards. It’s her fourth win as the Best Actor in the last 13 years.
“I am so happy that I got to translate Madhavikutty’s life on the big screen. I am sure there were mistakes and errors made, but I gave it my earnest shot and I can confidently say that I worked hard for the role. Thank you director Kamal sir for bestowing this huge responsibility to play the iconic character,” said Warrier in Malayalam. ‘Aami’, based on the life of the iconic Indian poet and revered author Kamala Das, aka Madhavikutty, opened to mixed reviews. Her performance was universally lauded.
Dubai-based actress Asha Sarath took home an award for her role in ‘Bhayanakam’, a film set in Central Kerala during the Second World War. Like Warrier and Singh, she dedicated her win to the brave Indian soldiers who lost their lives last week.
“When I receive this trophy tonight, there’s also a feeling of sadness in my heart because we lost our brothers last week... Our film too revolves around Indian soldiers who fell casualty to war,” said Sarath in Malayalam.
While the award speeches were sobering, Bollywood actor Ayushmann Khurrana livened up the mood by attempting to speak in Malayalam and treating his fans to a live rendition of his song Paani Da. Khurrana was honoured for his role in Andhadhun and Badhaai Ho.
“2018 was really a special year for me. It was year where I approached the director of Andhadhun to take my screen test and learnt piano... Badhaai Ho! was an extremely special film because it was a tribute to all the elderly couples to keep their romance brewing. I love you all and thank you for this recognition. Elavarkum Nandhi [Thank you in Malayalam],” said Khurrana as the crowd erupted in cheers.
Tamil actor Dhanush, who won the Best Actor (critic) for his turn in ‘The Extraordinary Journey Of The Fakir’ and ‘Vada Chennai’, said it’s ironical that he won an award for an English feature when he wasn’t so proficient in the language.
“I don’t know super English, but somehow I managed to act in an English film so I am really happy. God has been very kind to me and thank you all for your love and support. I will ways remember this win,” said Dhanush in Tamil.
Actor Vijay Sethupathi, who won big for his role in ‘96’, bowed and knelt in front of his UAE fans.
“Life throws many surprises... I loved the reaction of ‘96’ and proved that love is divine. It was the personal connect that you felt toward the love story in ‘96’ that made this film work. My huge thank you,” said Sethupathi. He also expressed his love for Dubai and his dream to visit the Jumeirah Beach.
“I have been here several times and I have been planning that trip for over two years... Maybe this time,” said Sethupathi.
Hi co-star from the blockbuster ‘96’, Trisha Krishnan, who was honoured with the Actress Of The Decade, also won big.
“2018 was a very special year for me. I debuted in Malayalam for the first time in ‘Hey Jude’ and it was received so well... I got so many messages from Dubai appreciating my role in it... This award tonight is extra special because my team of ‘96’ is sitting right in front of me. I am so happy to receive this award in front of them... This is one of the rare nights that sees actors from South India and Bollywood come together and celebrate films,” said Krishnan.
True to her observation, the night was filled with hug-it-out moments as stars from South India and Bollywood aligned to celebrate the magic of movies.
HERE’S THE FULL LIST OF WINNERS:
Best Actor award(Hindi): Ranveer Singh (‘Padmaavat’)
Best Actor Critics: Ayushmann Khurrana (‘Andhadhun’)
Best Actor Malayalam: Tovino Thomas (‘Mayaanadhi’, ‘Maradona’, ‘Theevandi’ and ‘Oru Kuprasidha Payyan’)
Best actress Malayalam: Manju Warrier (‘Aami’)
Best Film: ‘Sudani from Nigeria’
Best director: Lijo Jose Pallisseri (‘Ee Ma Yau’)
Best Director-(International): Majid Majid (‘Beyond The Clouds’)
Best Actress (Tamil): Trisha Krishnan
Best Actor Critics (Tamil): Dhanush
Best Actor: Vijay Sethupathi
Best Director (Tamil): Premkumar
Emerging star of the year: Kiara Advani
New Sensation in acting: Malavika Mohanan
Best Actor in a negative role: Jim Sarbh for ‘Padmaavat’
Youth Icon awards: Antony Varghese AKA Pepe (‘Swathanthryam Ardharathriyil’) and Aishwarya Lekshmi (‘Mayaanadhi’, ‘Varathan’)
Best debut: Saniya Iyappan (‘Queen’, ‘Pretham 2’) and Nikesh Ram (‘Mazhayathum’) Promising actor: Krrish Menon (‘Kinavalli’)
Lifetime Achievement: Sri Shyam
Outstanding performer of the year: Asha Sarath
Best Music director: Kailas Menon (‘Theevandi’)
Best Background score: Gopisundar (‘Kayamkulam Kochunni’)
Best singers: Harishankar and Shreya Ghoshal
New sensation in singing: Prarthana Indrajith and Shashaa Tirupati