As heartbroken as I was when I realized that my hospital call schedule would prevent me from attending this year’s IIFA awards in Tampa, Florida, I was even more heartbroken to learn that there would be no live broadcast of the event. #Buzzkill. So, unlike the roughly 20,000 audience members who were in attendance on the night of April 26, we’ll have to wait until June when it’s on cable TV before we can enjoy the IIFA stage performances which ranged from a Penn Masala performance to a John Travolta + Priyanka + Hrithik dance feature to a Kevin Spacey “Lungi Dance.”
Best Female Lead & Entertainer of the Year: Deepika Padukone
Not surprisingly, Deepika Padukone won the award for best female performance in a leading role for her portrayal of Meenalochini Azhagusundaram in Chennai Express. Given her sweep of the nominations, I would’ve been shocked if she hadn’t won this year’s award for best actress, and she definitely earned her title as IIFA’s Entertainer of Year as well. Considering that Deepika’s performance and the unforgettably catchy “Lungi Dance” number were the only indelible aspects of this film, it should also come as no surprise that Chennai Express didn’t fare too well in the awards overall.
Best Action & Best Special Effects: Krrish 3
Given how awful a movie Krrish 3 was, it was hard to even appreciate the special effects and action sequences that won the movie its two IIFA awards.
Best Male Supporting Performance & Best Debut Performances
Being a huge fan of both Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani and Aditya Roy Kapur, I was thrilled to see him win the award for best male supporting role for his performance as the perpetually loyal BFF Avi to Ranbir Kapoor’s Bunny. And while I wasn’t a fan of either Raanjhanaa or Shuddh Desi Romance, I agree with the IIFA-given props to both Dhanush and Vaani Kapoor, respectively, for their debut Bollywood performances in these two movies.
Best Playback Singers & Music Direction: Aashiqui 2
Obviously Aashiqui 2’s soundtrack came away with the biggest musical wins — Shreya Ghoshal won the IIFA award for best female playback singer for her beautiful rendition of “Sun Raha Hai Na Tu” and Arijit Singh won the award for best male playback singer for his soulful performance of “Tum Hi Ho.” If you haven’t already heard these songs, then you need to take a 10-minute break, right now, to do nothing but enjoy these two tracks below. Seriously.
“Sun Raha Hai Na Tu” by Shreya Ghoshal
“Tum Hi Ho” by Arijit Singh
Best Picture: Bhaag Milkha Bhaag
Bhaag Milkha Bhaaghad the most successful night of all, starting with Farhan Akhtar’s win for best male performance in a leading role as champion Indian athlete Milka Singh. Divya Dutta won the award for best female supporting performance for her role as Milkha’s elder sister, Isri Kaur, and the movie swept away just about every technical award as well (ranging from best screenplay and dialogue to best editing to best costume design and makeup). And, with a movie that was this fantastically made, albeit super long, director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra easily won the award for best director.
I hadn’t seen this movie when I compiled my list of Bollywood’s hits and misses of 2013, but if I could, I would go back in time and make sure to include it as one of the most redeeming features of this past year. Clearly, IIFA thought it was redeeming and then some, because Bhaag Milkha Bhaag won the award for Best Picture of the year.
Now that you’re armed with a recap of this year’s IIFA Awards, it’s time to start planning your June viewing party for the awards show itself. Or better yet, maybe I should start figuring out how to ensure my personal attendance at next year’s IIFA awards, wherever in the world they may be. Hey, a girl can dream!
Farah Naz Khan is an internal medicine resident at Emory University. After graduating from college in Boston, she returned to her Alabama hometown to attend medical school, and was reunited with the mix of Southern hospitality and South Asian culture that had shaped her childhood. Follow her on Twitter @farah287 or read some of her thoughts at farah287.blogspot.com.