Sometimes even clichés can be right. The 2019 edition of the REEL Movie Awards, which took place in Mumbai on Tuesday night, proved that good things come in small packages, as News18 celebrated the finest of Bollywood fare.
These weren’t the big budget, star-led vehicles which dominate so many of the industry’s award shows, but small to medium-budget films, which nonetheless had a huge impact on their viewers and the landscape of Indian cinema.
Indeed, the REEL Movie Awards nominations, announced earlier this month, clearly proved that there was more to Hindi movies than superstar-powered casts and budgets that resemble the economies of small nations. Raazi led the pack with 13 nominations, including Best Film, Best Director for Meghna Gulzar and Best Actor (Female) for Alia Bhatt. Also nominated in Best Film category were Badhaai Ho, Stree, AndhaDhun and Tumbbad.
Meghna’s espionage drama performed well in the technical categories, scooping up wins for Best Lyrics (courtesy the director's father, legendary lyricist Gulzar) and Best Playback (Female) singing for its song Dilbaro, as well as Best Editing for Nitin Baid, with Alia taking home the award for Best Actress.
Tumbbad also dominated the technical section, winning awards for Cinematography (Pankaj Kumar), Best Sound (Kunal Sharma), and Best Production Design (Nitin Zihani and Rakesh Yadav).
However, it was Badhaai Ho that ended up having the best night. The quirky family comedy, starring Ayushmann Khurrana, Neena Gupta, and Gajraj Rao, about a middle-aged couple suddenly blessed (or encumbered) with a surprise pregnancy, while already having two adult sons.
Rao won best actor for his performance as the hapless father-to-be, while Surekha Sikri won best supporting actress for her turn as the family's matriarch. Akshat Ghildial also won best screenplay for Badhaai Ho, which walked away with the Best Film trophy as well.
Meanwhile, riding high on the twin successes of Badhaai Ho and AndhaDhun - which was nominated for several awards, and ended up winning Sriram Raghavan the Best Director trophy - Ayushmann Khurrana was honoured with Breakout Actor in a special awards category. His brother Aparshakti Khurrana received the trophy on his behalf.
Mercifully bereft of item numbers and other trappings, the short and sweet (relatively, this is still Bollywood after all) awards ceremony was hosted by Cyrus Broacha and Shibani Dandekar.
The free-wheeling event was attended by celebrities like Alia Bhatt, Pankaj Tripathi, Gajraj Rao, Dia Mirza, Konkona Sen Sharma, and Boman Irani, among others.
You can check the full list of winners here.