Annual accolades

Shah Rukh Khan and Rani Mukherjee have won the best actor and best actress honours at the Screen Awards, which also saw “Veer-Zaara” bagging as many as four prizes.

Bollywood celebrities dazzled at the Hero Honda 11th Annual Star Screen Awards that were held in Mumbai Tuesday night and brought smiles on many faces while leaving a few disappointed.

Kunal Kohli received the best director award for “Hum Tum”. His work was appreciated above that of Farhan Akhtar (“Lakshya”), Ashutosh Gowariker (“Swades”) and Govind Nihalani (“Dev”). Kohli beat his own mentor Yash Chopra for the award!

Kohli’s “Hum Tum” wasn’t just produced by Yash Chopra, it was also in competition with Chopra’s directorial venture “Veer-Zaara”, the latter’s first in seven years.

While a section of the film industry feels Screen was right in honouring the efforts of the young protégé, others beg to differ.

“‘Veer-Zaara’ may not be among Chopra’s best works. But it was definitely the best directed film of 2005. To bypass it in favour of another film is mischievous and myopic,” says a veteran filmmaker. The director himself is characteristically generous. “Kunal is our own kid. He’s part of Yashraj Films. I’m proud of him. I’m no stranger to awards. I’ve won so many, it doesn’t matter any longer.”

Yash Chopra does have plenty to be happy about. Screen chose to give 10 major awards to films produced by Yashraj Films. Four of them — best film, best actor (Shah Rukh Khan), best story and dialogues (Aditya Chopra) — have gone to “Veer-Zaara”.

Preity Zinta in “Veer-Zara” lost the best actress award to Rani Mukherjee in yet another Yashraj Films move — “Hum Tum”. Rani in fact pulled off a coup by winning both the best actress and best supporting actress for “Hum Tum” and “Yuva”, respectively.

One unanimously approved award was that for Abhishek Bachchan. It was a triumphant homecoming for the Bachchan scion who after three years of struggle finally came into his own in Mani Rathnam’s “Yuva”. The film has fetched him the Screen award for best supporting actor. It was Abhishek’s first award and he was naturally very thrilled.

Many, however, did not feel the same way about the awards, certainly not when it came to the late composer Madan Mohan, who was apparently ousted from the awards nominations list at the eleventh hour.

According to a source, Madan Mohan’s posthumous tunes for Yash Chopra’s “Veer-Zaara” were short-listed for the best music director category but knocked off from the list in favour of Himesh Reshammiya’s “Dil Maange More” just a few days before the awards function.

Consequently, the composing genius’ songs in “Veer-Zaara” didn’t figure in the nominations list. Anu Malik walked away with the best music director’s award for his tunes in “Main Hoon Na”. — HNS