At the 2011 International Indian Film Academy Awards, sparks flew, Dalton McGuinty was a star, and we saw cross-dressing

At the 2011 International Indian Film Academy Awards, sparks flew, Dalton McGuinty was a star, and we saw cross-dressing

Dalton McGuinty: star of stars (Image: Jennifer K. Warren)

Usually, awards ceremonies are tortuously drawn-out affairs that are only exciting for the people up for the prizes. Being at the IIFA Awards at the Rogers Centre on Saturday night, however, was a bit like eating from the wrong—or right, depending on your perspective—tray of brownies at a drunken frat party: so many swirling colours and strange, surreal events appeared before our eyes. True, the presentation was definitely drawn out—starting about two hours late, then continuing for five more hours—but being bored was not a possibility with the over-the-top blend of song-and-dance montages, pyrotechnics, glimmering costumes and comedy bits. Our recap of the ceremony, after the jump.

As the awards kicked off, the words “IIFA Remains Confident and Credible” flashed across a video screen above the main stage (because we needed reminding, correcting or reassuring?). We were worried, a feeling which got worse after Slumdog Millionaire’s Anil Kapoor introduced Dalton McGuinty as “the star of stars” (because he has all the charisma of a piece of Melba toast, or because his approval ratings are in the toilet?). But we finally relaxed when hosts Boman Irani and Ritesh Deshmukh took over, guiding the ceremony in a humorous, relaxed way (i.e. nothing like this year’s Anne HathawayJames Franco Oscar debacle, although like Franco, both Irani and Deshmukh tried their hands at cross-dressing).

The highlights of the evening were the dance sequences, with actors like Priyanka Chopra, Ranveer Singh and the Deol family (including brothers Sunny and Bobby and father Dharmendra) flanked by huge dance troupes in brilliantly coloured costumes. Singh’s montage was particular interesting: wearing an ’80s-inspired, Zack Morris–style outfit, he emerged onstage in a giant, spark (think fireworks)-spewing sphere that made Lady Gaga’s Grammys egg look a bit dull (we could literally feel the melting heat from our seats).

Dabangg, a Robin Hood–meets–Dirty Harry story about a renegade cop and his violent quest for justice, took home the most IIFA awards with six, including Best Picture and Best Screenplay. Dabangg’s star Salman Khan, however, was beaten by his nemesis Shah Rukh Khan (no relation) in the Best Actor race (the latter won for the drama My Name is Khan). The Best Actress trophy went to Anushka Sharma for Band Baaja Baraat.

See the beauties from the 2011 International Film Academy Awards green carpet »