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Filmfare nominations: Pankaj Tripathi feels like a sanyasi; Sushant Singh calls Rajkummar Rao snub a joke


Rajkummar's exclusion from the Best Actor in a Leading Role (Male) category of the 63rd Filmfare Awards nominations announced yesterday has drawn flak from fans and the fraternity.

Mayur Lookhar

There's no denying that 2017 was the year of Rajkummar Rao in Hindi cinema. His stellar acts in Trapped, Bareilly Ki Barfi and Newton have been acclaimed across the board. His exclusion from the Best Actor in a Leading Role (Male) category of the 63rd Filmfare Awards nominations announced yesterday has drawn flak from fans and the fraternity.

Rajkummar has been nominated in the Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Male) for his act in Bareilly Ki Barfi (2017). While efforts to reach Rao didn’t elicit any response, Cinestaan.com spoke to Newton director Amit V Masurkar and Pankaj Tripathi for their reactions to Newton not making it to the best film category and Filmfare's snub to Rajkummar.

“Am I surprised? No, I’m not. I’m not upset either. All that I will say is that I have become a sanyasi (sage), when it comes to Indian awards,” said Tripathi, who has been nominated in the Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Male) category for Newton.

With Rajkummar now in the supporting cast category, does it bring down Tripathi’s chances?

“May the best man win. I’m not even thinking whether I get it or not. My reaction to this query is the same as I said before,” said Tripathi.

Masurkar was restrained in his reaction as he chose to look at the brighter side with Newton getting nominated in six categories — Best Editing, Best Dialogue, Best Cinematography, Best Original Story, Best Screenplay and the Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Male) for Tripathi.

“I'm very happy that Newton has received six nominations. The popular films that made it to the Best Film category are good films too,” said Masurkar.

Among other notable exclusions is Alankrita Shrivastava’s Lipstick Under My Burkha that received both critical acclaim, as well as audience appreciation.

Actor Sushant Singh, who played a pivotal role in Lipstick Under My Burkha, was taken aback by Rajkummar’s exclusion from the best actor category. “Rajkummar Rao not getting a best actor award is a joke. Come on, Bareilly Ki Barfi is Rajkummar’s film. How can you put him in the supporting actor category?” said Singh in a bewildered tone.

When asked about Lipstick Under My Burkha’s snub, Singh replied, “I’m not surprised for we all know how most of these awards are given. The commercial aspect, the greed for television ratings will eventually make these awards obsolete. Look, honestly, even if Lipstick Under My Burkha had got a nomination, would that have been any bigger than the love and appreciation the film received from the audience and critics?”

Meanwhile, a source closely associated with Bareilly Ki Barfi said, “It’s not just Filmfare, but Rajkummar Rao was put in the supporting actor’s category for Bareilly Ki Barfi in other awards too. However, in Oscars or other (international) awards, it's just Best Actor, whichever role, however big or small they honour the best performances. There are no sub categories. Sometimes comic role, action film, negative role also get nominated for Best Actor’s award. It’s different in India, where we have sub categories. It’s kind of weird and confusing.”

Actor Manoj Bajpayee also reacted to the exclusion of Rajkummar and other deserving talents from worthy award nominations.

"I had spoken on this recently and then a few awards show people were left upset. They even sent me messages. They are my friends. All I want to say is that award shows will remain credible only when they encourage talents. In my personal view, if they are two equally great performances then how do you deicde which is better? I've always questioned the awards system," said Bajpayee.

He further added, "The problem arises when you given an award to someone undeserving, then you are questioning your own credibility. Manoj Bajpayee is not questioning, I'm not questioning your awards. But by giving an award to the undeserving, then you are questioning your own award function by not nominating the deserving one. People are now reacting on social media, they are talking about it on satellite channels. If you give awards to credible people, and move away from the dance performances, then you'll have respect."

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