Aamir Khan fans and their Filmfare ire


Aamir Khan’s a great actor, and arguably one of the finest that Hindi cinema has seen. Also, fans are allowed a little liberty of biases and over the top arguments.

However, one thing that keeps coming back is Aamir’s moral high ground of not ‘attending’ Filmfare Awards implying that they are biased and he’s not interested. Meanwhile, he has attended Academy Awards and National Awards which is ironic because there have been controversies and allegations of bias with National Awards as well.

You’re not interested, you do not attend the award functions. Ajay Devgn does not. You’re not interested, you withdraw. Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhonsle withdrew from nominations in the seventies; for other reasons though. Aamir Khan allows his name in the nominations, but doesn’t allow clips of his movies to be shown for other nominations.

Anyway, this post just didn’t come out of nowhere. I thought of writing about Aamir’s sour-grapes-turned-arrogance after seeing a friend’s Facebook post.

“After 7 previous nominations for historical films like QSQT, Dil, Dil Hai ke Manta Nahi, Hum Hai Rahi Pyar Ke, Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar, Rangeela and some more, Aamir Khan got his first Filfmfare award in 1996 for Raja Hindustani.

No wonder the intelligent man gave up on the frivolous Filmfares and all other awards. All real actors should follow suit.”

Really? Let’s dive in to those ‘nominations for historical films’. I’ll start with a disclaimer. While I’m a huge fan of films, I do not put Filmfare Awards on a very high pedestal myself. There are frequent mishits, and best actors are often popular stars really.

In 1988, Anil Kapoor won the award for best actor for Tezaab deservedly. Anil was terrific, and fairly Aamir won the best debut for QSQT. Jackie Shroff for Parinda in 1989 and Sunny Deol for Ghayal in 1990 were well deserved too. These three were landmark performances of the three actors so most, including Aamir, wouldn’t have complained.

In 1991, he competed with Amitabh Bachchan (Hum), Anil Kapoor (Lamhe) and Sanjay Dutt (Saajan). Although Amitabh won, Anil and Sanjay’s were far better performances than Aamir in Dil Hai ke Maanta Nahi. Sanjay was terrific in Saajan and even in Sadak that year. Amitabh was gracious enough to call the youngsters on stage to share the award. Sanjay Dutt of course joined him, while Aamir was not present.

1992 is when this issue started. All was hunky-dory till then, and he even performed with Juhi Chawla at the event. While the debate would never end if Aamir Khan deserved the best actor award for Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar or the eventual winner Anil Kapoor did for Beta, Aamir got offended. Aamir’s was a great performance (and it is one of my favorite film of the 90s), but Anil’s wasn’t a shade less if not better. Anil, with Madhuri Dixit and Aruna Irani, delivered a powerful package. This was the last Filmfare Awards ceremony that Aamir attended.

1993 was undoubtedly the year of SRK. Shahrukh won the best actor for Baazigar, and Aamir’s fine performance in Hum Hai Rahi Pyar Ke wasn’t close. Shahrukh was also nominated for best villain for Darr, arguably one of his best performances, but didn’t win that one.

In 1994, Aamir was excellent in Andaz Apna Apna and so was SRK in Kabhi Haan Kabh Naa (my favorite SRK movie in the 90s). But the honors went to Nana Patekar for his impactful performance in Krantiveer.

1995 is when Aamir fans would’ve been rightly disappointed. He delivered brilliant performances in both Akele Hum Akele Tum (although a scene-by-scene copy of Kramer vs. Kramer) and Rangeela. But the overwhelming success and popularity of DDLJ swayed the best actor award towards SRK. The movie of course won almost all major awards in total that night.

If the disappointment of 1995 was understandable, the success of 1996 should be the ironic compensation. Aamir won for the lame Raja Hindustani over Sunny Deol in Ghatak, Salman Khan in Khamoshi, and a brilliant Chandrachur Singh in Maachis. Aamir won in the same way that SRK won last year – Average performance in the year’s biggest hits.
That’s how popular awards work, love it or hate it. Amitabh Bachchan didn’t win for Deewar or Sholay, and has probably the worst win-loss ratio at Filmfare Awards amongst all the fine actors in this post. While most wouldn’t doubt his credentials, he doesn’t have too many to show on his report card and hasn’t cribbed. Aamir’s been unlucky that his fine films in the 90s came against some of the career-best performances of the actors who won like Sanjay Dutt when he won for Vaastav against Aamir in Sarfarosh (my favorite Aamir film).

Another point, which of course fans would debate. Aamir in 90s didn’t get success in different roles. His fan-following was limited as well. All his attempts at intense or non-romantic roles tanked. Even SRK who became type-cast after DDLJ till recent years had by then delivered great performances in the movies mentioned above. Aamir’s brilliant variety came late, after the 1996 win – Sarfarosh, Dil Chahta Hai, Lagaan, and 1947: Earth et al.

Let’s be fair, AK fans. See you at the movies.

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