Shah Rukh, Aamir and co dominate Bafta weekend

Jul 20, 2006 Subhash K. Jha

Mumbai, July 21 (IANS) If there were any doubts about the Yash Chopra-Aamir Khan patch-up post-"Fanaa", then the Bollywood weekend at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (Bafta) awards in London has put them to rest.

When Chopra was honoured for being a Bollywood legend, Aamir gave a heartfelt impromptu speech that brought the house down.

"Aamir gave a rousing speech on Yash-ji. In fact, Yash-ji was honoured for being the only Bollywood filmmaker to have made successful Hindi films from the black-and-white era to the present day. They couldn't find a parallel to him in cinema anywhere in the world," Karan Johar told IANS.

While Aamir held a Master Class, a regular feature for filmmakers from all over the world during the Bafta awards, on "Rang De Basanti", Preity Zinta conducted her class on Farhan Akhtar's "Dil Chahta Hai".

"During my Master Class on K3G ('Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham') the questions I was asked were really something. Someone asked me why Shah Rukh was seen with his shoes on in water in the 'Suraj hua madhyam' song in K3G," said Johar.

"It was quite a question. I was also asked about the difference between the masters of the earlier years and those who are making films today. I spoke about how we of today are scared of silences. For instance, there's a shared moment of silence between Shah Rukh and Rani in KANK ('Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna'). I had to fill the soundtrack with thunder and lightening. I explained why we need to structure the sound and visuals in a particular way to fit a given format.

"For example, the emotional graph has to be timed with the interval. And after interval, we have to have a buffer-block where we give audiences a chance to get back into their seats before the plot proceeds. I also explained why our films are misunderstood to be musicals. That, in fact, the songs don't manoeuvre the story. All in all, it was a fabulous experience. It showed how far Bollywood has infiltrated into the European psyche."

But the star of the weekend was undoubtedly Shah Rukh. Sweeping the British press off its collective feet, he was at his witty best in the QA with the British press.

At a dinner hosted by steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal, British actress Emma Thompson was quite taken up by Shah Rukh. She expressed a sincere wish to work with him.

Said Johar: "The Mittals were grace personified. Their son is my friend. And they have the highest regard for Bollywood. So we bonded. Shah Rukh's impact has to be seen to be believed. He has had the maximum number of hit films on the British charts. The British reacted to him with amazing hysteria. Gurinder Chaddha conducted an interview with him where Shah Rukh was in his element. Yup, he was clearly the star of the Bollywood Weekend."

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