Malayalam films strike gold at the National Awards
Malayalam films might not have won many of the top awards like Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor etc, at the National Film awards this time, but it had the richest haul--15 National Awards.
Interestingly, it was not one film that swept the awards but many films were chosen in various fields.
Ustad Hotel, directed by Anwar Rasheed and written by Anjali Menon, with Dulquer Salman and Nithya Menen in the lead, was a huge box office success in Kerala. It won three National Awards.
It shared the Best Popular Film award with the Hindi film, Vicky Donor.
It won the late actor Thilakan a Special Jury mention for his performance as Kareem (Thilakan), the grandfather who runs the roadside eatery called Ustad Hotel on Kozhikode beach.
Anjali Menon won the award for Best Dialogues.
Image: A scene from Ustad Hotel. Inset: Late actor Thilakan
Kalpana is one of the most underrated actresses in India. Like Salim Kumar was branded as just a comedian till he won the National Award for Aadaminte Makan Abu, Kalpana finally got what she deserves.
She won Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Thanichalla Njan (I am not alone). She shared the award with Dolly Ahluwalia for Vicky Donor.
Directed by the National Award-winning director Babu Thiruvalla, the film is based on a real incident of two women, Razia Beevi and Chellamma Antharjanam, an 85-year old Namboodiri woman saved from the railway track by Razia Beevi.
Kalpana played the role of Razia Beevi and KPAC Lalitha, Chellamma Antharjanam.
Thanichalla Njan also bagged the Nargis Dutt Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration.
Image: A scene from Thanichalla Njan
Siddhartha Siva's 101 Chodiyangal shared the Indira Gandhi Award for debut film with Bedabrata Pain's Chittagong, a Hindi film about the Chittagong uprising.
Siddharth Siva made his debut as an actor in Shyamaprasad's Ritu. His first film as director, 101 Chodyangal (101 Questions) stars Indrajith and Lena in lead roles.Master Minon, who plays the little boy in the film, won the Best Child Artist Award. At present, he is shooting for Shyamaprasad's Artist.
Image: Movie poster 101 Chodiyangal
Spirit was judged the Best Film on Social Issues. Ranjith, the director, had said, "Though alcoholism is one of the topics here, it is also about a positive spirit."
Black Forest was declared the best film on environment conservation/preservation.
Kaliyachan shared the Best Music Direction award with the Marathi film Samhita.
The Best Film Critic award went to Malayalam writer P S Radhakrishnan while Piyush Roy won a Special Mention.
Malayalam film Behind The Mist was named Best Film in the Non-feature film category on Social Issues.
Kamal's Celluloid won for best Malayalam feature film.
Image: A scene from Ranjith's Spirit
Actor Lal was disappointed when he was ignored by the Kerala State award committee for his scintillating performance as Thanupillai in Madhupal's Ozhimuri.
Lal who plays three different characters in the film, of an old man, a young hot-head and a bald wrestler should behappy now that he has got a special mention at the National Awards along with the late Thilakan.All in all, Malayalam cinema had a rich harvest at the national level this
Image: A scene from Ozhimuri