Awards don’t interest me nowadays. To be honest, I haven’t gone through the list of the National Film Award winners this time, I didn’t feel inclined to. But the fact that Salim Kumar got the National Award for the best actor did impress me. I have always seen him as a sensible actor, someone who could rise above crass comedy and deliver intelligent, sensible humour and also do serious acting, as he had earlier done in ‘Achanurangatha Veedu‘ and ‘Perumazhakaalam‘. Of course there are controversies shrouding this year’s National Awards, as usual. There’s Dileep saying the awards came seeking Malayalam Cinema only since there were no Malayalees in the Jury. I don’t know whether he made that comment in earnest or just in jest. There’s Ranjith being unhappy that he and his ‘Pranchiyettan and the Saint’, a very intelligent and thoroughly enjoyable satire, were neglected at the National Awards. There’s Salim Kumar lashing out against Ranjith. Much more is likely to come, as always.
A friend of mine, who is an internationally acclaimed director as well, was telling me yesterday that it’s good that people like Salim Kumar and Salim Ahmed (the director of ‘Adaminte Makan Abu’) are getting awards. He was saying that those who have been winning awards should in fact be kept out. I pointed out that it doesn’t make sense as the criterion for giving awards is always based on performance and has to be that. I know what he said is right, people who are internationally and nationally acclaimed and who win awards all the time don’t need awards. They are above and beyond awards. But still, how can you not give a good actor an award on the grounds that he has won it many times already, especially if his performance is good. If you were him, won’t you feel bad if you were denied an award simply on such grounds? But what my friend said, isn’t that right too? So, what’s to be done? Consensus solution needed.
As for me, I don’t care about awards, simply because I am not a director or an actor. I am just a lover of movies. I like seeing the movies that make me feel good, that enrich me and entertain me and enlighten me. Now, don’t ask me what kind of movies, the mainstream ones or the arty ones, are the real good ones. To be honest, I won’t want to comment. My boss Sholto would then post a comment asking me about ‘The Bicycle Thieves’, which I know is a gem of a movie, one that makes you look at the medium of cinema with awe. My friends would call me ‘insensible’ as I haven’t yet seen ‘Pazhassi Raja’ or ‘Avatar’ or ‘Anaconda’.I just want to keep watching movies, all kinds of movies. As for awards and award related controversies, let it all go on…such things fuel film-making maybe.
Long Live films and film-making!!