So earlier today the winners of 64th National Film Awards were announced. With Akshay Kumar winning for Rustom (Best Actor), Surabhi CM bagging the award for Minnaminungu-The Firefly (Best Actress), Ajay Devgn's Shivaay fetching an award in the Best VFX category, Priyanka Chopra's Marathi film Ventilator winning it for Best Editing and Sound Mixing, Sonam Kapoor's Neerja fetching an award in the Best Hindi film category, Amitabh Bachchan's PINK being the Best film on social issue etc., Bollywood has had quite a presence in the National Awards this year. Check out the full list of winners here...
As soon as the winner's list was announced, social media went into a tizzy, discussing the winners, especially, Akshay Kumar who won an award for Rustom. It was argued that there were several other performances last year that deserved an award more than Akshay's. From Bollywood alone, performances like Manoj Bajpayee's in Aligarh, Aamir Khan's in Dangal, Randeep Hooda's in Sarabjit, Shah Rukh Khan's in Fan were pointed out as being more deserving. But anyway, a win's a win! So congratulations to Akshay Kumar. But later it was Priyadarshan's interview on the winner of the Best Actress category that has left us confused. While Surabhi CM was awarded in the Best Actress category, when the chairman of 64th National Film Awards was asked about his choices, his answer was rather disappointing. Also read: Jury chairperson Priyadarshan now claims Akshay Kumar won National award for both Rustom and Airlift, leaving us confused
In a statement to TOI, he said, "For the Best Actress Award, more than the body of work the performance was considered. Also, there weren't many actresses who were part of a lot of films and put up great performances. Surabhi's only competition was with Aishwarya Rai for Sarabjit. Surabhi clinched the award as she brilliantly performed her role of a non-glamourous Indian woman and carried the film on her shoulders."
The ace filmmaker also added that this year's jury stressed on the content and making of the movies. "Some of the films that didn't get commercial recognition were made well and some that weren't made well had good content. We looked at movies that had good content and were made well," he justified. Also read: Has playing patriotic roles in Airlift, Baby, Rustom paid off big time for Akshay Kumar?
Now, we have no issues with Surabhi's win, but Priyadarshan saying that if not for Surabhi, the award would have gone to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan as "there weren't many actresses who were part of a lot of films and put up great performances," is a stretch. Because there were many performances by leading actresses that were at par, if not better, than Aishwarya Rai Bachchan's in the underrated Sarabjit. In fact quite a few of the critics considered her as the only sore point of the film as far as performances were concerned. And as far as other "great performances" are concerned, on the top of the mind (again just in Hindi films), there was Alia Bhatt (Udta Punjab and Dear Zindagi), Radhika Apte (Phobia and Parched), Tannishtha Chatterjee (Parched), even a Sonam Kapoor, who got a special mention for Neerja. Also read: Twitter is LOLing over Akshay Kumar's win at the 64th National Awards
So saying there was no greater performance than Aishwarya Rai Bachchan's in Bollywood in 2016, isn't doing justice to the caliber of actresses who acted in meaningful and path-breaking cinema and gave it their best shot.
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