After a long delay due to legal issues, the National Film awards for 2005 have finally been announced. As has been the trend in recent years, Tamil cinema has fared rather poorly with only a few awards in the major categories and a single movie being responsible for most of those awards. The only consolation is that Tamil cinema seems to have fared the best among regional cinema with Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada films also getting very few awards and Hindi films scooping up almost all the major awards.
While there were obviously a number of news items on the awards, none of them(atleast the ones I read) provided an easy-to-read list of the awards. They mentioned the awards in no particular order with comments only about some of them and missed out a few of the award-winners. Some of them actually had erroneous information about some award-winners. So after reading multiple news items, here is the most complete, consolidated list I could come up with of the award-recipients.
Best picture - Kaalpurush
Best Director - Rahul Dholakia (Parzania
Best Actor - Amitabh Bachan (Black
Best Actress - Sarika (Parzania
Best Supporting Actor - Naseerudin Shah (Iqbal
Best Supporting Actress - Urvashi (Achuvinte Amma
Best Music Direction - Lalgudi Jayaraman (Sringaram
Best Lyrics - Barguru Ramachandrappa (Thaayi
Best Cinematography - Madhu Ambat (Sringaram
Best Screenplay - Prakash Jha, Shridhar Raghavan and Manoj Tyagi (Apaharan
Best Art Direction - C. B. More (Taj Mahal – An Eternal Love Story
Best Costume Designer - Anna Singh (Taj Mahal — An Eternal Love Story
), Sabyachi Mukherjee (Black
Best Choreography - Saroj Khan (Sringaram
Best Child Artist - Sai Kumar (Bommalata – A Bellyful of Dreams
Best Special Effects - Tata Elexi (Anniyan
Best First Film of a director - Parineeta
Best Popular Film providing Wholesome Entertainment - Rang De Basanti
Best Audiography - Nakul Kamte (Rang De Basanti
Best Editing - P. S. Bharathi (Rang De Basanti
Best Male Playback Singer - Naresh Iyer (Rang De Basanti
Best Female Playback Singer - Shreya Ghosal (Paheli
Best Feature Film on National Integration - Daivanamathil
Best Film on Family Welfare - Thavamaai Thavamirunthu
Best Film on Other Social Issues - Iqbal
Best Film on Environment Conservation/Preservation - Thutturi
Best Children’s Film - Blue Umbrella
Best Film Critic - Baradwaj Rangan
Best Tamil Film - Aadum Koothu
I have seen only a few of the movies that garnered awards but among those, there's not much to complain about the awards. While the award-winners may not always have been the best(for instance, I think Mohanlal's performance in Thanmatra
was way better than Amitabh's in Black
), they weren't blatantly bad or unworthy of praise(as was the case when Saif Ali Khan won the Best Actor award a couple of years ago).
Coming to Tamil, Sringaram
has won 3 prestigious awards - for its music, cinematography and choreography. But I haven't even heard of the film so far. While there have been movies I heard of and wanted to see but didnt(Janaki's Kanavu Meippada Vendum
and Mahendran's Saasanam
come to mind), I had no idea a movie like Sringaram
had even been made. I'm not sure it was even released theatrically(maybe it was one of those films only sent to film festivals and submitted to award committees?) That's just sad considering the list of movies I saw in the same year included duds like Meesai Madhavan
and Kicha Vayasu 16
! My knowledge about the winner of the award for Best Tamil film, Aadum Koothu
, is better but only slightly. While I have heard of it(it stars Cheran and I think it is about the travails of a travelling drama troupe), I thought it had been made only recently and was ready to be released! Turns out its already 2 years old...
I think something similar happened with Bharathiraja's Kadal PookkaL
, which won the National award for Best Screenplay even before it was released. But it did get released soon after while the news about it winning the National award was still fresh in people's minds and did reasonably well. But with this being the awards for 2005, I'm not sure how good the chances are for Sringaram
and Aadum Koothu
to get released(if they haven't been released so far).
Looking forward, I'm not sure Tamil cinema's share of the 2006 National awards is going to be much bigger. I think Veyyil
, which got some recognition after being sent to the Cannes Film Festival, has the best chance of getting us some awards. Then again, there could be some movie we've never even heard of, surprising us!