A Blog on Cinema

State Awards – Postmortem


We love the State Awards for it brings out all egos out. Last year the wise members of the jury decided to give the best actor award to – believe it or not – Prithviraj ignoring both the superstars, since they had won awards before. With this attitude the jury showed that they were behaving like 1st standard teachers who makes sure that all children gets sweets for Independence Day celebrations.

So when the State Awards are announced, the question at the top of our mind was, is this jury as brain damaged as the previous one or have they set new standards for nepotism. Looking at the 2007 awards, we feel that a lot of awards made sense, while some did not.

The favourite horse the master director Adoor Gopalakrishnan’s Nalu Pennungal, which was expected to win the best film and director ended up with two minor awards in technical department of art and costume. And to rub it in, the Jury headed by noted Assameese director Jahnu Barua said – “the director (Adoor Gopalakrishnan) has failed to put together and connect the four short stories as a film”.[Award controversies in Kerala ]

Instead the award went to Adayalangal by M.G.Sasi which probably only Sasi has seen since it has not been released in theaters or in film festivals. Maybe there is no film like that and it is imaginary, like a day without hartal in Kerala. We have no issues with it since it cannot be assumed that because Adoor made a movie, all awards should go to him.

More shocking was the way Sreenivasan, noted actor, writer and director was totally ignored by the award committee. Last year was memorable for Sreenivasan as he had Lal Jose directed Arabikatha, in which he had come out with an outstanding performance as a communist leader who fails to come into grip with globalization. Probably his anti-communist tirade cost him the award! The award committee says off-the record that till the last round, he was a strong contender before Mohanlal piped him to the post for the best actor.[Award controversies in Kerala ]

This is an interesting take on the event. Let’s hold judgement and look at another statement.

When contacted Shyama Prasad said: ” I understand the limitations of the jury and how it functions as an ex-jury member, and has no complaints to register. The jury has its own political ideology; still I strongly feel Mammootty should have won the award for the best actor for Ore Kadal”[Award controversies in Kerala ]

Yes, if you ask Raj Babu, he would have said Prithviraj should have got the award for his role in Kangaroo, but past the silliness everyone seems to ignore the fact that Mohanlal did a terrific role in Paradesi. The movie was boring and was made with the production values of 1947, but there is no doubt in our mind that Mohanlal’s performance in the movie was an exceptional one. He just did not portray a unique character, but also the entire life span of that characters, something which neither Srinivasan nor Mammootty did this year. This does not mean that both Srinivasan and Mammotty’s performance were bad. We think they were excellent, but Mohanlal’s range in Paradesi surpasses both.

Coming to the statement that, “Probably his anti-communist tirade cost him the award!.” If that were true, then a true-blue communist like Mammootty should have won the award hands down and he had an excellent performance in Ore Kadal to back it up.

The other interesting observations are:
1) In 2006, Sujatha wont best Playback singer award, in 2007, her daughter Shweta won
2) In 2006 as well as in 2007, the Award for best screenplay questioned public’s intelligence.
3) In 2006 and 2007 , Mammootty got screwed.

At the end of all this we have a question: How is the best lab award determined?

John Cheeran has seen Adayalangal.

In Adayalangal Sasi tackles a pretty ordinary struggle during the 60s when most of the Malayali families found it tough to keep hunger at bay. That hunger and helplesnness were acute in upper class households bereft of a breadwinner. And such situations have been portrayed in Malayalam letters and movies many times over.Here a personal struggle, Nanthanar’s, gets unswerving attention from the dierctor. Sasi has shown that he has the craft and calibre to tell a story that sticks to the viewer’s bone long after the last reel is packed in.


  1. Award for Best Copycat Screenplay goes to Sathyan Anthikad

    I was under the belief that Satyan Anthikad is a ‘genuine’ scriptwriter even though his script lacks versatality untill I read the story of a korean film ‘My Sassy Girl’. Satyan lifted a scene where Hero and Heroine meets from this film and added that to his Award winning Vindoayathra.
    This doesnt mean that he copied the complete film but there are striking smilarities between two heros. My Sally Girl, released in 2001, was super hit film in asian countries and been remade to English last year.

    The next scene shows Gyeon-woo at a restaurant with some of his friends. He is interrupted by a call from his mother telling him to go meet the girl that his aunt wants to set him up with. He refuses and continues to eat with his friends. At the train station on his way home, he observes a girl, stone drunk, standing precariously close to the edge of the train platform as the train approaches; he pulls her to safety just in time. Inside the train, Gyeon-woo cannot help but stare at the girl wavering back and forth. He is slightly attracted to her but also repulsed by her drunkenness. Finally, she throws up on a passenger and faints—but not before she calls Gyeon-woo “honey”. The passenger aggressively chides Gyeon-woo and tells him to take care of his girlfriend. Gyeon-woo, completely flustered, carries her all the way to the nearest motel. While he is showering, her cell phone rings. Stark naked he runs out to answer it and informs the caller of their location. Very soon, just as Gyeon-woo realises there are no towels in the shower, a pair of women police officers burst into the room and he is taken to jail.

    Sathyan has also included parts of Sassy Girl into his new movie “Innathe Chintha Vishayam”

  2. I have seen the movie Vinodayatra. But I cant remember most of the story. I wonder how it got the best screenplay award. Without scripts from people like Sreeni, Sathyan movies are just below average.

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