A Blog on Cinema

Dileep got it wrong


Recently when Salim Kumar won the National Award for the best actor, the so-called “Janapriya Nayakan” Dileep made the comment that Salim Kumar won the award because there were no Malayalis in the jury. He was referring to the fact that Malayalis are like crabs in a box, always trying to prevent the other crab from winning.

So the VC research team went to find the truth. Here is what we found.

Year/National Award Edition Best Actor Winner Movie(s) Malayalee Jury Member(s)
1973 – 21st PJ Antony Nirmalyam TS Pillai,KRK Menon, OV Vijayan
1978-25th Gopi Kodiyettam Thakazhi
1981-28th Balan K Nair Oppol Ravindranathan Nair
1988 – 35th Premji Piravi C.Radhakrishnan, Dr.V.RajaKrishnan
1990 – 37th Mammootty Mathilukal, Oru Vadakkan Veeragatha Our research incomplete for this year
1992-39th Mohanlal Bharatham Adoor Gopalakrishnan, PRS Pillay
1994-41st Mammootty Vidheyan, Ponthan Mada Hariharan
1998-45th Suresh Gopi, Balachandra Menon Kaliyattam,Samantharangal P.Madhavan, KR Mohanan
1999-46th Mammootty Dr.Ambedkar Balachandra Menon
2000-47th Mohanlal Vanaprastham Ravindranathan Nair
2002-49th Murali Neythukaran KS Sethumadhavan,Rajeev Nath


  1. How an actor is perceived because of his popular star persona can come in the way of objectively evaluating his performance in a role which contradicts with that star persona. I think this is what Dileep meant because Salim Kumar is known among Malayalis as a physical comedian. Since a non-malayali is not aware of this star persona, they can objectively judge his performance.

    To drive the point, imagine Shakeela acted in an art movie and she *actually* gave a performance matching/exceeding that of Shabana Asmi. But a South Indian judge who is aware of her popular star persona as a sex symbol will not be able to objectively judge her performance.

  2. I agree with the comment above, Dileep (probably) meant that no one in the jury knew Salim Kumar does comedy roles mostly, which could have helped Salim Kumar in getting the award. Fair point, isn’t it?
    I don’t think it is a sweeping statement suggesting that if malayalees are there in the jury, malayalees won’t win the award.

    I do disagree with one point above, not only South Indians, north Indians also know Shakeela. When I started my career in Bangalore, I realized that many North Indian guys are fans of late night movies shown in Surya TV (even the guys who think that I speak malayalee. I’ve to correct them that I speak Malayalam, not malayalee)

  3. Couldnt have agreed more with Kishor Kumar. All the mallu actors who won were serious actors and i believe even Jagathy shld have won a national award since he is a better actor than salim but probably got sidelined because he is a comedian

  4. I second Kishor Kumar, itยดs also my impression of what Dileep meant.

  5. @Abhilash, I know Malayalam movies are watched even in countries like Pakistan, Nepal etc ๐Ÿ™‚ So proud!

  6. I think what Dileep said was a little bit in jest and a little bit out of sour grapes. I don’t think most Malayalees who get to be members of jury are callous enough to dismiss a good acting performance just because the actor customarily gets comic roles in our industry. The comment is obviously a disrespect to jury members past and present, but I don’t think in any case they pay much heed to what Dileep says. The poor guy had to vent his (probably ill justified) disappointment of past years somewhere.

    Meanwhile, Salimkumar looks like he has let the award get to his head.

  7. If a Saif Ali Khan can win a national award (that too for a stupid movie), any Malayalam actor can win it. Just that like Saif, our actors also need to have a Mom who is the chairperson of the sensor board!

    Coming back to Salim Kumar’s award, what right do we have to praise him when no one wants to watch the movie in theatres and support the producer and distributor? Our appreciation should be shown by making the movie a commercial success.

  8. Hi VC,

    Firstly, this is the wrong place to post my response. I was looking for a ‘Contact Us’ option and couldnt locate one.

    Just wanted to ask – How come you guys havent posted anything on Salt N Pepper or any of the four new movies that released recently?

    Remember, you promised in the beginning of the year to post more ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. You better give the schedule of posting. It is boring and time consuming to see the same post everyday when we come to VC.

  10. Suresh,

    If you are reading vc or any website or blog by directly visiting that site, it is the most inefficient way of doing it. Learn how to use a feed reader like Google Reader. Then you won’t have to worry about the schedules of various sites.

  11. Thanks Unni. I din’t know this and will follow the advice.

  12. For the year mammooty won in 1990 fro vadakkan veeragatha, it was K.G.George and Sreekumaran thampi

  13. Dileep is a guttersnipe. He doesnt have any value. He is a sadist. He criticized agaist the jury when he didn’t win state awards for kunjikoonan& those years oduvil got award for nizhalkoothu and mohanlal got for thanmathra .ironically the jury had given special award to dileep for those performances.if dileep was that gentleman why did he accept the award for a undeserving act in vellari pravinte changathi..? He is an asshole actor. Somehow managed to stay here with help from friends. He hasnt done a good film post chanthupottu. What is the point in doing only 3rd class films? Either accept what you get or do good films and prove that u love art and not money.just fuck off you Mr.Dileep

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