Saturday Small Talk/National Film Awards

Happy Saturday! I was up way too late last night after the movie, and I didn’t even finish my reviews yet. But today I am going to be all productive and write lots and lots of stuff.

National Awards! Announced yesterday! Full list here, tell me what you think. I can tell you what I think.

I think it is ridiculous that they squeezed in Uri even though it released in 2019.

I think Andhadhun was a great choice for Hindi

Sudani From Nigeria was a good choice for Malayalam (although personally, I think Koode was better. But they are really more like tied, it’s just personal taste).

I think Mahanati should have gotten best costumes, but NOT best film (I would have picked Awe or Goodacheri over it, and I didn’t even like Awe that much and I haven’t seen Goodacheri).

I really hated Mahanati, but also the National Awards are intended to recognize true talent, and Awe and Goodacheri were about struggling emerging talent, not Mahanati that was a blockbuster hit and doesn’t need any help.

I wouldn’t have picked Keerthy for best actress. Tabu, Parvathy, Neena Gupta, all better choices.

I’m fine with Ayushmann as best actor, but he shouldn’t have to share it with Vicky for a 2019 movie. Really, how did they think they could get away with that?

I think it’s hilarious how they squeezed in Padmaavat as much as possible while still aware that they couldn’t really justify giving it an acting or best picture award.

Such a weird song sequence! Arijit does sing the heck out of it though. On the other hand, “Tera Yaar Hoon Main” also came out in 2018 and I think I might pick that as the better Arijit song with tragic gay love meanings.

Pad Man won the award for best film on social issues, thus fulfilling the requirement of Akshay Kumar winning a National Award one way or the other every single year. At least it wasn’t another best actor.

Yaaaaay, Kammara Sambhavam won something! That was a brilliant brilliant DARK movie! Now I want to come back and watch the movie within a movie section again, the only bit that was just straight up funny, not “I don’t know if I should laugh or cry” funny.

This is hilarious in context

And finally, once again, I have NOT won the National Award for best film critic. Clearly the Jury is biased against people they have never heard of who also aren’t Indian.

Now, what are your thoughts?

Most film-friendly state: Uttarakhand

Best book on cinema: Malayalam Book Mano Prarthana Pulley; In A Cult Of Their Own gets Special Mention

Best Film Critic: Blase Johnny (Malayalam), Ananth Vijay (Hindi)


Best Film on Family Values: Chalo Jeete Hain

Best Short Fiction Film: Kharvas

Social Justice Film: Why Me

Best Investigation Film: Amoli

Best Sports Film: Swimming Through The Darkness

Best Educational Film: Sarala Virala

Best Film on Social Issue: Taala Te Kunjee

Best Environmental Film: The World’s Most Famous Tiger

Best Promotional Film: Rediscovering Jajam

Best Film on Science and Technology: G.D.Naidu : The Edison Of India

Best Arts and Cultural Film: Bunkar: The Last of The Varanasi Weavers

Best Debut Non-Feature Film of a Director: Sagnik Chatterjee for Feluda_50 Years Rays Detective

Best Non-Feature Film: Sunrise, The Secret Life of Frogs


Actors who get special mention for their performance: Sruthi Hariharan, Chandrachud Rai, Josy Joseph, Savitri

Best Rajasthani Film: Turtle

Best Pangchenpa Film: In The Land Of Poison Women

Best Garo Film: Ma’ama

Best Marathi Film: Bhonga

Best Tamil Film: Baaram

Best Hindi Film: Andhadhun

Best Urdu Film: Hamid

Best Bengali Film: Ek Je Chhilo Raja

Best Malayalam Film: Sudani From Nigeria

Best Telugu Film: Mahanati

Best Kannada Film: Nathicharami

Best Konkani Film: Amori

Best Assamese Film: Bulbul Can Sing

Best Punjabi Film: Harjeeta

Best Gujarati Film: Reva

Best Choreography: Kruti Mahesh Midya and Jyothi D Tommaar for Ghoomar, Padmaavat

Best Music Director: Padmaavat

Best Special Effect: Awe, KGF

Best Music Direction: Sanjay Leela Bhasali for Padmaavat

Best Background Music Award: Uri: The Surgical Strike

Best Makeup Artist: Ranjith for Awe

Best Costume Designer: Rajshree Patnaik, Gaurang Shah and Archana Rao for Mahanati

Best Action: KGF: Chapter 1

Best Lyrics: Nathicharami

Best Production Design: Kammara Sambhavam

Best Editing: Nathicharami

Best Audiography: Tendlya, Uri and Rangasthalam

Best Sound Design: Uri

Best Mixed Track: Rangasthalam

Best Original Screenplay: Chi La Sow

Best Adapted Screenplay: Andhadhun

Best Dialogue: Tarikh

Best Cinematography: Olu (Malayalam) to MJ Radhakrishnan

Best Female Playback Singer: Bindu Mani for Mayavi Manave from Nathicharami

Best Male Playback Singer: Arijit Singh for Binte Dil from Padmaavat

Best Film on Social Issues: Pad Man

Best Supporting Actress: Surekha Sikri for Badhaai Ho

Best Supporting Actor: Swanand Kirkire for Chumbak

Best Actor: Ayushmann Khurrana, Andhadhun, and Vicky Kaushal, Uri

Best Actress: Keerthy Suresh for Mahanati

Best Direction: Aditya Dhar for Uri

Best Feature Film: Hellaro (Gujarati)

Best Children’s Film: Sarkari. Hi. Pra. Shale Kasaragodu, Koduge

Best Child Actors: PV Rohith for Ondalla Eradalla (Kannada), Sameep Singh for Harjeeta (Punjabi), Talha Arshad Reshi for Hamid (Urdu), Shrinivas Pokale for Naal(Marathi)

Best Film on Environment Conservation: Paani

Nargis Dutt Award for National Integration: Ondalla Eradalla

Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment: Badhaai Ho

Jury Awards: Kedara (Bengali), Hellaro (Gujarati)

Indira Gandhi Award for Best Debut Film of A Director: Sudhakar Reddy Yakanthi for Naal

22 thoughts on “Saturday Small Talk/National Film Awards

  1. Ha I have seen Nathicharami, best kannada film. I’m glad a movie about woman’s desires won. And Sruthi has been mentioned, so I’m happy #TeamSruthi

    When it comes to Uri, I read it has been censored 31 December 2018 so it qualifies for 2018 awards


    • I still kind of hate that Uri is included, even if they came up with some sort of explanation.

      And yay! Nathicharami does look good and, most importantly, the Shruti you mention is not Shruti Haasan.

      On Sat, Aug 10, 2019 at 6:42 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  2. I don’t acknowledge any awards that don’t recognize Pariyerum Perumal,Tumbadd and Peranbu.
    Kathir in PP, Mammotty,Sadhana in Peranbu are sublime acts which no Ayushmann and Keerti Suresh can top. The jury’s justification for Ayushman is he acted as a blind man while not being blind(?).Keerthy Suresh’s celebrity parents are hardcore powerful right-wingers,all she had to do was mimic Savitri. Also sanitary napkin over casteism(PP)as a social issue, URI director as best director over Vetrimaran(Vada Chennai),Maari Selvaraj(PP),Lijo Jose Pellisery(Ee Ma Yu) and several others. Tamil and Malayalam films had a great run last year and they award mediocre, nationalist Hindi and Telugu films.If any actor had to be awarded for Andhadhun it is Tabu.National awards were always politicized but this year takes the cake. I was so mad about it all yesterday,until I saw shirtless Prabhas today.
    In Telugu there was a much talked about movie called C/o Kanchepalayam which won a lot of critical acclaim. But just because one of its producer is an Indian with American citizenship,they disqualified it.I mean it’s an Indian movie,directed,acted and created for Indian audience but no. I need to watch that Sahoo trailer few more times.


    • This is now my head canon:

      The Saaho producers could have released the film months ago, as planned. But then it was announced that the National Awards would be coming late this year and they thought “every year, the National Awards pick terrible actors/films and it is angry making and depressing, especially for people who are aware of non-Hindi films. As a gift to The World, we will delay release so that we can distract folks in the middle of that terrible time. Also, we will insert more shirtless Prabhas scenes.”

      Also, what do you think the chances are of Article 15 getting attention at next years awards? Versus Manikarnika getting best actress/picture?

      On Sat, Aug 10, 2019 at 8:58 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:



    • Mammootty deserves an award just for agreeing to do a role like this one in Peranbu. He is a star and macho icon and doesn’t need to do movies like this, but he chose to do it – [spoilers] his character cleaned filthly bathrooms on his knees so his daughter can use it, bought sanitary napkins for her, cleaned her, talked with gynecologist about vaginitis and young woman’s sexual desiries and in the end married transsexual woman. I don’t think some other actor can beat this.


  3. I’m surprised neither Kangana or Alia won any awards.Neither did Manikarnika or Raazi. Those were touted to be sure fire winners.The calibre of the National Awards clearly depends on the jury of that year.I’ve always found Keerthy’s performances rather mediocre.But to be fair,I haven’t watched Mahanati either.Much like her mom’s performances in the 80s.

    It was a treat to watch Shekhar Kapoor’s video announcing the National Awards last year. He spoke a little about each film and gave some insights to the jury discussions.He was very indulgent with the journalists, some of whom even interrupted him midway to get him to spell out the particular movie’s name.No nakhras.


    • Manikarnika was 2019, I guess after fudging the rules for Uri they didn’t think they could get away with doing it for a second film.

      Raazi though, you’re right, that’s a weird exception. Padmavaat too, but there they made up for it with giving a ton of other awards.

      On Sat, Aug 10, 2019 at 9:27 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  4. I’m also disapointed Prithviraj wasn’t even mentioned for Koode – only by looking in his eyes I felt all the sorrow his character was feeling.


  5. Watched Padmaavat and exhausted myself reading through the original reviews and comments here. Glad it didn’t win anything important. Though I did enjoy sexy Shahid, Ranveer as eviler than evil villain, but the politics were repugnant and I was kind of bored with all the people-in-rooms-talking scenes. It felt like a bunch of set pieces rather than a sweeping story. I’ll wait for your Bhansali takedown to share my other complaints.

    I was feeling a little SRK withdrawal and, working from home yesterday on some boring file stuff, went back to my project revisiting the big Dharma and YRF movies I haven’t seen since my early days of watching Indian films, before I knew who anyone was. I put on Kal Ho Na Ho in the background, fast forwarding through a bunch of the first half, then realized that – even as it is totally over the top melodrama as I remembered – I actually really like the performances in the second half, and Shah Rukh’s character gets complex in ways I didn’t expect. It ended and I still had a bunch of work to do, so I restarted it to see why his character was so annoying in the first half, only to decide it was the right choice and consistent with the whole tragic underlayer that’s revealed later. And now I have such a KHNH hangover! It’s addictive, that level of intense emotion. SRK said in his Rajeev Masand interview that part of the international appeal of Indian films is that they’re drenched in emotion, they grab you by the collar and say “laugh with us, cry with us.” I don’t know if that’s true about their appeal, but drenched in emotion is the perfect description for KHNH. And all the Karan movies of that era, so much crying in the second half! The actors must have needed a special hydration regimen.

    One after effect is I’d be curious to see SRK and Said reunited onscreen. I like their chemistry. He says he wants to do an action film, maybe that would be a good chance to get them back together. (I’ve been trying to imagine the right kind of action story I’d want to see, don’t have one yet.)

    And it’s so entertaining watching the same four or five actresses rotate through the mother roles in all of these movies. Can we have a mother matching post at some point? Best SRK mom, best Preity/Rani/Kajol mom, best dramatic mom (Kirron?), best funny mom (Farida?), etc. There is just the right number of moms to make for a fun debate.


    • Yeah, the first half of KHNH really works if you look at it as a guy who doesn’t have time to take the long way around. He is going to tease and taunt Preity into going to a nightclub and Jaya into learning to cook and all the rest of it because he has to distract himself from his own problems, and do what he can when he can.


      • Yes, and using humor as a mask. Once the audience is brought in on what he’s hiding and why he’s trying to get Saif and Preity together, the fast-talking patter abd jokes play differently, as a distraction and defense – like in the scene where he’s asking Priya if he has much time left. He does these sad clown roles so beautifully, it makes one suspect his friends were writing for him, maybe for how they saw him.


        • Yes! Same kind of thing in K3G. When he starts to miss his parents, he deflects and starts talking fast about other things.

          On Sat, Aug 10, 2019 at 5:35 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  6. On the surface , i understand your objection to keerthi suresh’s award, but if some one was comparing acting savitri in her movies to keerthy’s acting , it will shed a different light. The perspective of commitee members might have included savithri too.


    • I don’t know, that gets back to the whole question of if there is a difference between acting and imitation. Personally, I have more respect for an actor who creates an original character than one who perfectly imitates an existing person.

      On Sat, Aug 10, 2019 at 8:17 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:



      • Ya, every year national awards are to be taken with a grain of salt since none of them are truly “national”; lobbying and politics play a huge role diluting the effect. In short regarding keerthi suresh’s i would say, “it would have been worse” as in male actor awards.


    • Ya, every year national awards are to be taken with a grain of salt since none of them are truly “national”; lobbying and politics play a huge role diluting the effect. In short regarding keerthi suresh’s i would say, “it would have been worse” as in male actor awards.


  7. I’m glad Chi La Sow won a national award.. The movie is highly underrated and I think you would really love the movie and the characters


  8. Maybe this doesn’t go well with the National Film Awards post, but I’ve been rooting for Superstar and Mahira, and this interview she did with BBC Asia is adorable. He takes her over some of her past films, and their discussion of Raees starting around 9:00 starts off with a sweet SRK fangirl moment then turns into an interesting discussion about how plans for that film and her future changed so radically between its filming and release. And generally what it’s like to go from big elaborate productions to a fledgling industry making films on a shoestring.


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