National Film Awards: RRR bags six, Gangubai five; Stalin shocked over 'Kashmir Files' bagging award

As the rugged man with the heart of a tiger, Allu Arjun embodied a sense of animalistic determination in his titular role. This is, no doubt, a watershed moment for Telugu cinema. 

Published: 25th August 2023 08:59 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th August 2023 08:59 AM   |  A+A-

Ram Charan, NTR Jr

Actors Ram Charan and NTR Jr in 'RRR'

Express News Service

CHENNAI:  The last National Film Awards was all about the South; this time too, the South has won big, but the 69th National Film Awards also shone the spotlight on a resurgent Hindi cinema. After winning hearts and two Oscars, S S Rajamouli’s RRR continued to win laurels as it took home six prizes, including Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment, Best Background Score (M M Keeravani), and Best Singer — Male (Kaala Bhairava).

While the success of RRR was expected, laurels for Pushpa: The Rise Part 1 came out of the syllabus, with the film winning Allu Arjun and Devi Sri Prasad the Best Actor and Best Music Director (Songs), respectively. 

As the rugged man with the heart of a tiger, Allu Arjun embodied a sense of animalistic determination in his titular role. This is, no doubt, a watershed moment for Telugu cinema. Close on the heels of RRR, Gangubai Kathiawadi bagged five, including a maiden win for Alia Bhatt for Best Actress. As Gangu, she displayed quiet stoicism in the face of insurmountable odds. 

National film awards: South industries remain on top and Hindi cinema gains lost ground

‘GANGUBAI Kathiawadi’ also won director Sanjay Leela Bhansali his sixth National Award and first for Best Editing. He is now the first to receive National Awards across categories like Direction, Music Direction and Editing. Shoojit Sircar’s ‘Sardar Udham’ won five awards, including Best Cinematography (Avik Mukhopadhyay) and Best Production Design.

Kriti Sanon won her maiden National Award for Best Actress (Mimi). Her co-star Pankaj Tripathi, won his first Best Supporting Actor National Award for the same film. Noted actor-filmmaker R Madhavan hit the ball out of the park right with his debut directorial, ‘Rocketry - The Nambi Effect’, which won Best Feature Film. While ‘Sardar Udham’ ticked the box of biopics winning big at the National Awards, the hugely controversial ‘The Kashmir Files’ won the Best Film on National Integration.

Actor Pallavi Joshi won her second Supporting Actor nod for the same film. Telugu industry took home the lion’s share of the prize from the South in the 69th National Awards, Malayalam cinema contributed wins in four categories — Best Audiography (Chavittu), Best Debut Film (Meppadiyaan), Best Film on Environment (Aavasavyuham), Best Screenplay (Shahi Kabir for Nayattu) — and Tamil cinema bagged one with Shreya Ghoshal winning her fifth National Award for her rendition of the AR Rahman song, ‘Maayava’ from ‘Iravin Nizhal’.

This edition of the National Awards’ saw the controversial choice of ‘The Kashmir Files’. This film which polarised audiences, has been heralded as a film that integrated the nation. Snubs included Tamil films like ‘Jai Bhim’, ‘Sarpatta Parambarai’, ‘Master’, and ‘Karnan’ which won nothing. While ‘Pushpa’ had Allu Arjun deliver his career-best performance, social media expressed anguish about Dhanush, a two-time winner for Best Actor, not making it a hattrick.

Last year’s winner Suriya, incidentally, was one of the first people to congratulate Allu Arjun for joining the prestigious list of National Award-winners. Telugu industry stalwarts like Chiranjeevi and SS Rajamouli too praised Arjun, and the other winners for creating an indelible mark in their history. The winners this year are films that reopened the film market. If ‘Pushpa’ created box-office records, ‘Gangubai Kathiawadi’ convinced the audience to return to theatres. But, the South remains on top... but Hindi cinema has convincingly gained lost ground.

Stalin shocked over 'Kashmir Files' bagging award

Chennai: While congratulating the film personalities who won national film awards, Chief Minister MK Stalin expressed shock over choosing the movie - The Kashmir Files - for the Nargis Dutt Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration.

Without naming the film, he said, “It is shocking to know that a film which was rejected by film critics as a controversial one has been chosen for the Nargis Dutt Award for National Integration. While presenting awards to literature and movies, there should be no political lenience. The dignity of the national awards should not be destabilised for cheap politics.” The CM also congratulated the makers of Kadaisi Vivasayi and others.

(With inputs from Vignesh Madhu, Kartik Bhardwaj

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