The 64th National Film Awards just announced its list of winners a few moments ago and declared Akshay Kumar as the Best Actor of the Year for Rustom.
This has led to mixed reactions on social media, some have congratulated the actor for his first major win, many have criticized the jury’s decision of selecting him for the honor.
The main question here is- Does Kumar truly deserve the National Award for Rustom, a film that was entertaining but nowhere close to being great Cinema. A mediocre courtroom drama at best, the film had jarring loopholes, some embarrassing performances and tacky cinematography. As far as the leading man is concerned, he has had superior films and characters in the past. Baby, Special 26, Airlift and even the unfairly overlooked Sangharsh, all were fine films with terrific acting by Kumar.
This decision not only questions the credibility of the country’s most honorable awards but also raises an alarming question- Are these awards bound by any political pressure ? Is the selection genuine or rigged ?
Come to think of it, filmmaker Priyadarshan happens to be one of the jury members this year, and he’s had many memorable collaborations with Akshay Kumar. Was he the one to recommend Kumar’s name? Well, this mystery shall always remain unsolved.
Back in 2005, many people had questioned Saif Ali Khan’s selection for the Best Actor for Hum Tum (2004) as well. At that time, his mother and actor, Sharmila Tagore, was heading the Censor Board and rumors had that she influenced the jury to announce Khan as the winner.
If there’s even an iota of truth behind all these allegations and conjectures, it’s not only unfortunate but also shameful how some people can stoop to such politics and give an immoral name to India’s most reputed awards.
Was the jury unaware there were far more compelling and soaring performances last year? Why not Amitabh Bachchan for Pink? Why not Nana Patekar for Natsamrat? Why not Aamir Khan for Dangal? Why not Manoj Bajpayee for Aligarh?
Let’s see what happens next year. Till then, congratulations Mr. Kumar, nothing to take away from your success and ardor, but we’ve seen better films and performances of yours.