Don't be confused. The National Awards that were recently announced are, not for the year 2009, but for 2008! Yeah... only slightly delayed.
Here is a list of most of the winners with a citation as to why they were chosen.
BEST FEATURE FILM: Antaheen (Bengali)- For lyrical blend of technical devices in the right proportion to depict shifting human relationships in an urban scenario. [P.S. the film's cast has a few names familiar to Bollywood: Sharmila Tagore and Rahul Bose]
INDIRA GANDHI AWARD FOR BEST FIRST FILM OF A DIRECTOR: A Wednesday (Hindi)- For slick and searing exposure of the tension below the normal rhythm of life and the angst of the common man in Mumbai. Loved this film, glad it received recognition.
BEST POPULAR FILM PROVIDING WHOLESOME ENTERTAINMENT: Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! (Hindi)- For its intelligent treatment of an off-beat subject that makes it different within the popular format.
BEST DIRECTION: Bala for Naan Kadauul (Tamil)- For its powerful handling of an extraordinary subject that focuses on marginal characters with great convection.
BEST ACTOR: Upendra Limaye for Jogva (Marathi)- For his restrained yet powerful depiction of a complex character.
BEST ACTRESS: Priyanka Chopra for Fashion (Hindi)- For convincing portrayal of a whole range of emotions within a single character,
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Arjun Rampal for Rock On (Hindi)- For his moving performance as a musician trying to rise above personal tragedy.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Kangana Ranaut for Fashion (Hindi)- For compelling portrayal of a down and out supper model that enriches the impact of the film.
BEST MALE PLAYBACK SINGER: Hariharan for the song Jeev Dangla Gungla Rangla (Marathi)- For his soulful rendition reflecting the agony of unfulfilled emotions.
BEST FEMALE PLAYBACK SINGER: Shreya Ghoshal for the song(s) Pherari Mon & Jeev Dangla Gungla Rangla (Bengali & Marathi)- for her wide ranging rendition of
For a full list of awards click here.
A lot of people are questioning the validity of these awards, because the jury is never really acknowledged and no one knows who the nominees are, so it's kind of sketch. But of all the film awards that go on in India (to my knowledge) these seem the closest to being somewhat valid and the closest reflection of the critics' choice.
So there's a lot of outrage as to why Hindi Films got so many nods (particularly Arjun Rampal, Priyanka Chopra, Kangana Ranaut and Roadside Romeo). I can't really sit here and argue which is deserving and which isn't because I'm not well versed with all the other regional films made. I read an insane amount of hateful comments (all on one website, though) about Priyanka Chopra's win being an undeserved one. Putting my die-hard fanaticism aside, I watched Fashion again yesterday. I really, truly, do think that was her career's best thus far (I think her best is yet to come). To be a hundred percent honest the first time I watched it I thought she did well, but it was the second time around that I really noticed what a fantastic job her performance was. I think a lot of people might be upset at her winning because she's a super mainstream-commercial-epitome-of-Bollywood actress who does films like "Pyaar Impossible." Or I might just sound like a crazed fan giving an irrational argument, I can't decide. Anyway, the last time the Best Actress Award was given to a Hindi film actress was in 2002 (Tabu for Chandni Bar) so, irrespective of what people have to say, props to PC! Arjun receiving Best Supporting, does make me wonder a teeny bit. He did a good job, no doubt. I even mentioned how I felt that he was underrated, but think about Paresh Rawal's performance in Mumbai Meri Jaan. I mean, there's no denying he owned the role in true Paresh fashion. Or even his role(s) in Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! Speaking of Mumbair Meri Jaan, I do wish it was recognized a little more. For what? I don't know, but I do know it was a good film. Laastly, What did Kangana do differently in Fashion from any of her other films? Okay, that's just me hating... but I do kind of mean that.
The dissection of these awards could go on and on so I'm just going to end this, but before I do...
Can I get a "HELL YEAH!" for (my absolute absolute favorite) Shreya Ghoshal on her win for two songs?? This is her FOURTH National Award win and she's only twenty-five! [Btw, if you're curious she's won for: Bairi Piya (Devdas), Dheere Jalna (Paheli), and Yeh Ishq Hai (Jab We Met)]