A high-quality steadiness: The Hindu Editorial on Tamil cinema’s outing on the Nationwide Awards

Tamil cinema received a serious fillip on the latest 68th Nationwide Movie Awards, the place it bagged prime honours. Whereas Soorarai Pottru hogged the limelight with a number of accolades, together with within the ‘Finest Actor and Actress’ classes, different movies comparable to Sivaranjiniyum Innum Sila Pengalum and Mandela additionally fetched their groups honour and acclaim. The alternatives showcase the sheer selection Tamil cinema has supplied to viewers in latest instances. Whereas Sudha Kongara’s Soorarai Pottru — starring Suriya and impressed by the life and instances of Air Deccan founder Captain G.R. Gopinath — revolves round a person’s want to succeed and make even the widespread man fly, Vasanth’s Sivaranjiniyum Innum Sila Pengalum is a strong anthology delving into the minds of ladies throughout three time durations. Madonne Ashwin’s Mandela is at one other stage: a formidable political satire that showcases how deep-seated caste is within the wider society.

Probably the most heartening side is that this nationwide acclaim has occurred regardless of these movies being launched throughout a tumultuous section for the movie trade — COVID-19 and the following lockdowns. This was acknowledged by the Union Minister for Info and Broadcasting, Anurag Thakur, who mentioned that though 2020 had been a very troublesome yr for movies, the nominations comprised nice works. It proves that OTT or theatrical, high quality content material will stand out. That these three necessary and related movies had been chosen for prime nationwide honours not solely offers Tamil cinema delight of place but additionally encourages aspiring and established film-makers to discover topics which have not often been taken up. However how necessary are the nationwide awards? Whereas they don’t outline or result in success always, they do put the highlight on underrated gems that may have in any other case been missed. Mandela, as an illustration, is a traditional case: starring Yogi Babu, primarily identified for his comedian expertise, this satire that additionally spoke about vote financial institution politics, streamed instantly on tv and subsequently on an OTT platform, when the world was battling the pandemic. This honour for Mandela — within the ‘Dialogue Author’ and ‘Debut Movie of a Director’ class — would possibly nicely be life-changing for its group, giving them the impetus to work on extra vital and impactful cinematic materials. With a number of launch mechanisms opening up because of the appearance of OTT platforms, the longer term seems brilliant for film-makers and actors making an attempt to discover completely different features of storytelling. However important acclaim alone shouldn’t be sufficient to drive the trade ahead; business viability and box-office collections matter too. That is the steadiness that each movie trade ought to try for.

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