… the pride of Kerala, the Super Star …
It was in my Class 3 that I first won a prize for a competition. It was first prize for Malayalam elocution as part of the school’s annual cultural festival. The speech was about how reading habits will help us grow as a better individual. My Father had taken his train commute time to write the contents for me. If my memory is correct, it was my Grand Parents who listened to my rehearsal sessions and commented on my performance. Those days, society wasn’t obsessed with the performance of their kids. So, it was not a big deal at home about me performing in the competition.
Winning the competition did make an impact in my life. Today, if I am a passionate public speaker, this brass trophy was the starting point. I am thankful to the judges who made me the winner of the competition. So, if a small prize could make a shimmering spark in my childhood and gave me the confidence to grow as a mature speaker, I believe that prizes/awards are important for budding talents.
The Malayalam film awards have been disappointing me for quite a few years. The recent award function by a TV channel was never different from the past years. Malayalam industry can always boast about the immense talent pool which it possesses; also, the new talents too. But, the new talents are rarely recognized expect in the viral Facebook posts. The award functions make sure that the big giants of the industry get an award irrespective of their performance in the previous year. Yes, of course, I admit their past glory but how lame it is to award someone who had only duds last year. I am wondering how the stars feel in front of others when they are called upon for awards by belittling the upcoming talents and going blind on other brilliant performances. This is like giving away Best Cricketer Award every year to Sachin Tendulkar as he was the greatest batsman of the millennium.
How come Perariyathavar was ignored when Suraj Venjaramoodu won a National Award for his performance in the movie? There could have been a mention of the different treatment and style shown by the Aadu team. Aadu bombed at the box office and went on to become a torrent hit. Not recognizing the talents of Anend C Chandran, the 24-year old cinematographer of Premam movie is a sin. His brilliant frames have a huge part in the envious success of the movie. Premam enthusiasts can go back and check the bokeh effects Anend had done for the scenes of George and Malar; they are heart-shaped bokeh. The comedy timing and performance of Biju Menon in various movies are making those movies huge hits. Already, Malayalam cinema has the burden of the guilt of not honoring Jagathy Sreekumar when he ruled the lighter moments of Malayalam cinema. Oraalpokkam and Ain were not even mentioned. It was a shock that they ignored Pathemari for any awards despite brilliant performances by almost everyone in the movie.
If we continue watering the grown up trees ignoring the tender ones, awards might lose the purpose. Last year’s Malayalam Movie State Awards was an embarrassing slap on the audience’s faces. When rest of the World looks upon Malayalam movie industry for its talent, creativity and making, it is high time we should rethink about our awards.