Salim Kumar Wins National Award for Best Actor.

(The earlier title for this post was “Salim Kumar, we are proud of you!” But after the Mullaperiyar comment episode, I have changed it to the present one above).

If there was ever an under rated actor in Malayalam cinema, it is Salim Kumar, the talent that has won many a heart in Kerala with his comic performances that have in fact been the mainstay for many a movie. Most of his acts and dialogues have become cult classic favorites, and he has been a must see face in many comedy movies in Malayalam cinema with his impeccable comic timing, priceless expressions and classic one liners. But the versatility of his talent is not much known, that he can handle much darker, complex and serious roles with the same ease as he says “Melcow!” Now if that is not real talent, I do not know what is.

And today, he has been honored with the ultimate honor that this nation can bestow on a cine artist! Yes, he has been selected for the National Award for the Best Actor in a male role for the (Malayalam) film “Adaamite Makan Abu” (along with Dhanush for Aadukalam) at the National Film Awards 2011! And Adaminte Makan Abu has won the award for the best movie as well!!

Photo Courtesy: Filmydum

He had shown his ability in portraying dense and in-depth characters before, with his roles in Achan Urangaatha Veedu (2006) for which he won the Kerala State film awards and in “Bridge” a segment of the anthology movie Kerala Cafe. He joins other greats P.J.Antony, Gopi, Balan K Nair, Premji, Mammootty, Mohanlal, Suresh Gopi, Balachandra Menon, Murali, Nedumudi Venu, Thilakan and Kalabhavan Mani to have brought pride to Malayalam cinema. And that too an actor who had to struggle his way up, with unassuming looks and only acting talent as asset, generally seen as an actor who plays comic relief and second fiddle to most established “Super Stars” and generally dismissed as a “slapstick comedy actor” and nothing more by “industry pundits”. He was lost for long in the plethora of Amul baby star-sons, over rated super stars and general rabble raising noise makers who are given much more importance than they deserve. But not any more!

The amazing fact is that some of his most loved, widely quoted and remembered classic roles come from full-length slapstick comedy movies like Kalyana Raman, Chadikkatha Chandu etc. Never has there been such an underrated actor who was not given his due since Jagathy Sreekumar who has so consistently delivered on screen and has become an indispensable character in any movie today.

Dear Salim Kumar, you have made Malayalam cinema proud! We love you and we are proud of you! You have fought for your due and got it, not be pedigree or by “management quota”, but because you deserve it! Way to go!! Congratulations!!!

MEDIA BLACKOUT – BOLLYWOOD PYAAR?

As usual, the so called “national” media has refused to accept this fact that Salim Kumar, along with Dhanush have actually won a National Award and is going to town tom-tomming Dabangg’s win for the movie with “wholesome entertainment” – whatever that means, (Not even best film), which is just one award, totally ignoring all others. If you do a Google search for “National Awards 2011”, you will feel that Dabangg has won all the awards! What a shame! Hey, that is not even a category! The best movie is the best movie! Dabangg is nowhere near to it! Give due where it matters!

This is nothing new, taking into account the media blackout and step motherly treatment that all regional language film industries usually receive compared to the trash that “Bollywood” dishes out. Well, dear media and Amits, there are other languages and great talent in India too, and they necessarily do not have to have six-packs, “Greek-God” like looks, zero-size bodies and skin color which will satisfy your colonial hangovers and Fair and Handsome ads. And of course, glamor and vanity does not mean talent. So stop lamenting about it!

What does it take to accept that regional movies are better than Bollywood? I know that many can’t take it that regional language movies have better actors than Bollywood’s white people, that their snobbery, that Hindi fixation and vanity has no impact and will not work in many parts of the country, that despite their best efforts they still have not managed to uproot regional film industries in favor of Bollywood and that Amits generally cannot digest the fact that most of the South is still “Hindi nahi maloom” country.

[box type=”shadow” ]I still believe Dhalapati is a greater classic than Sholay.[/box]

Please give due where it is due. Bollywood movies are just Indian movies in another language. Salim Kumar and Dhanush just proved that hype and snobbery does not mean talent.

(I still respect Salim Kumar as an actor and his characters he portrayed, but have no high regards for him as a person after his comments on the Mullaperiyar case. I also have learned my lessons on not to look at any actor beyond the characters they play)

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  • Timely post !
    I wonder what TOI is going to publish tomorrow or the question Arnab would be asking today.

    • Thank you! As expected, TOI has written as Bollywood’s spokesperson, centered on Bollywood (and lamenting on it) as if it is India’s ‘official’ movie industry or something. And towards the end, mentioning “Regional” movies got awards.

      And adding blasphemy, they have said “Enthiran is Robo’s Tamil version” when it is the other way around! #Fail

      As for Arnab, I have no clue. I don’t watch TV news.. :)

  • Bullseye! Very well written :)

  • I am not very fond of him in comic roles but yes – he pulls off serious roles with élan. Especially in Kerala Café which I watched recently. Glad that he got this award.

    • I am a big fan of his comic roles. Well, most of them! :) Me too, After watching Kerala Cafe I realized that this guy is a gem. Could watch Achan Urangatha Veedu only recently, Superb!

      Thank you! :)

  • He 100% deserve this award. He missed the award for his performance in Achan Urangatha veedu. Now I’m happy for him.

    • Yep! There is no one more deserving! Thank you!

  • Incidentally, in the past 20 yrs, Hindi movies have won the ‘Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment’ 19 times. Wonder whether the rest of India makes movies which are totally devoid of entertainment!!!

    • Yep. That is a good point. I guess only Bollywood can ‘entertain’. Thank you!

  • Anonymous

    well somethign should go to bollywood right???? and they do have their commercialised hyped film fare awards….

    salim kumar deserved this…

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  • Tanzenpia

    Very happy for ‘Salim Kumar’ – I would want him to collect this award on behalf of all those wonderful actors, who were eligible but were denied the rightful recognition,due to various reasons from cultural apartheid to nepotism … ‘Thappana’ Prayogam in his interview could have been avoided.. perhaps He only knows how much He and others have suffered,( or still suffering) from
    so-called ‘thappanas’…
    As for Arnab and national media, they are willful servants of their masters, and as we have seen; the news, the debates they enact is remote-controlled by powerful corporates and politicians..

  • This post is so good!!! Salim Kumar has proved himself to be an actor who is “complete”!!! thats what we call talent!! to manage all kinds of roles!!! his movies like kalyanaraman has always made me laugh my heart out till my stomach pained!!! Its such a hard thing to do to make people laugh and cry with emotions from heart seeing a movie!! He’s done that!! A big salute to the guy who has made the whole Malayalam film industry proud!!!

  • Great post.. TimesOfIndia as u said is really a TOIlet paper :) If I were in the jury, I will give Pranchiyettan and the Saint the national award for Best Popular Film Providing wholesome Entertainment” I haven’t seen Dabbang, My friends didn’t, and haven’t seen a person who did. Popular Film? Indeed.

    • I haven’t seen Dabangg either. It seems ‘popularity’ is limited to a certain geography.

  • I have changed the title of the post after his comments on the Mullaperiyar issue.

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