It seems that national recognition is shining upon Mollywood again as actor Suraj Venjaaramoodu and the movie North 24 Kaatham are both nominees for National Awards this year! All together six Malayalam movies are being nominated in various categories!
It is genuinely surprising and a matter of pride for the Malayalam industry that Suraj, who came in to the business and transformed himself in to a successful comedic actor, with his background in professional mimicry, has bagged a prestigious nomination for the Best Actor category for his performance in Dr. Biju’s Perariyathavar. Previously, another comedic star Salim Kumar had won in the same category for his memorable performance in the movie ‘Aadaaminte Makan Abu’.
The movie Perariyathavar, which focused on the marginalised and poverty stricken lives of minimum wage workers, had both Suraj and another veteran comedian Indrans playing sweepers who struggle to make ends meet. The film is also a nominee this year. The story and the screenplay were by the director himself. Dr. Biju, of course, is an acclaimed director with a list of award winning, socially relevant movies to his credit including Saira and Veettilekkulla Vazhi. His next movie, starring Kunchacko Boban as a photographer, deals with the Endosulphan issue.
Another important nomination, that of the Best Regional Film, was bagged by Anil Radhakrishnan Menon’s North 24 Kaatham. The movie which starred Fahad Fazil as a borderline genius, software architect with obsessive compulsive issues who sets out to help an old man (Nedumudi Venu) and a young girl (Swathi Reddy) he meets during a train journey orchestrated by his colleagues, was well received due to a clever and elegant storyline and brilliant execution. The director, whose maiden venture just got national recognition, had said the movie pushed him out of his comfort zone.
All in all, this year’s first quarter has started off with a bang for the Malayalam movie industry where the stars seem to be shining a bit brighter!