On awards: Thilakan is happy that his effort in ‘Ekantham’ has been recognised.
‘Irakal’ in 1986; ‘Perunthachan’ in 1990; and now, ‘Ekantham.’ Three times Thilakan came close to winning the national film award for the best actor, three times he missed out. It is a hat trick this gifted artiste does not deserve.
“Yes, it is a bit disappointing to lose out once again,” Thilakan told The Hindu on Wednesday. “But I am glad, however, that my effort in ‘Ekantham’ has been recognised. I remember watching the film’s preview in Thiruvananthapuram along with my daughter. It was a full house and when the film was over nobody in the audience got up. And I found my daughter was crying. I knew the film and my performance had moved the spectators.”
He regrets the film was not noticed. “That is because the film had no stars – there were just me and Murali – and no sex or anything else to attract today’s viewer,” he says. “I was very happy to do the film; it had an interesting theme, about two elderly brothers and their contrasting outlooks on life. My performance was good because Murali, who played my younger brother, was excellent.”
Thilakan is amused by the reports that he lost out the national award this time around in the final round because he was younger than Soumitra Chatterjee, the eventual winner. “I never knew age was a criterion for the national award,” he says with a wry smile. “I did not win the award for ‘Perunthachan’ because of political interference, I was told. I do not know why I did not get the award for ‘Irakal,’ after I was congratulated on my victory by many, including reporters. I remember meeting Prem Nazir in Chennai shortly after the release of ‘Irakal.’ ‘You were brilliant in the film; I don’t know how you act like that, I can not,’ he had told me. That itself was an award for me.” Thilakan points out that Sathyan and Sivaji Ganesan too never won the National award. “So I am not alone,” says the actor whose forthcoming films include ‘Vilapangalkappuram,’ ‘Pazhassi Raja,’ ‘Ayudham,’ ‘Swapnangalil Hazel Mary,’ ‘One Way Ticket’ and ‘Ali Baba’ (Tamil).
P.K. Ajith Kumar
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