Can one ever truly fathom the ineffable power of cinema, and how it can transform us for the better? Words will certainly never be enough to describe the power of cinema, it can only be experienced, and this experience, for the heart and mind both, can be miraculous in a million ways. The 67th National Film Award winners reinforced this reality by honoring the craft of quality filmmaking, riveting storytelling and all the other elements that make a movie resonate with its innate power.
Here, we list six of our favorite films out of the many masterpieces that received the prestigious award.
Life, contrary to popular notion, isn’t a desperate race where we must all vie for a victory that is determined by societal standards. The worth of one’s existence is not determined by an equation as simple as the proportionality of perceived failure to one’s shortcomings and lack of ability. What truly counts, and what makes it an exceptional gift, is explored masterfully in Chhichore.
2. Anandi Gopal
Chronicling the tale of the brilliant, resolute Anandi Gopal Joshi, a torchbearer who paved the way for Indian women in medicine, this film allows us to admire, from up close, each pivotal moment in her inspiring life. Her journey is not without its struggles, but her single-minded persistence propels her to prevail over them and when she eventually achieves success, its fruits taste just as sweet to the viewer.
Winner of the best feature film in the National Film Awards, Marakkar is a historical epic that shines a spotlight on Kunjali Marakkar IV, whose heroic naval defense of the Malabar coast against a Portuguese invasion immortalized his name for posterity. While the film is slated for release in May 2021, the premise, and the dynamic characters, have already captured our imagination.
Pitting the gratification of ambition against the fulfilment of selfless social work, Maharshi strikes a chord for both its familiarity as a story about people who refuse to relent and stand tall in the face of looming injustice, and for its distinctive plotline. The protagonist, like all humans, is flawed and conflicted, but that only makes his character development that much more intriguing.
Jyeshthoputro is a film that brims with raw emotion, and that conveys the sentiment of two men from different worlds, linked only by their blood as brothers. The older brother is a successful actor and a popular celebrity who is expected to preside over his late father’s last rites, while the younger brother, who had always been a dutiful son, is denied that right solely on the basis of the fact that he is the younger child. The simmering resentment of the younger of the two siblings and the older son’s own internal discord about his place in a household that he had left behind years ago are enmeshed in a melancholic narrative that lays bare the complexities of human nature.
Capturing the majesty of its forests and the breathtaking biodiversity of the flora and fauna that they harbour, Wild Karnataka is a visual paean dedicated to the singular ecology and wildlife of the Indian state of Karnataka. A grandiose soundtrack, composed by Grammy winning musician Ricky Kej, and narration by iconic natural historian Sir David Attenborough only adds to its grandeur, making it one of the best natural history documentaries of the decade.
All that is left to do for you now is to witness firsthand the wonder that is good cinema by adding these films to your watchlists, and to incorporate a soupcon of their indescribable beauty and values into your lives.
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