Andhadhun wins National Film Award: Pooja Ladha Surti, Ayushmann Khurrana react

Updated: Aug 10, 2019, 15:53 IST | Mohar Basu

Sriram Raghavan's AndhaDhun bagged the prestigious National Film Award for Best Hindi Film, while Ayushmann Khurrana won the National Film Award for best actor

Andhadhun wins National Film Award: Pooja Ladha Surti, Ayushmann Khurrana react
Ayushmann Khurrana and Radhika Apte in a still from Andhadhun. Pic: Ayushmann Khurrana's official Instagram account

Director Sriram Raghavan's AndhaDhun bagged the prestigious National Film Award for Best Hindi Film. The film, featuring Tabu, Ayushmann Khurrana, and Radhika Apte and Anil Dhawan in lead roles.

Speaking to mid-day, Ayushmann said that he feels assured that his journey in movies and his reason to be an actor in the first place have all been right. He said, "When I entered the industry, seven years my choice of films were considered off beat. Today’s win is gratifying and it makes me braver as an artist I have always tried to back disruptive content that stands out for its quality. This is a validation of my belief system that I am doing something right. I feel assured that my journey in movies and my reason to be an actor in the first place have all been right. I have never questioned my ability to identify with the script. Most people think audiences will like it, even if you don't. But you have to be the audience, to begin with. Parameters and assumptions about an audience is shifting. The public mindset is shifting so if you are the public, it becomes easier to gauge.

It again validates that people of our country want to see cinema that entertains, that they can cherish, discuss and endorse. AndhaDhun is a path-breaking film and Sriram Raghavan deserves all the accolades for creating a new genre of cinema for Indian audiences to enjoy. He has made me a better actor.

Bollywood has no set yardsticks and guidelines anymore which is why the divide between what is liked and what works is easing out.

With Badhaai Ho again I took up a taboo subject because I believed that people would be interested to watch this kind of cinema. Badhaai Ho winning big today is proof that power of script triumphs all. I am glad we are breaking the shackles of stereotyped notions of what Hindi cinema should be."

AndhaDhun's co-writer Pooja Ladha Surti too expressed happiness over the victory. She said, "Ecstatic doesn’t cover the feeling really. I hope the perception of works has changed with Andhadhun. People are willing to watch films that they don’t expect. With the increasing exposure to the web and there is an urge to watch stuff that is off the beaten path. Making a movie and putting it out there isn’t as hard but you need to have a full conviction on your material. I hope more of such films can be made now. No writer or filmmaker should have to be worried about their choice of stories. For Andhadhun, our main worry was its divisive end. People felt it won't takers. I am glad we stuck to our guns and some good came of it. In hindsight, I feel it was good that we kept the end ambiguous. It kept people talking and at the back of our heads, we knew it was a conversation starter. So could he see or not, was how we wanted to leave it," says Pooja Ladha Surti, Sriram Raghavan's co-writer on Andhadhun.

Commenting on Ayushmann's win, she says, "We are so happy for Ayushmann. He was not someone we initially thought of. We spoke to a couple of actors and it wasn’t working out then. Ayushmann had texted Sriram saying I heard you are casting. He came and met Sriram and all the inhibitions were put to rest. Ayushmann is a musician with a strong sense of instruments so that was organic for the story. Sriram narrated him the draft thinking that he might have inhibitions and Ayushmann loved it. Once Sriram is back from Melbourne, we are going to get together and pop open a bottle of wine".

Ayushmaan will share his award for best actor with Vicky Kaushal who won it for his acting in Uri: The Surgical Strike. Akshay Kumar-starrer Padman was named the best film on social issues. The National Award winners this year also include Telugu film Mahanati, Kannada film Nathicharami and Sanjay Leela Bhansali's controversial Padmaavat.

Also Read: 66th National Film Awards: Andhadhun wins Best Film; Ayushmann and Vicky share Best Actor Award

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