Mollywood Awards 2019: Parvathy or Anna? Uyiril Thodum or Jaathikkathottam? A pick of the year’s best

Mollywood Awards 2019: Parvathy or Anna? Uyiril Thodum or Jaathikkathottam? A pick of the year’s best

2019 has been one of the greatest years in recent memory for Mollywood, the Kerala-based film industry that makes films largely in Malayalam. It has,

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2019 has been one of the greatest years in recent memory for Mollywood, the Kerala-based film industry that makes films largely in Malayalam. It has, therefore, been tough to arrive at lists of the year’s most memorable films. Still, as a follow-up to my Best Mollywood Films 2019 compilation, here is my selection of the best actors, directors, songs and technicians – nominees and winners – in categories generally recognised at most film awards worldwide, what I like to call my personal Mollywood Awards 2019.

(Note: I am appending to this article a footnote* on my use of the word “Mollywood”, which I initially wrote for my piece on the best Mollywood films of the year.) 

This list contains only films released in 2019 and in mainstream theatres, not at festivals alone nor, for practical reasons, direct-to-online releases, although in coming years I will extend the scope to the latter too.

2019 has given the Mollywood gazer a lot to celebrate. I have covered 19 films in the nominations here and ended up leaving out many more than I would have liked to because, unfortunately, no list can be unlimited. There are anywhere from five to seven nominees in each category, all arranged in alphabetical order. If even one reader seeks out a film included here that they missed in the past year in theatres, my job is done.

BEST FILM 

Nominees: (All nominee lists are in alphabetical order)

 Jallikattu

Kumbalangi Nights

Thanneermathan Dinangal

Unda

Virus

And the award goes to… 

Kumbalangi Nights

BEST DIRECTOR 

Nominees: 

Aashiq Abu (Virus)

Girish A.D. (Thanneermathan Dinangal

Khalidh Rahman (Unda)

Lijo Jose Pellissery (Jallikattu)

Madhu C. Narayanan (Kumbalangi Nights)

And the award goes to… 

Madhu C. Narayanan (Kumbalangi Nights) and Aashiq Abu (Virus)

BEST WRITING 

Nominees: 

Girish A.D., Dinoy Paulose (Thanneermathan Dinangal)

Khalidh Rahman, Harshad (Unda)

Muhsin Parari, Sharafu, Suhas (Virus)

R Jayakumar, S. Hareesh (Jallikattu)

Syam Pushkaran (Kumbalangi Nights)

And the award goes to… 

Syam Pushkaran (Kumbalangi Nights)

BEST ACTOR (FEMALE) 

Nominees: 

Aishwarya Lekshmi (Vijay Superum Pournamiyum)

Anaswara Rajan (Thanneermathan Dinangal)

Anna Ben (Helen)

Anna Ben (Kumbalangi Nights)

Parvathy (Uyare) 

Rajisha Vijayan (Finals)

Veena Nandhakumar (Kettiyollaanu Ente Maalakha)  

And the award goes to… 

Parvathy (Uyare

BEST ACTOR (MALE)

Nominees:   

Asif Ali (Kettiyollaanu Ente Maalakha) 

Mammootty (Unda

Prithviraj Sukumaran (Driving Licence)

Soubin Shahir (Kumbalangi Nights) 

Sreenath Bhasi (Kumbalangi Nights)

Tovino Thomas (And The Oskar Goes To

Vinay Forrt (Thamaasha

And the award goes to… 

Vinay Forrt (Thamaasha

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR (FEMALE) 

Nominees:

Anna Ben (Kumbalangi Nights

Chinnu Chandni (Thamaasha)

Dhanya Ananya (Nalpathiyonnu

Grace Antony (Kumbalangi Nights

Manohari Joy (Kettiyollaanu Ente Maalakha)

Rima Kallingal (Virus)

Santhy Balachandran (Jallikattu 

And the award goes to… 

Manohari Joy (Kettiyollaanu Ente Maalakha)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR (MALE) 

Nominees: 

Aju Varghese (Helen)

Asif Ali (Uyare)

Fahadh Faasil (Kumbalangi Nights)

Lukman (Unda)

Roshan Mathew (Moothon)

Saran Jith (Nalpathiyonnu)

Sreenath Bhasi (Virus)

And the award goes to… 

Asif Ali (Uyare)

BEST CAST 

Nominees: 

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Soubin Shahir, Suraj Venjaramoodu, Kendy Zirdo, Saiju Kurup, Parvathi T, Megha Mathew, Rajesh Madhavan, Sivadas Kannur, Unni Raja and others

Kettiyollaanu Ente Maalakha: 

Asif Ali, Veena Nandhakumar, Manohari Joy, Basil Joseph, Jaffer Idukki, Raveendran and others 

Kumbalangi Nights: 

Soubin Shahir, Sreenath Bhasi, Shane Nigam, Mathew Thomas, Fahadh Faasil, Anna Ben, Grace Antony, Jasmine Mètivier, Sooraj Pops, Ramesh Thilak and others

Unda

Mammootty, Shine Tom Chacko, Arjun Ashokan, Lukman, Omkar Das Manikpuri, Ranjith Balakrishnan, Bhagwan Tiwari, Jacob Gregory, Dileesh Pothan, Chien Ho Liao, Easwari Rao and others, Cameos by Asif Ali and Vinay Forrt 

Uyare:

Parvathy, Asif Ali, Tovino Thomas, Siddique, Anarkali Marikar, Prem Prakash, Pratap K. Pothen, Samyuktha Menon and others 

Virus

Parvathy, Kunchacko Boban, Tovino Thomas, Rima Kallingal, Sreenath Bhasi, Revathy, Joju George, Indrajith Sukumaran, Asif Ali, Indrans, Sharafudheen, Soubin Shahir, Dileesh Pothan, Rahman, Madonna Sebastian, Sajitha Madathil, Leona Lishoy, Darshana Rajendran, Remya Nambeesan

And the award goes to… 

Virus

Parvathy, Kunchacko Boban, Tovino Thomas, Rima Kallingal, Sreenath Bhasi, Revathy, Joju George, Indrajith Sukumaran, Asif Ali, Indrans, Sharafudheen, Soubin Shahir, Dileesh Pothan, Rahman, Madonna Sebastian, Sajitha Madathil, Leona Lishoy, Darshana Rajendran, Remya Nambeesan

BEST MUSI

Nominees: 

Justin Varghese (Thanneermathan Dinangal)

Prashant Pillai (Jallikattu)

Sushin Shyam (Kumbalangi Nights

Sushin Shyam (Virus)

Vishnu Vijay (Ambili) 

And the award goes to… 

Sushin Shyam (Kumbalangi Nights

BEST SONG 

Nominees:

Aradhike (from Ambili):

Composition: Vishnu Vijay

Lyrics: Vinayak Sasikumar

Singing: Sooraj Santhosh, Madhuvanthi Narayan

Enna Undra (from Kettiyollaanu Ente Maalakha):

Composition: William Francis 

Lyrics: B.K. Harinarayanan

Singing: William Francis 

Jaathikkathottam (from Thanneermathan Dinangal):

Composition: Justin Varghese 

Lyrics: Suhail Koya 

Singing: Soumya Ramakrishnan, Devadutt Bijibal 

Nee Mazhavillu Polen (from Finals):

Composition: Kailas Menon 

Lyrics: Sreerekha Bhaskaran

Singing: Naresh Iyer, Priya Prakash Varrier

Parakkaam Parakkaam (from Finals):

Composition: Kailas Menon

Lyrics: M.D. Rajendran

Singing: Latha Krishna, Yazin Nizar

Silent Cat (from Kumbalangi Nights)

Composition: Sushin Shyam

Lyrics: Nezer Ahemed

Singing: K. Zia

Uyiril Thodum (from Kumbalangi Nights):

Composition: Sushin Shyam

Lyrics: Anwar Ali

Singing: Anne Amie, Sooraj Santhosh

And the award goes to… 

Uyiril Thodum (from Kumbalangi Nights):

Composition: Sushin Shyam

Lyrics: Anwar Ali

Singing: Anne Amie, Sooraj Santhosh

BEST EDITING 

Nominees: 

Deepu Joseph (Jallikattu)  

Ratheesh Raj (Driving Licence)

Saiju Sreedharan (Kumbalangi Nights

Saiju Sreedharan (Virus)

Shameer Muhammad (Helen)

Shameer Muhammed (Thanneermathan Dinangal)

And the award goes to… 

Deepu Joseph (Jallikattu)  

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY 

Nominees: 

Ajith Aacharya (Chola

Gireesh Gangadharan (Jallikattu)

Jomon T. John, Vinod Illampally (Thanneermathan Dinangal

Mukesh Muraleedharan (Uyare)

Rajeev Ravi, Shyju Khalid (Virus

Sameer Thahir (Thamaasha) 

Shyju Khalid (Kumbalangi Nights

And the award goes to… 

Shyju Khalid (Kumbalangi Nights

BEST SOUND DESIGN 

Nominees: 

Ajayan Adat (Virus

Jayadevan Chakkadath (Kumbalangi Nights)

Renganaath Ravee (Jallikattu

Sync Cinema (Helen

Vishnu Govind, Sreeshankar (Unda)

And the award goes to… 

Renganaath Ravee (Jallikattu

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN 

Nominees: 

Helen

Jallikattu

Kumbalangi Nights 

Luca

Unda 

Uyare 

Virus

And the award goes to… 

Jallikattu

MOST INTERESTING DEBUTANT IN A LEAD OR SUPPORTING ROLE 

Nominees: 

Anna Ben (Kumbalangi Nights)

Dhanya Ananya (Nalpathiyonnu)

Kendy Zirdo (Android Kunjappan Version 5.25)

Mathew Thomas (Kumbalangi Nights)

Saran Jith (Nalpathiyonnu)

And the award goes to… 

Anna Ben (Kumbalangi Nights)

*FOOTNOTE ABOUT THE TERM MOLLYWOOD: 

Over the years, some readers have urged me to not use the word Mollywood for the Kerala-based primarily Malayalam language industry. I would like to discuss why I persist with it. 

To those who say Mollywood is a derivative term subordinating the Malayalam film industry to Bollywood, I must point out that Mollywood is not derived from Bollywood. All the nicknames used by the press and public for India’s film industries – Mollywood, Bollywood, Kollywood, Tollywood, Sandalwood and so on – are drawn from Hollywood. A reader once told me she has no problem with “Bollywood” but objects to “Mollywood”. This I cannot understand. Either you object to all these derivative labels or none at all. If you object to all, I completely get where you are coming from, but do note my reasons for continuing to use them at least for now. 

First, “Bollywood” has served as great national and international  branding for the Indian film industry headquartered in Mumbai that makes films mostly in Hindi, with very very occasional forays into Haryanvi, English and other languages. Whenever I speak to my counterparts in the foreign press, I find a majority of them are not even aware that India makes films other than the ones coming from Shah Rukh Khan’s city. While this is primarily due to the extreme pro-Hindi, pro-Bollywood bias of India’s own supposedly ‘national’ newspapers and TV channels based in Delhi and Mumbai that amplify Bollywood’s works while largely ignoring India’s other film industries, another factor is branding. The term “Bollywood” is catchy. As long as the ‘national’ media’s bias remains, my personal choice is to do everything in my power as an individual to give high visibility to films from India’s other industries, because like most cinephiles, I am keen that the films I love get as wide a national and global audience as possible.

Second, as Indian cinema evolves, these terms have become useful in another way. Unlike Bollywood cinema whose characters almost invariably speak Hindi and at a stretch, English but no other Indian language irrespective of which part of India or the world they are situated in, Mollywood has been adventurous with language. Increasingly, I am afraid, a certain section of Mollywood has also been treating Hindi as a signifier of coolth and using it even where it is not necessary or relevant – in the way English was once viewed by Bollywood – but that is a separate discussion. Back to the subject at hand, the 2017 film Tiyaan, which revolved around a community of Malayalis living in Uttar Pradesh, was – as it would be in real life – equal parts Malayalam and Hindi with even some Sanskrit dialogues included in the mix. In this year’s lovely Mammoottystarrer Unda, when a posse from the Kerala Police travelled on election duty to Hindi belt states, what we were given was a natural mix of Malayalam, Hindi and a few other tongues. To describe either of these as “Malayalam films” would be inaccurate. Mollywood therefore is also an expedient term. (This applies to Bollywood too on the rare occasions when the quest for authenticity has spurred a director to favour a language other than Hindi.)

With no disrespect then to those who disagree, I intend to use “Mollywood” as long as there is a far bigger worry than a derivative term, that worry being the ‘national’ media barely acknowledging this industry. But the day Mohanlal and Manju Warrier, Parvathy and Fahadh Faasil become household names across India the way the Khans, Kapoors, Kaifs and Chopras of Bollywood are, I plan to invest time and energy in coining an alternative term. I promise.

RELATED LINKS:

Aadukalam, Andhadhun, Sairat, Kammatipaadam, Mahanati, Village Rockstars: 100 great Indian films of the 2010s

Best Indian Films 2019: Poetry and courage across languages, from Assamese to Hindi, Khasi, Malayalam and more

Best Mollywood Films 2019: Kumbalangi Nights, Virus, Unda and more in perhaps the best year ever for God’s Own Cinema

Best Bollywood Films 2019: Article 15Gully Boy and a handful that shone in an otherwise annus horribilis

Bollywood Awards 2019: Rani or Kangana? Rap or Niyam ho? Ayushmann or Ranveer? A pick of the year’s best work

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Updated Date: Jan 12, 2020 12:50:18 IST


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