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Rituparno Ghosh unhappy with National Film Awards

By Subhash K. Jha, IANS

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Though Bengali director Rituparno Ghosh is thrilled by the many National Film Awards going to fellow Bengalis, he's disappointed with the raw deal to his two favourites of last year -- Vishal Bhardwaj's "Maqbool" and Kamal Haasan's "Virumaandi".

While "Virumaandi" didn't get any awards, "Maqbool" won Pankaj Kapoor best supporting actor.

"I'm thrilled that my brother Indranil Ghosh has won the National Award for best costume design -- my mother always wanted both her sons to win awards -- but I'm disappointed at the way 'Maqbool' and 'Virumaandi' have been treated," says Ghosh, whose "Chokher Bali" got the award for best Bengali feature.

Awards and Ghosh are no strangers.

"I'm happy for all the Bengali winners of national awards. We're quite a clan this year," Ghosh told IANS.

The best director award to Goutam Ghose for "Abar Aranye" has also left Ghosh with mixed feelings. "It's a sequel to Satyajit Ray's 'Aranyer Din Ratri'. That's one of the 10 best films I've ever seen. I think it's impossible for any sequel to match up to Ray's film. I think 'Abar Aranye' could've been a bit more coherent. I liked Gautam Ghose's last film 'Dekha' much better."

As for Sharmila Tagore's best supporting actress award for "Abar Aranye", he says: "She's good in 'Abar Aranye'. But I wish she had won the National Award for my film 'Shubho Mahurat'. I think she was better in my film."

Ghosh isn't the only winner to feel disillusioned. "Maqbool" maker Vishal Bhardwaj seems upset too. "I think 'Maqbool' deserved some more awards. But thank god Pankaj Kapoor got the best supporting-actor award for my film. To not reward Pankaj for his performance in 'Maqbool' would've been unforgivable."

And in Bollywood there's widespread shock at Hrithik Roshan not having won the best actor award for his outstanding performance in "Koi...Mil Gaya".

"I haven't seen the Tamil film for which Vikram has won the best actor award. But it's impossible to believe he was better than Hrithik in "Koi...Mil Gaya". A performance like that comes once in a blue moon. If they had to give a special jury award why not to Hrithik instead of Manoj Bajpai in 'Pinjar'?" asks a major filmmaker.

Meanwhile, Rituparno Ghosh starts his new Bengali film "Antar Mahal" featuring Abhishek Bachchan, Soha Ali Khan, Jackie Shroff and Roopa Ganguly next month.

He wanted to call the film "Kaya" or "Rai Bahadur" but couldn't get the titles so stuck to "Antar Mahal".

Ghosh's first Hindi film "Raincoat" with Aishwarya Rai and Ajay Devgan has been selected as the inaugural film at the London Film Festival. "It'll be released globally on the October 21," he says.


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