67th National Film Awards: Kangana Ranaut Over Parvathy, Deepika Padukone? No Kumbalangi Nights, No Gully Boy? No Sonchiriya? Let’s Talk About Those Who Didn’t Win!


By Umesh Punwani March 24, 2021

Let’s take a look at the movies, which indeed might have been on the list of the awards’ jury members but didn’t win due to various reasons.


I felt Deepika Padukone’s portrayal of an acid attack survivor deserved to be discussed more. Was she a better option than Kangana Ranaut for that best actress award? Would things have been similar if she hadn’t paid a visit to JNU amid the protests last year?

Gully Boy

Not a single mention anywhere? I understand there are over three dozen people choosing films from thousands of options, but Ranveer Singh, Alia Bhatt led Gully Boy ‘excel’led in many departments to get a shout-out in at least one of them.


Laced with few beautiful performances by the entire cast, the aim of winning the best film is debatable against Chhichhore. Both contrastingly different, served the purpose of delivering entertainment in their respective styles


Amitabh Bachchan & Taapsee Pannu’s subtle presence not only strengthened the acting department but also made it stand out from the original. Ghosh’s thematic connection with the epic Mahabharata was a welcome change in the story.


Tim Gillis & Ben Kutchins camera captured the raw soul of Mumbai’s streets. Much like Jay Oza’s attempt in Gully Boy, even this film’s de-glam approach towards the city came in with small-yet-worthy intricacies.

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Gaurav Solanki & Anubhav Sinha’s story made a powerful statement without sugarcoating any facts. This was a shocking yet necessary watch, but we’ll not be able to know if this was considered for even a single category (or if it was submitted).

Mission Mangal

Despite the film’s flaws, Vidya Balan shone like no other. This film also aligns perfectly with the pattern of giving National Awards. This could have challenged Pallavi Joshi’s portrayal of a historian in The Tashkent Files, which bagged her the award in the category of Best Supporting Actress.

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I can’t point out the exact category for which this should’ve won or at least deserved a special mention, but I still want to celebrate its ‘cinema beyond entertainment’ impact.

Mardaani 2

This also extends as a request to whomsoever it may concern – apart from celebrating the debut directors, let’s honour the debutant actors in it as well. If only Vishal could’ve got a special mention for his brutally honest performance in this film.


If there is a man who made the film, what it is, it was Nivin Pauly. His dedication and transformation deserved a place in the list of winners. Child artiste Sanjana Dipu, another gem who graced the drama elevating the magic, failed to get a mention.


Parvathy Thirovothu’s Uyare was a specimen of women empowerment. If not the best film, Parvathy must surely have been a consideration for the best actor.