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68th National Film Awards: Ajay Devgn, Suriya receive Best Actor honour for Tanhaji and Soorarai Pottru

Popular actors Ajay Devgn and Suriya won the National Award for Best Actor for Tanhaji and Soorarai Pottru on Friday. President Draupadi Murmu presented them with the award in New Delhi.

Upon receiving the honour, Suriya, while speaking to ANI, expressed his elation and said, “Huge honour. Truly grateful to the National Film Award jury and the Government of India. A lot of emotions running in my mind. I have a lot of people to thank…Getting goosebumps. Truly a moment which I`ll never forget.”

Suriya whose real name is Saravanan Sivakumar won the National Award for his work in the film Soorarai Pottru which is a dramatized portrayal of retired Army Captain GR Gopinath’s life as the founder of the low-cost airline Air Deccan. Despite having a straight OTT release, the film was a big success, with fans flooding Twitter with rave reviews. Suriya and Guneet Monga both co-produced the film.

Soorarai Pottru also received the National Award for Best Feature Film. Directed by Sudha Kongara, the film also features Paresh Rawal and Aparna Balamurali in the lead roles. In fact, Aparna Balamurali also received the National Award for Best Actress in the lead role for her performance in the film. Soorarai Pottru is currently being made in Hindi, with actors Akshay Kumar and Radhika Madan in the lead roles. The release date of the film is still not announced.

Ajay Devgn was also conferred with the National Award for Best Actor and Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment for Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior at the 68th National Film Awards. For the award ceremony, the actor donned a black suit as he received the award from President Droupadi Murmu. Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior was directed by Om Raut and released on January 10, 2020.

Ajye Devgn took to Twitter and shared a photo with Suriya and wrote, “It was fantastic to share time with my esteemed colleague & fellow best actor award winner, Suriya Deeply respect his talent & love his movies.”

This film was the 100th film in Devgn’s career spanning 30 years. The movie also features Saif Ali Khan, Kajol and Sharad Kelkar. It collected over Rs 368 crore worldwide at the box office and was declared the highest grosser of the year.

The film involved Ajay in the role of Maratha warrior Taanaji Malusare, fighting for the principle of Bhagwa (saffron) flag, Swaraj (home-rule) and Satya (truth). Kajol essayed the role of the wife of Tanhaji — Savitribai Malusare — a strong character, who accompanied him in taking firm decisions. Saif played the antagonist, Uday Bhan, a Rajput official who works for Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.

This win marks Ajay’s third National award after Zakhm in 1998 and The Legend of Bhagat Singh in 2020. Along with the Golmaal actor, South star Suriya also won the Best Actor honour for Soorarai Pottru. The 68th National Film Awards were announced by a jury back in July 2022 at the National Media Centre in New Delhi. The jury comprised eminent filmmakers and film personalities from across Indian cinema. 

(With inputs from ANI)

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