Filmmaker Kabir Khan’s Bajrangi Bhaijaan was named as the Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment at the 63rd National Film Awards in Delhi on Monday. While the film set cash registers ringing at the box-office, winning the National Award was unexpected, says Khan. “I am very happy. Honestly, one doesn’t expect any awards, let alone a National Award. Working on this film was no different. Of course, the fact that it was accepted so wholeheartedly by people and that it was a box-office success was a victory in itself. Having said that, National Award is one award that still holds relevance. Also, this is my second National Award after Kabul Express so I couldn’t be happier,“ he says.
Khan’s directorial has also quashed the notion that only films with serious themes were the top contenders for the award. Khan explains, “For so long, we have believed that commercial cinema is nonsensical, but Bajrangi was not nonsense. It dealt with relevant issues and spoke about the state of affairs in our country today.”
He adds that he hasn’t really got down to celebrating his win, and that he can’t take all the credit for this honour. “This award is for the whole team. It was a collaborative effort,” says Khan, adding that also spoke to his leading man Salman Khan after the win. “We did talk briefly. He is very busy as he is shooting for his next film, and I am scripting for my film. But yeah, I am sure we will celebrate when we meet.”
The film’s leading lady Kareena Kapoor Khan is proud to have been a part of it. “It’s one of the greatest films of its time. It spoke a lot about humanity, love, support and integrity. So I’m very proud to be a part of it. It was great working with Kabir (Khan) and Salman (Khan), who actually believed in the script and made it happen,” she says.