Pallavi Joshi has won a National Film Award for her role as historian Ayesha Ali Shah in The Tashkent Files, directed by her husband, filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri. She won the award in the Best Supporting Actress category, with Vivek also bagging an award for Best Screenplay (dialogues).
The Tashkent Files, about the death of former Indian prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri, was dubbed as “propaganda” by a section of critics at the time of its release in 2019. Pallavi, however, says that the film’s multiple wins at the National Awards will shut the mouth of every critic who went overboard panning the movie because of their “personal agenda”.
“Every single merit that the film receives shuts critics up further. I don’t have a problem with people panning the film because everybody has different taste. If you like a particular film it doesn’t mean that I’ll also have to praise the film. I may not like it to that level but the way they had rubbished the film completely, I don’t think I’ll ever do it because there is a lot of hard work that goes into making a film. A lot of blood, sweat and tears had gone into getting the actors and the finance together. If you don’t like the film you can say, ‘it’s a bad film,’ but don’t ridicule the film that it doesn’t deserve any stars. A lot of people actually said that ‘Manoj Kumar’s clerk would probably do better than this film,’ so it’s just kind of shows that they had some personal agenda and they were driven by that,” Pallavi said.
On winning the award, Pallavi said, “Awards are definitely a pat on your back and the National Film Award is like the highest recognition for your work. But even so, I was very happy when the film ran for 100 days at the box office. Because films like these are normally made with such passion but there are hardly a few people who come and watch it in cinemas and it doesn’t really do well monetarily. But this time around for us the biggest bonus was when we did the film’s success party after 100 days of its release. It proved that a film like that also had the ability to run at the box office and helped generate some revenue for the film industry also. So, my happiness reached its peak there, but awards are a different feeling altogether. I don’t know if I can put it in words how I am feeling. But the happiness quotient is really high right now.”