After Salim Kumar another comedian from Malayalam has bagged the national awards for the best actor.
Suraj Venjaramood, who started his career as a stand-up comedian, shared the award with Rajkumar Rao, for a serious role he played in an off-beat movie ‘Perariyathavar’ directed by Dr. Biju. Sourabh was selected for the award for his performance in Jolly LLB.
The Malayalam comedian, who donned character roles only in a few films in his career spanning two decades, was selected for the award for the role of a sweeper he played in the film. The jury noted that he had displayed an outstanding performance by completely identifying with the character.
Suraj had played the lead role along with another comedian Indrans. The film speaks about the story of people living in the street and the problems they face in their lives. It focused on the marginalised section of the society, who earned their living with much difficulty and lead life without any luxury.
Perariyathavar had its story and screenplay by the director himself. K Anil Kumar produced this film under the banner of Ambalakkara Global Films. Suraj is the second comedian to bring home the national award for the best actor. Salim Kumar had won the award for his performance in Adaminte Makan in 2010.
With this award Suraj joins the select club of outstanding Malayalam actors P J Antony, Balan K Nair, Mammootty, Mohanlal, Balachandra Menon and Suresh Gopi. The actor said he never dreamt such a honour though he did well in Perariyathavar.
Suraj, who was the son of a soldier, wanted to join the Army after completing his secondary school leaving certificate examination, but he gave up the ambition after he broke his arm by falling from a bicycle. He also explored the option of becoming a mechanic, but his talent for mimicry brought him to the film.
His breakthrough came when he acted in Jagapoka, a comedy program which was broadcast on Kairali TV. He started his film career as a stand-up comedian. He is generally regarded for his artificial mockery of the Trivandrum accent for which he is largely criticised.
The accent became popular in Malayalam film industry after Mamootty used this to make his role in Rajamanikyam memorable. So far Suraj has acted more than 100 films and played the hero role in the hit films Duplicate. He was again given a lead role in Thaskara Lahala. His popular films include Arabikatha, Ivar Vivahitharayal, Annan Thambi, Veruthe Oru Bharya, LollyPop, Gulumal: The Escape and Sakudumbam Shyamala.
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The project also features, at a height of 263 metres, the highest solar energy tower on the planet