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Suriya Gets A Birthday Surprise, Speaks On The National Award




Tamil superstar Suriya who turns  46 today couldn’t have hoped  for  a better birthday gift than the National award for his performance in  Sudha  Kongra’s  Soorarai Pottru. Suriya  who  also co-produces the  film is a likely candidate  for another National award next year  for Amazon Prime Video’s Jai Bhim.

The  triumphant formula for critical and commercial back-to-back success in both films  is same: focus on a social issue while  providing clean motivational entertainment.

Actor and producer Suriya shared his elation, “I am absolutely humbled by the incredible honour that Soorarai Pottru has received. I am falling short of words to express my gratitude and truly applaud the entire team’s effort to bring this inspiring story of Capt. Gopinath and his vision. The film has truly proven that nothing can stop one from achieving their dream.”

Soorarai Pottru also also won the National award  for Best Picture, Best Screenplay and  Best  Background Score. It  fetched  Aparna Balamurali the richly deserved National award  for best  actress.

Sharing her thoughts on receiving the award, director Sudha Kongara said, “Soorarai Pottru has always held a special place in our hearts. It is the inspired story of a man that sincerely believed in spreading his wings and reaching new heights for the people, and with the jury recognizing our little film for this prestigious award, it is a truly momentous day for the entire team.”

Feeling gratified on winning the National Film Award for best actress, lead actress Aparna Balamurali shared, “It was a life changing journey for me to work on the film alongside such exemplary talents like Sudha Ma’am and Suriya. Receiving a National Film Award for Soorarai Pottru is truly an honour as well as a responsibility to work even harder on my upcoming films.”

Suriya’s colleague from Tamil film industry Madhavan  has only words  of praise . “Suriya  is doing work that resonates  with the audience. He is also the producer  on his recent films. This gives  him the freedom  to do what he wants, how   he wants it.”

Indeed  Soorarai Pottru is a bio-pic that  knows no full stops, just like its protagonist who can go to any lengths to achieve his goal.  Director Sudha Kongara erects an edifying edifice  of  hope, aspiration, dream , disappointment and  eventual  victory.  As far as  films about defying all odds are  concerned, this one  takes  the cake, and the bakery. Speaking of  which, Maara’s better-half Sundari played  with  feisty energy  by  Aparna  Balamurli,wants  to   consolidate  her  bakery business. So she  cuts  a deal with her  husband.He will fly his  plane she will cater her cakes  on flight. Deal? Let’s  shake on that. Or better still a tight  hug. The advantage of  doing business with  your wife.

This is a film that  hits all the right notes, and doesn’t shy away from the tropes. As  a wise man recently said , it’s not  about the tropes, but what a  filmmaker  does with them. Sudha Kongara  is very clear in her intentions. This is a Suriya film ,and so it is designed  with all the expected   bombast and  braggadocio associated with the star. Suriya,  God bless his  productive  superstardom, has all the best lines and scenes  in his confrontation scenes with  airline tycoon Paresh Rawal whose obviously dubbed voice gives nothing away except pure one-dimensional evil.

It’s  a simple deal, really.  If  you  must have a Superhero, then you must have a  villain to match. I wouldn’t say Rawal matches Suriya’s  wit with the  whims of one-upmanship except for one key sequence midair where Rawal turns  a plane around to spite Suriya saying, “If you own a business-class ticket  I own   the plane.”This must be the only scene for which Paresh rawal must have agreed to  play the cardboard villain.

The  odds are  laid out very clearly. This is  a film about a Super-hero who wants to  fly the  poorest  of the poor. As he tells the on-screen Vijay Mallya,  “You are  a socialite . I’m a  Socialist.”  Having enunciated  the  film’s pop-politics so equivocally , Soorarai Pottru vividly  assembles scenes  of  impoverished men and women taking their first flight  into  fancy. These are    stuff that  aspirational cinema thrives on. This  film  takes  the audience uncommonly  deep  into the rudimentary  dreams  of  the Common Man

This is Suriya flying business-class in a film about  flying economy. Too bad, his co-star Aparna  Balamurali steals  almost every scene  from him when they are together.Women, I  tell you! They must be kept at home to make cakes. Otherwise one of them goes out and makes a film like Soorarai Pottru which makes all the male filmmakers  of  the country  break into a cold sweat.Why didn’t they think of making a film on the king of budget aviation  Captain Gopinath? Why  so many bio-pics on  gangsters and serial killers? Why not more Gopinaths?

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