Soorarai Pottru Review & Rating
Soorarai Pottru Review: Must Watch Tale Depicting Dhairye Sahase Lakshmi
Life and dreams - a powerful scene
A wife is feeding her husband. He’s in distress. Down and out. Tensions. Pressures. Stress. Heartbreak due to the possibility of not reaching his goal. He’s literally living off her. He would ask suddenly if she had poisoned the food. She simply replied that she could have. Had he taken the buy out route for his dream project.
A powerful scene. Brilliant writing. Great acting. Impactful visuals. Haunting background score. It remains in our minds for a long time to come. Provided we are of the sort who live our lives with intensity. Of achieving dreams. Big dreams.
Sudha Kongara Prasad... one of the much talked about filmmakers in recent times has come up with a gem of a scene in the film Soorarai Pottru. The scene might be a reflection of Suriya’s life. He’s down and out. He had to pay off debts. His films are failing one after another. It’s been half a decade since he had portrayed an impactful role worthy of his talents. He has to take off. Praise the brave. Soorarai Pottru.
Suriya and Maaran
He really risked many things with the OTT release of this film. A majority of OTT releases of movies that were targeted for theatrical release are failing. But as the saying goes... Dhairye Saahase Lakshmi.
Soorarai Pottru starts with another intensely shot thrilling aircraft landing scene. No permissions are given for landing. And the pilot is in trouble. Our hero rides on a bike to help his pilot by getting permits or to ensure a safe landing. A mandatory tense scene before the rolling of titles. A prologue we can say.
The scene then shifts to a train where a group of villagers and underprivileged people are travelling. Here we’re introduced to Sundari aka Bommi. Our lady protagonist. She’s travelling with her family to see a bridegroom as the groom said he doesn’t want to go and involve in an exhibition of a woman to a group of strangers. Bommi is a rebel. With a cause.
When she’s challenged as a less educated girl, she questions in what way her brother is superior to her: while she’s a brilliant student who passed all exams with good marks (thankfully not class first or state first) and her brother who failed intermediate multiple times is bought an engineering seat.
Continuing in the same scene we come across the story of Maaran (Nedumaaran Rajangam as played by Suriya). People of his village believe that he can do anything for them. He even brought a halt to that particular train in their own village. They even challenge that one day he’ll make them all air travel. The other party ridicules those innocent and believing villagers. But it is strong beliefs and the resulting actions from the intensely passionate individuals that bring progress.
No dream is small
So, to cut short the redundancy, Maaran is a well educated youth in a village in Madurai district who becomes a pilot. But to fulfill his dream of low cost aviation, he resigns his lucrative job and a high profile life. He’s inspired by the life of a tycoon Paresh Goswami who quite cinematically becomes the villain of Maaran’s story and becomes a big hurdle in his progress.
In parallel, Bommi - who would later become his wife and a true source of inspiration - has her own dream. That of opening a bakery. Sudha Kongara Prasad - the director - subtly but on point blank makes us understand no dream of achievement is small and no person is incapable of achieving his/her own dreams provided the particular person's work towards achieving it.
Writing and screenplay
One of the biggest strengths of the film is its writing. While the dialogues by Vijay Kumar are up to the point and mostly short and crisp, it is the screenplay by Sudha Kongara, Shalini Ushadevi, Aalif Surti, and Ganesha which acts as the backbone of this film. It has its downsides like repetition in the scenes of the protagonist’s suffering, the villain being a caricature and having an actor of the caliber Mohan Babu in a not-exactly-a-must-have role.
But the way the relationship between Bommi and Maaran is shown across the entire narrative in parallel to Maaran’s fulfilling his dream, and making it a sort of allegory gave this movie a profundity which is lacking in a similarly ‘inspiring tale’ of fulfilling dreams - ey chaaaai.
The husband wife dynamics and the way they solve their issues reflect a light on the hurdles faced by both of them in pursuing their individual dreams. Everything is interconnected. After all, one’s life-work is an extension of one’s life as said by Ayn Rand. As expected and should have in any way the movie ends on a positive note and the fulfilment of dreams of our heroes. The belief of the villagers in our hero is justified.
Suriya has given his all in the role of Maaran. True to his name he’s brave. Sudha aptly named her protagonists. Even Sundari - the female lead - is a beauty inside and out. Quite cerebrally. Take a special look at his performance in the scenes where he asks his wife if the food is poisoned or in the opening act (bike and flight scene in the beginning) or in the scene where he asks his better half to lend him some money.
For her part, Aparna Balamurali who played Bommi is brilliant right through. The intensity she brought to her role is a textbook example for how we still have actresses who can excel in a role with substance when they are offered one. The Thrissur girl is a live wire of a performer.
Paresh Rawal who played the antagonist Paresh Goswami is cheated by the writing team. He has no business in a film like this. He’s better off in Vijay’s commercial potboilers. An actor of such stature is given a caricaturish role. He did well all right. But his characterisation should also have been etched with detail and care that is given to the protagonists (Bommi and Maaran). The current day writers should take a cue from Ayn Rand who has given the same depth to her antagonist Ellsworth Toohey as her protagonist Howard Roark. That is when the dramatic tension is intensified without adding unnecessary drama.
Mohan Babu who played the role of Bhaktavatsalam Naidu appears in a smaller role than expected but brings the required energy to the proceedings. His confidence which borders on narcissism has lent a depth to the role and the film. To be honest, there’s no need for that role in the film (except for targeting Tollywood audience). Poo Ram who played Maaran’s father is good as usual. Urvasi who makes her presence in the film as Maaran’s mother Pechi is terrific. Her scenes with Suriya are memorable. For a change, she’s given a serious role instead of a comic one.
Vivekh Prasanna and Krishna Kumar who played Maaran’s friends are good. Marinas as the heroine’s uncle is another memorable secondary role.
The background score is superb. The sounds add to the atmosphere of the film. The cinematography is exhilarating. The visuals are life like. This is a film that needs to be watched on the big screen. The editing is clean. The production design is authentic. The production values are top-notch. Sudha Kongara’s direction is trendy with all the modern day bells and whistles.
1. The Udupi Hotel example
2. The way the film shows the reality of how those who grow from rags to riches too try to crush when they encounter a person who’s like them
3. The train episode which introduces us to the heroine
4. Interval block
5. Climactic moments
6. The way the villagers pool up money to help the dream of our hero reminds us of the story of AMUL
7. The chemistry between the lead pair
8. The way the film shows us the nexus between capitalists and bureaucrats has been instrumental in crushing anyone who dares to dream big
Soorarai Pottru is one of the best films to release directly on the OTTs that actually should have been released on the big screens. Don’t miss it!
Rating: 3.25 out of 5