Sudha Kongara is an actor’s director. She will merge her narrative and her characters beautifully with the actor so much so that to the audience the actor IS the character and we would probably not imagine anybody else taking their place. That is exactly what Soorarai Pottru is all about. It is when an intelligent director gives a compassionate actor breathe life into a character as strong, rebellious yet subtle and kind-hearted as Maara aka Nedumaaran Rajangam, the man that gave everyone a chance to fly.
This storyline is based on Captain CR Gopinath’s Simply Fly and ‘stories from the aviation industry’. Nedumaaran’s life is full of struggles. Born and raised in a remote Village in Madurai, Maaran is the son of a school teacher who has been teaching him to stand up for righteousness no matter what. He knows that his dream to make everyone including the people from his village fly is no cakewalk, but he had to break the barrier of class existing the society. Trains wouldn’t stop in his village earlier but his wildest dream is to have planes make a halt there. However, Paresh Goswami (Paresh Rawal), has been a gamechanger in the aviation industry and to challenge him isn’t easy. His efforts to put Maara to the ground are constant but despite that will Maara succeed is what keeps the film going until the very end.
When writers are two women you are bound to know that it has got to be very well thought out and very intelligent. To writers Sudha Kongara and Shalini Ushadevi, their characters are not driven by gender but by the depth an actor could take it up to. Evidently, every character in the film is strong. Despite Suriya being the star of the show, Nedumaaran’s love and respect for the women in his life is what makes him a good person with a kind heart. His wife Bommi (Aparna Balamurali) and his mother (Urvashi) are two women with very different character arcs yet so similar when it comes to the strength and candor they behold. Bommi and Maaran’s relationship is the best example of a marriage, supportive of each other yet flying high to fulfill their own dreams.
No one but Aparna Balamurali could have nailed this role. Actors like Aparna are rare, they marry the character they are given and stand firm on the ground. Strong women characters like Bommi is what is needed in commercial films of huge actors. Aparna Balamurali is a fine example of how actresses today must choose roles in commercial films and is a sensation everyone must watch out for because the game for her has just begun. Urvashi has been one of the finest actors of her time and continues to be so.
Apart from the gripping scenes of Maara chasing his dreams, the relationship between him and his wife is noteworthy. She does not give up on her dreams of opening up a huge bakery just because her husband has dreams to fly. She believes that a husband and a wife’s money is equal and if the husband does not have money to run the family, it is absolutely fine to run the family with the wife’s income. Bommi doesn’t believe in male ego or false pride, she believes in equality and hardwork. So when Maara brings the former two in between their relationship, Bommi puts him in his place.
Yes, the film has its few shares of negatives. Commercialism comes into play when everything falls into place rather quickly for Maara in the second half but this can be overlooked when the writing is brilliant. Sudha Kongara knows to reach her audience through her simple language and unbeatable emotions. Several scenes may look over-dramatised but Suriya’s stellar acting forces you to overlook such scenes. Song placements in the film could have definitely been better but the tunes would leave you mesmerised.
Lifting up the entire film would definitely have to be GV Prakash’s fantastic music and background scores. He has made goosebumps feel better with his timely tunes. Sudha has showered love in every scene through frames. The cinematography is excellent and the screenplay is quick and engaging in the first part.
Sudha Kongara has yet again proved that a strong and a larger-than-life story narrated in a simple form can reach millions of people. Suriya’s acting has proven yet again that he is one of the finest actors of our times and Aparna Balamurali’s performance as Bommi will be etched in our hearts forever. Here’s to the first best film of 2020!
Verdict: A rollercoaster worth riding.
Weightage of women character: 4/5