There has been a lot of excitement surrounding Soorarai Pottru and with good measure. This is mainly because it is the coming together of an actor and director that promised something different. Now what you get out of this film will depend on your definition of different. But for me, what I got was an experience that was memorable.
I’d like to look at Soorarai Pottru as that, an experience rather than looking at ways to analyze the film. For once I’d like to take off my critic’s hat and put on my fan’s hat. And as a fan of Suriya and Sudha Kongara, what I got was a sumptuous experience. Yes there are flaws in this film but I can overlook them for what it offers as a whole.
Before I go further, I have to appreciate two departments that elevate the film. One is the fantastic music from GV Prakash which shines more in the work he does with the background score. And the other is the camera work from Niketh Bommi. From the landscapes in and around Madurai, to the more expansive horizons of the cities, we feel immersed in the action. It doesn’t feel or look artificial and the color tones used help a lot.
Talking about the aspects that make this experience worth it, there are two key factors. The first and what will be the most widely talked about one is the acting of the leading man. You will hear things such as the actor is back or he has rediscovered himself etc. What I’d like to say is that the actor didn’t go anywhere, he finally found a script that matches his ability. This is a scintillating take on what is a ‘masala’ film. Suriya manages to find nuances is many sequences that will blow you away.
The other factor is the direction of Sudha Kongara. Yes, the film could have been shortened a little bit but what is impressive is the way she lets the action breathe. The dynamics between the characters are established clearly but the way they change is fascinating to watch. This is particularly enjoyable during the interactions between Suriya and Aparna Balamurali. Aparna knocks it out of the park with her attitude and charm. It also helps that she is a fully fleshed out character rather than just a plot device.
Soorarai Pottru also has some great actors for the supporting roles, primarily Urvashi. We know she is capable of pulling off anything effortlessly and that is on full display here. Another great addition to the cast is Mohan Babu. There are two “mass” moments involving him in the second half that will make you whistle. And this brings me to another unique aspect of the film.
Though we’re watching it on an OTT platform, it is clear that this film was made for the big screen. There are several moments that would have worked wonderfully with a passionate crowd around you. Perhaps if this was intended for a streaming platform, it would have been structured differently. But as the film we see today, it edges into the riveting category.
In this kind of a story, whether you know what happened or not, you know how the film is going to play out. So, what we want, is to be captivated by the specifics. What triggered this man’s dream, what interaction does he have with those who oppose him. It is these kinds of details that matter and those work big time in Soorarai Pottru. They do because we get to see an actor and director in top form.
Finally, what this film can do on a personal level is something that will stir some discussion. It might start a fire in you or it might not. But regardless of what happens, this is a story that had to be told. Amazon Prime has a winner with Soorarai Pottru as it takes off beautifully and sticks the landing. The latter is always hard for a film like this to do but the end is satisfying, at least for me.
Until next time, bye.