Director: Sudha Kongara
Solid: Suriya, Aparna Balamurali, Urvashi, Mohan Babu, Paresh Rawal
It’s beautiful when the hero of a movie has a strong ambition. It’s lovelier when the heroine has one, too. Maaran (Suriya) — based mostly on Air Deccan founder GR Gopinath and his e-book, Merely Fly — desires to create a low-cost airline. Bommi (Aparna Balamurali) desires to run a bakery. The loveliest contact is once they make a pact (her suggestion) that their earnings go into a standard pool. It’s not his revenue or hers, however theirs. I don’t assume I’ve seen family monetary choices being depicted on display screen ever, much less so when the couple is but to get hitched. The Maaran-Bommi scenes are the perfect factor about Soorarai Pottru, directed by Sudha Kongara. (She’s a buddy. I had a have a look at an early draft of the script.) Suriya has many large performing moments right here, and his most sensible one is within the scene the place — regardless of that pre-marital pact — Maaran hesitates to ask Bommi for cash. Her enterprise is hovering. His is simply not taking off. You possibly can see him battle to deliver out the phrases, which appear caught in his throat.
Now, take one other large performing second, when Maaran’s father is dying and he scrapes collectively sufficient cash for an economy-class ticket, however that part is full, and he now must scrape up extra cash for a business- or first-class ticket. He approaches different passengers within the airport, all of whom refuse to assist, and he’s quickly decreased to an emotional mess. However the relationship between Maaran and his father hasn’t been as well-etched-out because the one between Maaran and Bommi, so the breakdown comes throughout like a standalone scene, like one thing from an performing audition. Once more, Suriya is terrific, however we’re responding to the actor’s efforts, not the character’s plight. We’ve been air-dropped into this second. We’ve not arrived at it organically.
This sense comes up time and again in Soorarai Pottru. By way of sheer professionalism, the movie is by far the perfect factor that’s come on the southern OTT house. And I completely get the choice to masala-fy this story. All biopics (even fictionalised ones) have the identical boring arc: failure, failure, failure, success. You need to do one thing to vitalise this failure, failure, failure, success. However within the course of, I acquired the sense that an edgier script with extra shadings had gotten generic-ised and, nicely, simpliflied. (I don’t recall the draft I learn very nicely, however I bear in mind being goosefleshed time and again.) It’s the identical sense I acquired with Kaithi (which nearly everybody else liked, and I believe I can be within the minority right here, too). This retains making me surprise if it’s ever potential for a powerful, independent-minded filmmaker to make a powerful, independent-minded movie with a “mass” star. All of the “flavour” in Soorarai Pottru resides within the serrated-edge songs (by GV Prakash) and the lip-smacking lyrics.
Within the equally severe Irudhi Suttru, Sudha demonstrated how a narrative as previous as time may very well be rejuvenated by very contemporary, very humorous writing. There wasn’t a second that didn’t belong, that didn’t rise from what got here earlier, that didn’t segue cleanly into what got here later. The non-linear writing of Soorarai Pottru will not be the issue, however the movie is frantically reduce and it doesn’t cease to breathe. We appear to be leaping from one excessive level to the subsequent (the movie appears to be on perpetual fast-forward), and I longed for a shot as primary as, say, Maaran operating his arms over the floor of one of many planes he has fought so laborious to get. It may possibly’t all be noble-minded social service. (“I have to make flying cheaper for the lots.”) A few of it must be private, too (“Fuck, I did it!”)
The villains (Paresh Rawal, and so on.) are painfully one-note caricatures, they usually made me flash again to how even the oppressors in Gunjan Saxena had been humanised. And the “mass” scenes (just like the individuals of Maaran’s city sending him cash) appear thrust in with out a build-up. (Maybe they’d play higher in a theatre setting?) Or maybe that is all the results of an extended movie being chopped to a two-and-a-half-hour operating time, I can’t say. What we’re left with is a drama that provides us an exquisite heroine in Aparna Balamurali, and a hero who does “depth” higher than anybody else in Tamil cinema proper now. Soorarai Pottru is on no account a nasty movie. However generally, and with some individuals, you need greater than “strong” and “competent”. Cruising altitude is all advantageous, however what you really need is for them to the touch the sky.