Soorarai Pottru Movie Review Rating: 3.5/5 Stars (Three and a half stars)
Star Cast: Suriya, Aparna Balamurali, Mohan Babu, Paresh Rawal, Urvashi, Krishnakumar, Karunas, Prakash Belawadi
Director: Sudha Kongara
What’s Good: Maintains the ‘holy balance’ of films based on true events – the balance of portraying a particular mission and what actually went to achieve that mission!
What’s Bad: It feels longer than it should’ve been! (That’s what she said!)
Loo Break: Easily! You can miss some of the songs without missing anything!
Watch or Not?: A solid writing & a noteworthy performances make this flight a must-visit!
A train running towards Madurai stops at Sholavandan, and some passengers get puzzled about why there’s a halt at such a remote railway station. The story introduces us to our hero in Nedumaaran Rajangam, aka Maara (Suriya). The story, spanning over decades (the 70s to early 00s), starts with Maara managing to add Sholavandan station to the list of official halts smoothing the commute for many of his fellow villagers. Maara wants to do more than making express trains stop at the station near him. He has a vision, the vision of making airlines available for everyone.
Being in air-force himself, he wants to use the experience and give millions of people around the country to fulfil their dream of flying for the first time. With smart planning and some expertise from friends in the field, Maara starts to execute his plan. Unaware of businessmen like Paresh Goswami (Founder of Jaz Airlines) and their methods of failing him at his mission. How will he do it? That’s what the journey of this film is about.
Soorarai Pottru Movie Review: Script Analysis
Stories such as these come with a pre-filled excitement about “how’s that even possible?” From a smartly edited trailer, people want to know how a man would be able to pull off a one-rupee airplane ticket dream. Sudha Kongara juices this up to her advantage with the way she moulds up the story. Taking a non-linear route, Sudha refuses to take a straightforward way to reach her destination. She mixes just about the right amount of antagonist’s personal life to what the story is actually about.
A meticulously woven sub-plot between Maara and his wife Bommi (Aparna Balamurali) remains the soul of the film. The problem starts with the film being Black & White! How? There are no Grey areas for it, certain sequences are either too evil or resoundingly melodramatic. The Indian Air Force scenes come with a warning, “This scene doesn’t depict or reflect the real policy of IAF” which kind of makes it hard to trust on the ‘actual events’ angle of the film. I believe this could hurt more than benefit the movie.
Soorarai Pottru Movie Review: Star Performance
Suriya’s emotional depth to understand his character is exactly what helps him to connect with his fans. He does the same to play Maara, and the results are blockbuster. His whole-souled approach towards his art allows him to hold your attention for the time he’s on screen.
Aparna Balamurali portrays probably one of the purest female characters written in the industry. This is where Sudha’s love for Mani Ratnam clearly pops up, as she writes Bommi keeping a ‘perfect woman’ in mind. Aparna flawlessly showcases the same on-screen. Mohan Babu’s inclusion seems a forced one. I expected a better role for him. Talking about better roles, an overqualified Paresh Rawal gets the least interesting role of all. He’s essential to the story, but his character sketch is too weak to utilise his range of talent.
Urvashi, as Suriya’s mother, fills melo to the drama of the script. Krishnakumar as Che should’ve got a detailed character. He should’ve had more screen-space with Maara for impact. Karunas jiggles nicely between comedy and emotions. Prakash Belawadi does nothing extraordinary and is just there.
Soorarai Pottru Movie Review: Direction, Music
Sudha Kongara manages to mix the ‘biopic’ portions and ‘personal life’ portions in such a manner that everything makes sense. Despite not getting answers to many questions popping in your head (many could be baseless), you still find yourself rooting for the antagonist, and that’s where Sudha’s vision wins. Barring a few shabby CGI created flight sequences, the film manages to look beautiful.
G. V. Prakash Kumar bombards with songs with Naalu Nimisham and Usurey syncing with the story works for me. The background score neither interferes with your experience of watching the film, nor it boosts it.
Soorarai Pottru Movie Review: The Last Word
All said and done, Suriya packs a blockbuster punch in this novel idea inspired from a true story waiting to be told. The movie ends with people chanting, “You have won, Maara” & I’d tweak it a bit to say “You have won, Sudha.”
Three and a half stars!
Soorarai Pottru Trailer
Soorarai Pottru releases on 12th November, 2020.
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