The Tamil superhero is not an enigma. He comes, he conquers, he sends a dozen villains flying and gets the girl. In 'SooraraiPottru', Surya is none of that.
Nedumaaran 'Maara' Rajangam brings to life a fictional account of certain events in the life of Air Deccan founder Captain Gopinath, revolving around his struggles to start an airline business, sabotage by bigger companies and Maaran's own family issues that haunt him and shape his identity.
In a splendid comeback for Surya, he captures the vulnerability that marks this as very different from his usual 'mass' roles. Director Sudha Kongara brings out the best in him, showing his failures with equal importance as his success, reminscent of her earlier outing "Irudi Suttru". With dreams bigger than his village of Sholavandan, Maaran sets out to build an airline from scratch.
Surya's shifts from anger to charming to distressed and vulnerable are great. The bonding and flashback scenes between Maaran, his mother (played by Urvashi) and father are the highlight of the film, capturing tenderness and angst perfectly. Urvashi dominates the screen every time she appears, a stereotypical role but one she plays so well.
Aparna Balamurali as Maaran's wife is also a refreshing change, if a bit too obviously written to be "different". She values herself and her financial freedom almost as much as she loves and supports her husband, creating a fiery character that is her husband's equal.
The plot is heavily dramatized with a good dose of anti-elitism that Tamil films are well-known for - at one point Maaran contemptuously looks at a Vijay Malliya-esque billionaire and declares: "You are a socialite. I am a socialist."
Nevertheless it does stay consistent and fleshes out even supporting characters like those Vivek Prasanna and Krishna kuma rBalasubramaniam who stick with Maaran through thick and thin.
Unfortunately it is dragged down by predictable melodrama and a cartoonish villain, Paresh Goswami (Paresh Rawal), who could have been recycled from any Tamil mass entertainer in the last decade. This is also true of the appearance of APJ Abdul Kalam as President in the movie which does little except evoke audience nostalgia or perhaps remind them that like Maaran, he too rose from nothing.
Cinematography by Niketh Bommiredy is splendid in the first half of the movie, capturing the vistas of rural Sholavandan like mountains and rich, dry landscapes. G.V Prakash's songs are already being lauded with 'Usurey' and 'VeyyonSilli' attracting quite a bit of attention.
Overall it is a pleasant if a little overhyped venture that leaves you well satisfied.