Film Review: Soorarai Pottru (Hail the Brave)

Film Review: Soorarai Pottru (Hail the Brave)

Starring: Suriya, Paresh Rawal, Mohan Babu, Aparna Balamurali

Director: Sudha Kongara

This Tamil release for Amazon Prime (with English subtitles) is based on a true story about the democratisation of the Indian airline industry, captured in the book ‘Simply Fly’. With one of southern India’s most popular actors, Suriya, not just headlining as the lead character but also the producer, the film comes pre-packaged as a high-octane drama.

Nedumaaran Rajangam a.k.a. Maara (Suriya) is a dare devil village boy who rebels against his activist father’s peaceful protesting ways to choose the path of more direct action, with some violent consequences. After a familial clash, Maara goes on to join the Indian Air Force (IAF) to fulfill his dreams of flying but the twists of fate and destiny turn that into a much bigger and complex dream – of helping every Indian, irrespective of social and economic status, be able to use airlines as a mode of transport.

This is no mean feat at a time in India when the airline industry is dominated by a handful of cash-rich players, with the ticket prices the reserve of a similar handful who could afford the luxury of air travel. Maara is joined by the feisty Sundari (Balamurali), who agrees to become his life partner after a rather amusing arranged marriage saga and support her husband’s gigantic mission through all the upheavals along the way.

Will Maara be able to fight back the machinations and corrupt practices of the likes of the tycoon Paresh Goswami (Rawal) or will he capitulate under the financial pressures of attempting to start an airline from scratch with all the odds stacked against him?

As the title indicates, this film is real tale of bravery and is therefore an ideal vehicle for the action star Suriya. The entire script revolves around his character as he fights, dances, sings and romances through an extremely bumpy ride. Paresh Rawal stands out as the money-minded businessman villain of the plot and Aparna Balamurali brings some much-needed female power to a largely male ego-centric storyline.

While the length of this thriller could have been seriously curtailed, there is a lot going on through every frame to keep the audience engaged, including many real-life characters that many Global Indians will recognise in their fictionalised avatars.

And, as we are kept guessing if Maara can bounce back from one setback after another on the road to launching a new low-cost airline for the masses, this is one flight that is worth at least one trip.

*‘iGlobal’ Review Series

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