There was a time when the world needed more of Jyothika. The actress’ star was very much on the rise when she married Suriya, in what is often called a ‘fairytale wedding’, and left cinema behind for a blissful married life. Post-wedding, she kept making sporadic public appearances, duly accompanied by her husband and her adorable children. However, It was clearly not enough.
The success of Rosshan Andrews’ Malayalam film How Old Are You did what countless requests and Facebook groups couldn’t do. It brought Jo back to Kollywood. In this film, Jyothika plays 36-year-old Vasanthi, a middle class wife and mother, riddled with insecurities and fears – a pale shadow of her younger self. The movie deals with issues of self-discovery and female empowerment, and is one of the most anticipated films in recent times. It marks the return of Jyothika onscreen after a hiatus of over eight years. Produced by her husband – actor Suriya under his newly established 2D Entertainment, the movie has music by Santhosh Narayanan (Rasathi has become a particular favourite of many). The dialogues have been written by Viji, who also penned the script of Mozhi and also directed Vellithirai. On his association with Jyothika, Viji said, “She is a fine actress. I’ve seen the way people have been reacting to news of her comeback and this is all I want to say. The Jyothika you know and love is not the one you would see in this film. She is so much more.”
Actor Rahman plays Jyothika’s husband in the film and said in a recent interview that he was ‘pleasantly surprised’ at the opportunity to work with her. “I could not work with Jyothika in the past, when both of us had a successful career. So you could say I grabbed the opportunity here.” His role might be misconstrued to be a negative one, but it is only an illusion. “He’s a guy who is plain unlucky. He’s frustrated by how little he’s managed to grow over the years and takes out all his anger on his wife. Since the film has been written from the perspective of the wife, I might come across as a negative character. But the beauty of Rosshan’s film is that it is true to life. It is rooted. Nobody is bad or good. We are all simply human.”
Another actress making her comeback through this film is Abhirami, who reprises Kanika’s role from the original. “I am a source of inspiration and motivation for Jyothika’s character in the movie. It was an interesting project and a very emotional one for me as I got to come back to Tamil movies.”
SP Jananathan too makes a comeback of sorts this weekend. His stint seems to have done him good though, for the firebrand director is back with Purampokku, which boasts a multi star cast with the likes of Arya and Vijay Sethupathi sharing screen space in a jail, of all things. Arya plays a hardened criminal on the run – Balusamy, while Vijay Sethupathi plays Yemalingam. Earlier, it was titled Purampokku. After much deliberation it was later changed to its present version as the director deemed the original too ‘offensive’. “The real meaning of the word is land kept aside for common use. In recent times though the word has become an abuse. I didn’t want that connotation associated with my film. The vision that I had for this film is pure and I did not want it to be sullied by things like this.”
Karthika Nair plays a strong, independent woman called Kuyili who aids Balusamy in the movie. “I wouldn’t call my role as that of a heroine. Jananathan sir told me while he narrated the story that the film has four heroes and that he was offering one of those roles to me.”
NK Ekambaram handles the cinematography while UTV Motion Pictures is in charge of production. Sathish Varshan makes his music composing debut and the soundtrack has received middling reviews.
Soan Papdi has managed to retain its mystery, in that not much is known about its plot. Sri, of Onaayum Aattukuttiyum fame, plays the friend of all friends in this film. The guy who can be depended on in a crisis. He also possesses a nasty right hook. Of his role in the movie, he said, “I play a happy go lucky guy in the movie who gets caught in something so big he cannot process it. His friends get caught in it along with him too, ofcourse. It is a fun film and has many twists and turns. The reason it’s called Soan Papdi though is something I cannot reveal. Suffice to say, it all becomes clear in the end.”
From the trailer, it is apparent that there will be a lot of Nanbenda type odes to friendship in this film and also a special appearance by a precocious child actor, who can rattle food orders with ease. Among other things. Directed by Sivani, this film has been made on a modest budget and sees a limited release across the city.