While several small and medium budget films are going the OTT way anticipating a delayed or no-release situation owing to the pandemic that brought the film industry to a halt, actor Suriya‘s film Soorarai Pottru premiering on Amazon Prime Video directly comes as a shocker. On August 22, on the occasion of Vinayagar Chathurti, it was announced that the film would premiere on the digital platform on October 30.
Soorarai Pottru is one of the most anticipated films of the year. Sudha Kongara of Irudhi Suttru fame is helming the movie, and it is being bankrolled by Suriya and Rajsekar Karpoorasundarapandian under their 2D Entertainment banner with Bollywood producer Guneet Monga and Aalif Surti co-producing it under their Sikhya Entertainment banner.
Fasten your seat belts everyone, #SooraraiPottruOnPrime premiering October 30!@Suriya_offl #SudhaKongara @rajsekarpandian @gvprakash @nikethbommi @Aparnabala2 @editorsuriya @jacki_art @guneetm @sikhyaent @2D_ENTPVTLTD @SonyMusicSouth pic.twitter.com/0rfPljEmjC
— amazon prime video IN (@PrimeVideoIN) August 22, 2020
While Suriya announced the news on his Twitter handle, he also penned a note to his fans and audiences requesting them to understand and trust in his decision. He said that he had taken the decision from the standpoint of a producer and had to cater to the needs of those technicians and creators who are dependent on him, his special film, and his home production 2D Entertainment that is bankrolling about ten unannounced projects.
He added that once the lockdown period ends and everything bounces back to normal, he would strive hard and take up as many projects as he can to meet audiences in theatres. He ended by stating that he would be donating a sum of Rs. 5 crores from the amount generated through the film’s release to the needy, be it common people, cine workers, or healthcare workers.
— Suriya Sivakumar (@Suriya_offl) August 22, 2020
During the direct OTT release of his Jyotika‘s Ponmagal Vandhal, that was the first Tamil film to go the OTT way, the actor had promised to release Soorarai Pottru only in theatres. This was announced despite the severe backlash from the Tamil Nadu Theatre and Multiplex Owners Association, which mentioned that they would not be releasing any film involving actor Suriya or his home production banner 2D Entertainment after they opted for a direct-OTT release for PMV even after they requested him not to.
The release news has not gone down well with fans and audiences who were looking forward to the film in theatres. Nevertheless, they have decided to stand by his decision and support him.
— Fazil🔥ᴰᵒᶜᵗᵒʳ☤(Rohit😭) (@SKFazil_Offl) August 22, 2020
— Troll Kollywood ™ (@TKollywood) August 22, 2020
— Ramnad🦁SFC™ (@RamnadSfc) August 22, 2020
On August 25, director Hari, actor Suriya’s frequent collaborator, had asked the star to rethink his decision of opting for a direct OTT release for Soorarai Pottru stating that as a fan he would only want to watch the film in theatres, which is where films get utmost recognition.
He says that as a fan he would only want to watch the film in theatres, which is where films get utmost recognition. pic.twitter.com/iGPYYKOP2a
— Silverscreen.in (@silverscreenin) August 25, 2020
On August 26, director-producer Bharathiraja penned a letter in support of direct OTT releases and Suriya’s decision. He condemned those targeting the actor for his decision and mentioned how visiting cinemas to view films was a costly affair owing to the high prices of parking, food and beverage, and tickets themselves.
He also requested theatre owners and distributors to engage in a healthy discussion with producers to reach a consensus about the situation.
— Silverscreen.in (@silverscreenin) August 26, 2020
Speculations are also rife that several other biggies like Vishal starrer Chakra, Jayam Ravi starrer Bhoomi, and Keerthy Suresh starrer Miss India will also opt for a direct release following Soorarai Pottru leading to a huge blow to the theatre business. While Dhanush starrer Jagame Thandhiram was also in the running, the makers clarified on August 26 that the film will definitely hit screens first before premiering on any digital platform.
Soorarai Pottru is reportedly a biopic on the life of Capt (Retd) GR Gopinath, who founded Air Deccan and introduced the concept of budget airlines in the country. It will star Sarvam Thaala Mayam fame Aparna Balamurali opposite Suriya. Apart from the lead, actors Mohan Babu, Paresh Rawal, Urvashi, Karunas, Vivek Prasanna, Krishna Kumar, and Kaali Venkat are also playing significant roles. Mohan Babu is making his Tamil film comeback after 40 years.
“The moment I heard the script from director Sudha, I was sure it has to be told and I wanted to produce this film under my 2D Entertainment banner,” said Suriya. “Essaying Capt. Gopinath’s character came to me as a challenge, but we are very proud of our final product! I am glad that audiences across the world will be able to watch Soorarai Pottru on Amazon Prime Video from their homes in these unprecedented times. This film is our labour of love and I am happy that it will now entertain the global audience.”
Vijay Subramaniam, Director and Head, Content, Amazon Prime Video India, said, “Following the overwhelming response, we received to the recently launched Ponmagal Vandhal, we are excited to treat our audience with the global premiere of a highly-anticipated Suriya starrer Soorarai Pottru. G. R. Gopinath’s life and accomplishments have been an inspiration to many – and we thrilled to bring such an uplifting story to our audiences.”
Sudha Kongara says that directing Suriya is a joy. “He was my first and last choice for the role of Capt. Gopinath. Premiering the film on Amazon Prime Video is a novel experience and am looking forward to it. It’s exciting for a content creator to know that a wide variety of people are going to be watching this film, across the world,” she said.
“Soorarai Pottru is a very special film in many ways. It is an Indian story with a global connection. It was fulfilling to see Suriya and Sudha adapt the story of Capt Gopinath so beautifully. We are excited to bring this journey of hope, love, friendship, and entrepreneurship in times like these and really hope that the audience enjoys this cinematic experience in the comfort of their homes on Amazon Prime Video,” said Guneet Monga, Co-producer, Sikhya Entertainment.
While GV Prakash is composing music, the cinematography is by Niketh Bommireddy, production design by Jacki, editing by Satish Surya and costumes by Poornima Ramaswamy. Hollywood stunt choreographer Greg Powell, who has worked on films like Skyfall, Fast And Furious, and Bourne Ultimatum, is choreographing the action sequences along with Vicky. Shobi and Sekhar VJ are choreographing the dance.
The lyrical video of the film’s fourth single, ‘Kaattu Payale’, that dropped recently on the actor’s birthday has garnered over 15 million views so far. Listen to the song here.
Watch the teaser of Soorarai Pottru here.