Suriya—A Disruptor Superstar Who Can Do No Wrong
It was with Jai Bhim (2021) though that Suriya really came into his own. Produced by him under his own banner, it told a real life story of a couple from the Irula tribe in Tamil Nadu who were victims of police custodial torture and an overbearing state apathy as activist/advocate Chandru (Suriya) battled their case against the might of affluence and muscle power.
Taking on the subject of Jai Bhim and backing it ably, cast Suriya as a thinking actor who yearned to tell stories that mattered, showing that he was sport for whatever controversies the film could open up to and which unsurprisingly it did.
The star thought lightly about the repercussions on his so called ‘popular star’ tag as the film delved into the deep quagmire of caste and the statelessness of the oppressed in Tamil Nadu.
A direct OTT release, the film earned brilliant reviews with his turn labelled as one of his finest performances yet.
Film journalist Ashameera Aiyappan, while reviewing Jai Bhim, hailed the character of Suriya playing Chandru as one of the most-progressive protagonists seen and credits the actor for indulging in projects that are miles afar from the routine hero-centric routine embellishments that the Tamil film industry churns out so mechanically.
Talking about the real life Chandru he played, the actor described him as a “change-maker, a beautiful disruptor’, qualities that can be effortlessly ascribed to Suriya himself.
Suriya took home the best actor trophy at the 68th National Awards for his home production Soorarai Pottru (2020), a biopic based on the life of Air Deccan founder GR Gopinath.
With his actor, co-star, friend, peer and life companion Jyothika, the couple are working on projects where the content and story take topmost priority amid the over-the-top, commercial-free for all milieu in Tamil films.
Suriya has Vetrimaaran’s Vaadi Vaasal and an untitled project releasing this year that have his fans and cinephiles alike waiting with bated breath, while Jyothika is starring with mega star Mammootty himself in Kaathal: The Core in Malayalam.
When the lion goes out to hunt, the forests have to be lush and green, mouths Suriya’s ‘Rolex’ character in Vikram.
In real life however, this lion of the south is ready to take on anything, come the greyest of rainclouds bearing torrents of rain or a blistering sun shining sunny and bright.