Soorarai Pottru is based on the struggles and achievements of Captain GR Gopinath, who revolutionised India’s aviation industry. Director Sudha Kongara, who has also co-written the movie, was one of the beneficiaries of Gopinath’s remarkable achievement, which made flight tickets affordable to the working class.
And years later, Sudha has materialised her gratitude into a movie based on Gopinath’s life. She recalled her first flight experience, which was on Air Deccan.
“I was travelling with my family to Shimla. As a middle-class family, we were supposed to travel by train. But, my sister-in-law discovered two flight tickets at Rs 1 and rest for Rs 500 to Chandigarh. And a family of 13 went on that flight. And at that point, I remember asking my father, who is this mad man?” Sudha Kongara said.
In fact, “he is a mad man” is how she described the protagonist of Soorarai Pottru to Suriya. “I told Suriya that this guy (the protagonist) is possessed. This guy is insane. And his thoughts are something nobody can think of. He’s a visionary. How would a visionary be? How would a man be who doesn’t spend time on anything other than achieving his dream be?”
Going by the trailer, Suriya has portrayed the character as an aggressive personality who has a dominating presence. Is this an accurate portrayal of GR Gopinath? At least, Sudha Kongara seems to believe so.
“The traits I picked from my conversation with Captain Gopinath was his honesty. He was completely possessed at each stage by what he was doing. When he was in the army, he was possessed there. He was possessed when he started Udupi hotel or while doing agriculture. He is a perfectionist and he is very impatient. I spoke to his wife and his friends. They said that he was always running a race. And when people are running a race, there are voices in the head that nobody understands. And they become very impatient. I saw him as a very strong personality with a lot of ups and downs in his mood and emotions. I saw him as a very angry person as well,” she concluded.
Soorarai Pottru also stars Aparna Balamurali, Paresh Rawal and Mohan Babu in pivotal roles. It will start streaming on Amazon Prime Video from November 12.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines