CHENNAI: As the jury announced the winners of the 68th National Film Awards, 2020, in New Delhi on Friday, Sudha Kongara's Soorarai Pottru won big by bagging five major awards Best Film, Best Screenplay, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Music Direction-Background Score. Swathes of people united on social media to root for the success of the film.
Soorarai Pottru roughly translates to hail, the brave, and the victory of this film, which dared to be different from the ordinary, is being celebrated by the people as their own. A dialogue from the film "We won, Maara!" has been doing the rounds on social media since the winners were announced.
The director of the film, Sudha Kongara, shares that she feels somewhat like Maara does in the film's climax. "I feel what my protagonist felt as he saw his mother descending from his flight for the first time. I am on top of the world now."
The film, which was partly inspired by the life of Simplifly Deccan founder GR Gopinath, also achieved the rare feat of winning awards for both lead actors (Suriya and Aparna Balamurali). The last film to achieve this was the 1984 Bollywood feature Paar, that starred veterans Shabana Azmi and Naseeruddin Shah.
Aparna Balamurali, who made heads turn with her resilient performance as Bommi feels that her maiden national recognition has given her the drive to do more. "I will learn more and work harder than what I did for Soorarai Pottru."
She adds that the homework she did for Bommi reflected in her overall performance. Sudha shares that the efforts of Suriya and Aparna were the major reasons for the film's success. "They gave their all for the film and believed in me when I had nothing, except the script." The film journey of actor Suriya, who also produced Soorarai Pottru, parallels the struggles of Maara.
Even when his Nandha, Pithamagan, Ghajini and Vaaranam Aayiram failed to give him muchdeserved national recognition, he soldiered on with strong performances in films like 24, showing a rare hunger that just wouldn’t relent.
And now, finally, his committed performance as Maara - one that saw him dig into the pits of disappointment and the highs of elation - has fetched him a National Award.