Celebrating 20 Years Of SURIYA!

In 1997, Actor Sivakumar’s elder son Saravanan made his acting debut as Suriya in director Vasanth’s ‘Nerukku Ner’. The critics called it a “terribly awkward debut”, the young man didn’t seem to have a future in cinema. Cut to- 20 years later, Suriya Sivakumar is one of South Indian cinema’s biggest stars, he is also a brilliant actor and trustworthy producer. If this is not success, then what is?! He left no stone unturned in making sure that he deserves a place in the film industry and the audiences’ hearts. Completing 20 years in cinema, Suriya is still reinventing himself with each character he takes up.

Started off as a chocolate boy, Suriya got a real chance to surprise the audience in his 7th film, Bala’s ‘Nanda’. It was an off-beat (back then) gangster film and Suriya appeared in the titular role, he also bagged the Tamil Nadu state award for Best Actor. ‘Nanda’ was a game changer in Suriya’s career as there is visible change in his filmography since that film. ‘Mounam Pesiyathe’, ‘Kaakha Kaakha’ and ‘Aayutha Ezhuthu’ were the next three major releases which had three completely different roles. ‘Kaakha Kaakha’ had brought in a new definition to heroism in Tamil Cinema. ‘Ghajini’ released in 2005 and Suriya moved from the ‘youth star’ league to the ‘A-list’ hero league. Ghajini introduced the trend of ‘heroes with abs’. But Suriya was loved by audiences of all ages not just for the amazing physique but also for his heartbreaking performance in Ghajini.

’24’ surprised the viewers with it’s fresh content, complex script and unimaginable production quality

‘Vaaranam Aayiram’ set a bench mark on what a romantic hero should be. Suriya played a double role in the film and won another Tamil Nadu State Award. Two roles, two age groups and almost 3-4 decades of time span, these were the challenges that came along with ‘Vaaranam Aayiram’ but he made it look like no one can make more perfect than him. Suriya became every girl’s dream man and every guy wanted to be like him. And performance wise VA will always remain a reference to the upcoming actors as his acting in the film is a text book on how to contain high amount of drama in a perfect acting meter.

‘Singam’ was a blockbuster and the beginning of a franchise, the character, Durai Singam was a trendsetter too. K.V Anand’s ‘Ayan’ opened doors for stylish action entertainers in Kollywood. ‘7aam Arivu’ and ‘Maattrraan’ were two films that were high on experimental value. ‘Singam 2’ worked well among the mass audience whereas ‘Anjaan’ didn’t. ‘Masss’ was a trial on the spooky-thriller genre but received mixed response. ‘Pasanga 2’ had the family audiences favorite ‘guy-next-door’ Suriya and the film was a successful one. ’24’ surprised the viewers with it’s fresh content, complex script and unimaginable production quality.

His hunger to do something different continues

Suriya played triple role in the film and his portrayal of ‘Athreya’, the villain gained him lot of praises. ‘Singam 3’ arrived with the same format and again was received well by the mass audience. Looking at Suriya’s filmography we can understand that the actor has never rested in a comfort zone, he has been improving and finding different characters with each film. The actor doesn’t seem to be satisfied with whatever he has done or he is doing, his hunger to do something different continues. And to an actor, that hunger is the most important one.

Ram Gopal Varma calls Suriya Mr.Eyes, he says Suriya’s eyes don’t just speak, they literally scream! The director’s words are interesting and they are true. Suriya’s eyes are his best possession, they can convey any, please note it, ANY emotion. This trait is seen in senior actors like Sivaji Ganesan and then Kamal Haasan. This is not an overrated comparison if you look at the actor’s acting pattern, he has pushed himself with every film. Also there is no type of character that Suriya can’t conceive.

He has done main stream cinema, off-beat cinema, rural stories, urban stories and almost everything. The actor’s looks are also a major plus to him, he is the personification of handsomeness but beyond that he can look like another person with any backdrop. His looks won’t be barrier to him to portray a character. He is known to be a perfectionist and we witness it on screen, there is no film where the audience would have said that Suriya could have done a better job, they may like the film or not but they won’t have complaints about the actor’s performance. Suriya is undoubtedly the successor of many great actors we have seen in the history of Tamil Cinema and definitely he has his name inscripted on the pages of the same.

Suriya is such a fantastic actor, he is a big star, he is doing something different with each film and all this is great but when he is completing two decades the only thing I wish to say is, if you ask anyone which is their favorite film of Suriya they would probably go back 8/10 years and say a ‘Ghajini’, a ‘Kaakha Kaakha’, a ‘Vaaranam Aayiram’ or an ‘Ayan’, which clearly states that the actor’s films in the recent past are not the ones that will take place in our ‘Most Favorite’ list. They were good films but Suriya should be finding great films, ‘good’ is too little for such a wonderful talent. He is big right now but he should be huge for his potential. We wish to see him achieve more his career.

Hearty congratulations to Suriya. It is a great deal to be in the entertainment industry for two decades and keep growing in it. We wish him all success for his upcoming films and also to see him doing better films and author backed roles. And of course he has been the Prince Charming and the Man Of Magnificent Eyes and he will always remain to be that!


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About the Author

Mahima Nandakumar
Hardcore Film Lover and Ardent Movie Goer, Aspiring Film Maker.

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