Ram Gopal Varma commented once about the ‘most expressive eyes’ of Suriya. The powerful emotions Suriya’s eyes conveyed in films like Varanam Ayiram and Rakta Charitra 2 speak volumes of how Suriya honed his craft from a young business management graduate to one of the greatest star actors of the South.
South superstar Suriya celebrates his 44th birthday on July 23rd, 2019. The journey of Suriya from his early stages to the star he is, makes up for a fascinating study.
Early years of Suriya
Suriya started off as a young actor in the late 1990s in the Tamil film industry, but his main triumph was the mentorship he got from Bala during the film Nandha. His role as a convict attached to his mother drew the attention of the critics and the audience alike and people knew what a performer Suriya was.
The credit for moulding Suriya’s acting skills, his body language and dialogue delivery should go to Bala.
Then Suriya acted in Goutham Menon’s cop drama Kakka Kakka, which had his real life partner, Jyothika, as his pair. The movie went on to become one of the cult movies in the life of Suriya and people still remember him as the suave cop in this movie. The movie spurned many remakes in Telugu, Hindi and Bengali.
The Star: Suriya joins the big league
Suriya then acted in one of the defining movies of his career, Aaytha Ezuthu, which was dubbed as Yuva in Telugu. The Mani Ratnam movie was a big hit in Tamil and was remade in Hindi.
The A.R. Murugadoss psychological thriller Ghajini, in which Suriya played the role of a patient suffering from short term memory loss, remains to be one of the most gratifying roles for Suriya. This is because it added Bollywood star Aamir Khan to Suriya’s fanbase. The Bollywood actor worked on the movie in Hindi and the name of Suriya acquired national fame, with his signature Ghajini style becoming a rage among his fans.
Next to Ghajini, a movie which made Suriya a heartthrob of millions as a lover boy was Surya S/O Krishnan (Varanam Ayiram in Tamil.) In this movie, Suriya portrayed the roles of a father and a son, conveying emotions with ease in both the getups convincingly. The movie was a musical hit, with the lilting tunes of Harris Jayaraj.
The mass hero and Singam
Suriya reinvented his career in the late 2000s with his Singam series, in which he played an upright police officer who carries many expeditions to catch international culprits and who deals with corrupt police officers the way they should be dealt.
This 2010 movie turned into a brand and made Suriya reach millions of his fans, thanks to the dubbed Hindi versions of the movie telecast on private Hindi channels.
The same year, Suriya made his Bollywood debut with the Hindi version of Rakta Charitra 2, titled Rakht Charitra 2, which was a great commercial success and made him known for his multi shaded character of a faction leader.
In Suriya’s later roles, the character of a scientist in Vikram K. Kumar’s 24 is memorable. The movie is noted for its special effects and the dual role Suriya played, after his film Surya S/O Krishnan.
The humanitarian Suriya: A rare breed
Suriya, apart from being a part of cinema, is busy with his foundation Agaram Foundation, which focuses on providing free education to the needy poor of Tamil Nadu. The actor and his family are totally dedicated to the foundation and they promote the cause by raising funds. They also donate their own remunerations to the Agaram Foundation to pump up the process of widespread education in the villages of Tamil Nadu. Recently, Suriya started an association, the Sivakumar Charitable Trust, in the name of his father. The Trust was created with the primary aim of helping the refugee children of Sri Lankan Tamil descent.
NGK: A political film
Suriya, in 2019, worked on a movie with Selvaraghavan, NGK (Nandha Gopalan Kumaran,) which dealt with the stinking scene of the politics in India. The film establishes a nexus between the political class, the lobbying media and the plight of the common man.
Suriya often comes across as a person with many facets—as an actor, a great human being, a sensible speaker and also as a great philanthropist. He is a rare breed who can also question flawed government policies, as was the case a few days ago when he questioned the NDA-2 Government’s new National Education Policy (NEP) draft.
We wish Suriya many more eventful years ahead!
Happy birthday, Suriya!