Suriya Plays His Cards

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Not many Bollywood fans outside of India will have heard of Suriya at this point, but the Chennai-born actor is likely to become Bollywood’s next big superstar – the main reason being that underneath his charm, agility and acumen, he knows how to act! Groomed in the hothouse of Kollywood over the last ten years, Suriya has already won three Filmfare awards for Pithamagan, Perazhagen and this year for Vaaranam Aayiram. Amazingly, he didn’t win a Filmfare award for his stunning performance in Ghajini – more importantly, however, he did win the attention of Aamir Khan and national recognition when his performance was often compared as on a par with the Great Khan himself.

Now Suriya has been cast in the RGV film Raktha Charitra, together with Vivek Oberoi. “I’m excited, not because it’s a Hindi film, but because it’s a Ram Gopal Varma film,” he says, “He knows how to bring out the best in an actor.” Raktha Charitra is already causing enormous media interest and looks like being another RGV underworld triumph, being compared to The Godfather series. Set in the murky world of factional Andhra Pradesh politics, corruption and Naxalite rebellion, the five hour movie will be split into two parts, released three months apart. It tells the tragic story of populist politician Paritala Ravindra and has already led to threats against RGV from Ravindra loyalists.

Meanwhile, Suriya’s lists of triumphs continue. Following Vaaranam Aayiram and the enormously popular Ayan this year, he has stolen the show at the Deepavali celebrations with his new movie Aadhavan. Directed by KS Dasavatharam Ravikumar, the movie is a constant crowd-pleaser with Suriya looking at his raffish best and Nayanthara looking more beautiful than ever. The on-screen magic between the two stars is there for all to see. Suriya plays a black-and-white character effortlessly. As a hit man for hire, he looks menacing and instantly frightening, but as a lovestruck hero, he comes across equally convincingly as an innocent boy next door – at one point, he even successfully plays himself as a ten-year-old! Full of comedy, music, magic and a little menace, the script rattles along at a fine old pace producing the kind of family-oriented mass-market masala movie that Bollywood seems to find it difficult to produce these days. A great triumph for all concerned!

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