It has been 25 years since actor Suriya made an insecure and awkward debut in the Tamil film Nerrukku Ner (1997) by director Vasanth Sai. Interestingly, the S for Vasanthivarananjaniyum Innum Sila Pengalum, which he produced, won national awards for Best Tamil Film, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Editing. Suriya, on the other hand, took home the most coveted title, the national best actor award for Soorarai Pottru.
This direct-to-OTT release on Amazon Prime Video was a biopic about GR Gopinath, the man who broke new ground with India’s low-cost airlines, Air Deccan. The film also received criticism for taking some ‘creative liberties’ with the character of Gopinath and misrepresenting him.
But Suriya’s performance was convincing enough for the National Awards jury to make him share the award with Ajay Devgn, who won for Tanhaji.
Here we’ve picked out 5 Suriya movies over his two-and-a-half-decade career for you to watch on OTT platforms. While many movies of the Tamil star are worth watching, we opted for this as we believe these five provide a glimpse into her various talents.
Pithamagan (2003) – SunNXT
This was the movie that the set gave him a chance as an ‘actor’. His career was average at best until films like Friends and nanda happened in 2001. But pitamagan it was Suriya’s real hit movie, in which there was also Vikram, who by the way won a national award for his role. But make no mistake about it, Suriya as a wacky little offender with a heart of gold had the most audience-pleasing role. He had to play a character that had to be a little over-the-top to register. Also, this was a village person role and Suriya earned his spurs as an urban romantic hero. It was a challenge for Suriya, and he showed us that he was up to it.
There’s a lot of anticipation right now as Suriya is making a movie with Bala, the director of nanda and pitamagan.
Maayavi (2005) – Amazon Prime Video
This was, in a sense, a continuation of his role in the pitamagan. The arrogance, irreverence and small talk of a guide at a tourist spot. He is also not averse to petty crime. The mood of the film, in spirit, was pithaagman-ish, if you will. Suriya was in great shape, again nailing a slightly blushing, high-mouthed character with the assurance of a veteran. At the time of this film as well, Suriya’s romance with Jyothika (whom he later married) was at its height. Their on-screen chemistry was very effective in that. The film exploded at the box office. But people who watch it on OTT or TV often wonder why it hasn’t had a better showing in theaters.
Varanam Aayiram (2008) – JioCinema
Suriya’s equation with director Gautam Vasudev Menon is well known. The latter gave him a good break in the Kaakha Kaakha (2003). AND Varanam Aayiram further cemented Suriya’s place as a bankable star in Tamil cinema. This movie had him in an author-supported role (actually a double act) with various tones. As a passionate college student, a tragic love junkie, a carefree drifter, an Air Force officer, a loving father, a caring son… Suriya had so much scope in this film. He did everything admirably. the songs of Varanam Aayiram — all Hall of Famers — also added an extra layer of attraction.
Ayan (2009) – SunNxt
A memorable commercial masala movie that had thrills, pulsating action, great music and heartwarming moments. The film was a great package. And Suriya was also in great shape as a smart smuggler and an avenger. Suriya’s strength is that, in addition to acting, he is an impressive dancer and a bundle of energy in action sequences. In an action set-piece in this film that was shot in Africa, Suriya displays parkour skills and the whole scene had the verve and leap of that memorable James Bond stunt scene. Casino Royale.
NGK (2019) – Amazon Prime Video
NGK it didn’t have a big run in the theaters. Critics weren’t impressed either. But this is a film that could be framed in what the film press often calls a ‘glorious misfire’. There were a lot of memorable and memorable scenes and sequences, only they didn’t come together as a meaningful film. But Suriya again showed that he wasn’t averse to taking on characters that were gray and dark. There’s a certain ambition in his choices, and he doesn’t take it easy. NGK showed that Suriya’s spirit is restless and always ready for experimentation. It doesn’t matter if you don’t click. There’s always next time.