Filming in Her Own Way, SudhaKongara is Passionately Professional

SudhaKongara is not an unfamiliar face in the Southern Film Industry, especially after the box office success of her sports drama IrudhiSuttru (SaalaKadhoos in Hindi). The film released simultaneously in Tamil and Hind has been a huge hit, with Sudha bagging the Filmfare Award for the best director.

Once again, she has put her mark in the industry with her new film SooraraiPottru, which was recently released on Amazon Prime. Starring Surya and Aparna Balamurali, SooraraiPottrru portrays the life and struggle of NedumaranRajangam (Surya) and his dream to build a low-cost airline that could give access to everyone’s aspiration to fly.  The movie is based on the book Simply Fly, written by Captain Gopinath. It talks about his incredible life journey.

As an assistant director of Maniratnam for seven years, SudhaKongara has indeed established her own unique space in the film industry. Stepping into the most ‘unconventional profession’, which was not a cakewalk for Sudha in a male-dominated industry. She has had her struggles and constant battling with the ingrained misogyny in the film industry. Sudha is indeed a fighter who followed her passion, breaking all the hurdles that came in her way.

While shooting for IrudhiSuttru, Sudha says that she was a joke for her unit members, who had refused to take her seriously. However, the film was a success and by the time she began her next film and she had owned space in the industry. Be it the character of Sundari (Aparna Balamurali in SooraraiPotru) who has her conditions and visions to be followed in her life or EzhilMadhi (Ritika Singh in IrudhiSuttru) who had to learn a bloody sport to get a government job, Sudha’s female characters resonate with her own life.  All her female characters are complex and have their own identities that merge effortlessly with the movie narrative. Interestingly, she sticks to the framework of popular film making and making use of all the possibilities of a commercial movie. She tells her stories with passion and perfection. Probably, Sudha would be the rare female filmmaker in the Indian film industry to make compact mainstream movies. Be it Drohi, IrudhiSuttru or SooraraiPottru; all her films featured prominent male actors in the Tamil film industry.  As she rightly points out, she has to tell her stories to the people in a form that is familiar to them. She wants them to understand what she has to communicate; otherwise, it is a failed attempt.

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