Suriya talks to us on a zoom call after a long day and yet looks fresh sporting a huge smile on his face. “It was a packed day. I just finished my dance rehearsals for my upcoming film and sat down to talk about Jai Bhim. I ensured I must because this film revolves around a true incident that happened in 1995 and the cause it stood for. While there are lakhs of cases pending across courts in our state, Chandru fought for over 75,000 such cases and won them. The world would see one such battle he fought, when the film premieres on Amazon Prime on November 2.” Suriya also clarifies that the story has struck a balance between Chandru’s life and the cause. “Director TJ Gnanavel has maintained a fine balance in highlighting the issue as well as portraying justice Chandru as the central character. Apart from that Rajisha Vijayan, Prakash Raj, Manikandan and Lijomol Jose have played their part well to make Jai Bhim a complete film,” he adds.
Deviating from the usual template of commercial films as a producer and as an actor, Suriya feels that many feels of late have broken the stereotype and the usual narration template. “When people go to theatres they expect a certain kind of entertainment. Hence, we started building a layout with songs and fights sequences even for subjects that had underlying messages as their crux. Lately, several films have broken that format. Filmmakers have made genuine efforts to deviate from that template and the audience have supported it,” he tells us. Citing examples of his younger brother Karthi Sivakumar’s films, the actor producer says, “Be it his Theeran Adhigaram Ondru or Kaithi, these are films that didn’t require a lot of songs or male-female protagonists in it. However, when it comes to OTT platforms, we have the liberty to make a hard-hitting film like Jai Bhim. People have gotten used to watching such films even in other states. As an actor, it is important to feature in films of such writers and filmmakers. I feel it is not necessary to play similar roles time and again. Stories like Soorarai Pottru and Jai Bhim should also be taken to the mass audience and the way in which people have accepted such content has only amazed me,” he elaborates.
Suriya lauds cameraman SR Kathir and art director Kadhir who he feels have recreated mid 90s where the story is set. “There was a lot of research that went behind in bringing the mid 90s back to life. SR Kathir and Kadhir did minute detailing on props that were used in the 90s. The pen that was used by lawyers, the politics behind each protest that took place in that era and the background story for incidents that you would see in the film were the efforts of technical crew who put their heart and soul into this project. In Jai Bhim you would see how a High Court functions and what happens inside a courtroom in a realistic manner,” he says with a smile. Jai Bhim will be the fifth film from his production house 2D Entertainment that will be releasing in the lockdown. Suriya on a concluding note says that the banner will continue making such realistic films in future and believes that people will accept such films in theatres too. “Jo, me and Raja want to tell people certain stories through 2D Entertainment. I am sure such stories in future will bring the audience to theatres as well,” he concludes.