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25 years of Suriya: Best films of the National Award-winning actor that stream on OTT and YouTube

From Friends to Jai Bhim, here is a compilation of what we think is Suriya's best. 

25 years of Suriya: Best films of the National Award-winning actor that stream on OTT and YouTube
Stills from Perazhagan, Ghajini, Varanam Aayiram and Jai Bhim
  • S Subhakeerthana

Last Updated: 01.04 AM, Sep 06, 2022

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Suriya clocks 25 years in cinema. Did you love the nadippin naayagan in Soorarai Pottru, which fetched him The National Award recently? If you're a fan of the brilliant actor, here's a list of his best films that you should not miss!

Friends (on MX Player): A remake of the Malayalam film bearing the same name, Siddique, who directed the original, directed the Tamil version, too. After collaborating in Nerukku Ner, Vijay and Suriya again came together, in Friends, which completed a 175-day theatrical run in Tamil Nadu. This one was supposed to be Jyotika's first film with Vijay. Eventually, she was replaced by Simran, for unknown reasons. Friends was released on Pongal day, along with Ajith's Dheena and Sathyaraj's Looty, and became a blockbuster. The film's comedy track involving Vadivelu is considered to be one of the decade's best.

Nandha (on JioCinema and Sun NXT): This Bala directorial was originally offered to Ajith Kumar. Raj Kiran's role was written for the veteran actor Sivaji Ganesan. The film marked the debut of comedian Karunas. Nandha has been dubbed and released in Telugu three times. In multiple interviews, Suriya has stated that Nandha is a game-changer for him, and owes his success to Bala.

Mounam Pesiyadhe (on Amazon Prime Video and Sun NXT): This is the only film in which Suriya and Laila unite as a pair. In other ones, Suriya either dies or leaves Laila, including Pithamagan, Nandha and Unnai Ninaithu. Mounam Pesiyadhe was Ameer's first film as a director, and also, Trisha's first in a lead role.

Kaakha Kaakha (on Amazon Prime Video): Paathi and Kaalam were the titles initially considered for this Suriya-starrer. It was Gautham Menon's first script that he had wanted to make his debut. However, Madhavan wanted a lighter script, and Minnaley became GVM's debut. It was Jyotika, who recommended Suriya to Gautham, for the role. Nandha fetched Suriya Kaakha Kaakha. The film won a massive five Filmfare awards, for best villain, cinematography, music, editing, and choreography. Kaakha Kaakha was remade in Hindi in 2011 as Force, featuring John Abraham, Genelia D Souza and Vidyut Jamwal.

Pithamagan (on Sun NXT, Hungama Play, Vi Movies): Director Bala brought together two leading Kollywood stars Suriya and Vikram for the first time. Based on the novel, Nandhavanthil Oru Aandi, written by Jayakanthan, the film, also starring Laila and Sangeetha, received awards and accolades when it was released in 2003. While it was dubbed in Telugu as Sivaputrudu, the film was remade in Kannada as Anantharu in 2007.

Perazhagan (on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Aha, Vi Movies): Most stars like to retain their glamorous look while portraying various characters on screen. But some do not mind looking unattractive for an authentic portrayal. And Suriya is one such. The actor garnered acclaim for his portrayal of a hunchback in the film.

Aayatha Ezhuthu (on Amazon Prime Video): Titled Yuva in Hindi, Mani Ratnam brought Madhavan, Suriya and Siddharth together, and the film didn't do as well as expected. Loosely based on the life story of George Reddy, a scholar from the Osmania University of Hyderabad, the film also features Esha Deol, Meera Jasmine and Trisha, while Bharathiraja appears in a pivotal role. This is the Tamil debut of Bollywood actress Esha Deol and remains the only Tamil film she has ever acted in.

Ghajini (on Zee5): This Suriya-starrer was inspired by Christopher Nolan's Memento, and the story revolves around the life of a person with short-term memory loss. It was Suriya, who convinced Aamir to star in the Hindi remake. The Bollywood star insisted that Asin, who appeared in the Tamil version, do the Hindi film, too; whereas producers wanted to cast Priyanka Chopra, opposite Aamir.

Sillunu Oru Kaadhal (on Amazon Prime Video): A happily married man faces an emotional conflict when his past lover comes back into his life. Directed by Krishna, this was the last to feature both Suriya and Jyotika together in a film.

Vaaranam Aayiram (on Hungama Play, Vi movies and Amazon Prime Video): Gautham Menon received the news of his father's death while he was on a flight in 2007, and this inspired him to write the script of this Suriya-starrer. Reports claim the actor lost weight without using drugs for the role of the teenager, and then sported a six-pack for the role of the army officer, through an eight-month strict fitness regime. Notably, Deepika Padukone was to make her debut in Tamil films with this one, but backed out, due to the delays.

Ayan (on JioCinema): Suriya is one actor who is ready to experiment with new storylines. KV Anand gave the actor a different dimension in Ayan. Prabhu and Karunas had important roles while Renuka played Suriya’s mother. A young man's smuggling lifestyle takes a serious turn when a fierce rival tries to eliminate him from the business. And, this forms the storyline.

Singam (on Sun NXT): The story revolves around Duraisingam (Suriya) an honest, diligent, police officer who wants to clear up all the bad elements and make his area heaven. It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say Singam is Suriya's Saamy. This was Suriya's 25th film, the actor played a cop after the stupendous hit Khaaka Khaaka. The film has the right mix of sentiments and comedy like all other Hari films.

24 (on Disney+Hotstar): Director Vikram Kumar, in his bilingual science fiction, 24, pulls off a complex storyline. The film has Suriya in three roles. If you could travel back in time, can you change the destinies, form the plot. This one is laudable for its attempt to take Indian mainstream cinema a step ahead.

Soorarai Pottru (on Amazon Prime Video): The film, also starring Aparna Balamurali and Paresh Rawal is partly inspired by events from the life of Air Deccan founder GR Gopinath as described in his autobiography Simply Fly: A Deccan Odyssey. Directed by Sudha Kongara, the film, which skipped the theatrical release, won five National Awards, this year.

Jai Bhim (on Amazon Prime Video): Directed by Tha Se Gnanavel, the film, which has music by Sean Roldan, stars Rajisha Vijayan, Manikandan, and Lijomol Jose in prominent roles. Jai Bhim is a sort of celebration of the unsung heroes around us, as it speaks of lawyers and what they can do and how one individual can be a disruptor.

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