EXCLUSIVE: Sudha Kongara opens up about Sarfira, Akshay Kumar, Radhikka Madan, Suriya and Cinema

In an exclusive telephonic interview with Pinkvilla, celebrated director Sudha Kongara spoke about her upcoming release Sarfira and her experience working on an outright Hindi film for the first time.

Published on Jul 11, 2024  |  10:01 AM IST |  83.4K
Sudha Kongara
Sudha Kongara is all set for the release of Sarfira (Credit: Team Communique)
Key Highlight
  • Sudha Kongara talks in length about Sarfira, in her interview with Pinkvilla
  • Sarfira releases in theatres on 12th July, 2024

2-Time National Award winning director Sudha Kongara gears up for the release of her much awaited film Sarfira, starring Akshay Kumar, Radhikka Madan and Paresh Rawal in titular roles. The movie releases in theatres on the 12th of July, 2024. The advance bookings for the film are now open.

Sudha Kongara graced Pinkvilla with a telephonic interview of hers, where she talked in length about her upcoming film, how it was like working with Akshay Kumar and Radhikka Madan, about Suriya and her national award winning Soorarai Pottru, the socio-cultural differences between the audiences across India, the competition between the theatrical and digital medium, her favourite recent releases and more.

Director Sudha Kongara Talks About Remaking Soorarai Pottru Despite Hindi Dubbed Version Being Available On Digital

In the conversation Sudha Kongara had with Pinkvilla ahead of the release of Sarfira, she was first asked about why she thought about remaking her National Award winning film Soorarai Pottru in Hindi when the Hindi dubbed version of the film titled Udaan is already available to be watched on digital. The ace director answered saying that she would prefer audiences to rather watch Soorarai Pottru with subtitles than to watch Udaan because the dubbed Hindi version is nothing like she conceived it to be. She came to that conclusion after watching the first 10 minutes of Udaan, which were edited quite differently from the original. She stressed that Sarfira is the best option for Hindi natives because it is made keeping them and their socio-cultural sensibilities in mind.

Sudha Kongara Shares When She Thought Of Remaking Soorarai Pottru

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When Sudha Kongara was asked about when she thought of remaking her National Award winning film in Hindi with Akshay Kumar, she shared that there was no initial thought to remake the film and when Akshay Kumar came onboard for the Hindi remake, Soorarai Pottru had not won the National Award. A common friend Rahul Nanda watched it when it released on digital and was spellbound by it. He insisted on her directing the film's Hindi remake and once he shared that Akshay Kumar is interested to star in it, she knew that she had to direct it. She confirmed having worked on Sarfira's script for a year and a half.

Sudha Kongara Shares Why Sarfira Is A Theatrical Release While Soorarai Pottru Was A Direct-To-Digital Release

While discussing about Soorarai Pottru, Sudha shared that the film was already censored and was meant to release in theatres in April 2020. Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, it had to be released directly on digital. 
Just like Soorarai Pottru, Sarfira has also been made for the big screen and fortunately, it will release where it is meant to, too, that is in the theatres.

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Team Sarfira

'Sarfira Is My Best Experience Working On A Film'

Sudha was all praise for the cast and crew who worked with her on Sarfira and described it as her best experience working on a film, particularly for the ease of making it. She appreciated the first AD of Sarfira for taking a lot of load off her shoulders as a director, to the point that she only had to say 'Cut'. She was initially hesitant of the time schedules and about the talent arriving late based on what she heard, describing it as a potential cultural shock. Luckily, that problem didn't arise as she was working with a thorough professional like Akshay Kumar, who is known for his punctuality above anything else. Talking about the similarities she shares with Akshay Kumar, she said, "We are very similar. We both wake up at 4 in the morning and like to sleep early. We both don't like night schedules,"

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Watch the Sarfira Trailer


Sudha Kongara Is All Praise For Akshay Kumar

Sudha was all praise of Akshay Kumar for how down-to-earth he is. She said that the actor didn't go into his vanity van after his shot but rather stayed on the sets, long after his shot was done. He was very involved in the whole process.

Sudha Opens Up About Casting Radhikka Opposite Akshay Kumar In Sarfira

About Radhikka Madan, Sudha said that she loved her performance in Pataakha. She was looking for an actress who is not conventionally mainstream and has the innocence of Rani, and Radhikka totally met those requirements.

Sudha also felt that the audiences would gravitate more towards a fresh new pairing and the pairing of Akshay Kumar and Radhikka Madan sat right.

How Was Suriya Convinced For A Cameo In Sarfira?

Sarfira also has Suriya, the hero of Soorarai Pottru, in a cameo appearance. When asked about how she convinced the prolific actor to be a part of Sarfira, she clarified that Suriya is one of the producers on the project and that it didn't require convincing as he was already creatively involved on the project in question.

Will Sudha Kongara Work With Suriya And Akshay Kumar Again?

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When asked if she would like to work with Akshay Kumar or Suriya on a film again, she said yes, without any hesitation.

Theatrical Vs Digital; Solutions For A Better Theatrical Condition

Talking about the threat that digital content is posing to theatrical content and the constant effort to convince audiences to watch movies in theatres, Sudha acknowledged that it is a struggle that the Indian Movie Industry continues to face, especially for films not made on a large canvas. However, she also said, "But, there also is a set of audience who loves watching films on the big screen, and having their popcorn. They enjoy the collective movie experience that watching a movie on the small screen can't offer".

As for the suggestive measures that movie industries, particularly Kollywood should take, she said that the number of films produced for theatres have to sharply go down from 240-300 films that release each year as audiences can't afford to watch every film. Only a handful of films do well theatrically for the exact same reason. Lesser but more focused content can go a long way.

Favourite Sudha Kongara Films Recently

Sudha has a great eye for good cinema. When asked about the recent films that she enjoyed watching, she said, "Laapataa Ladies. I watched it twice. Once in theatres and once on digital. I also loved Maharaja (Vijay Sethupathi), made by a director friend,"
She modestly said that she wishes to make films like the abovementioned but can't, and that's a very bold thing to say for a two time National Award winning director.

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What Is Sudha Kongara Working On Next?

Lastly, Sudha was asked about what she is working on next. She confirmed that she is working next on a Tamil film. When asked if the film will be made and released in other languages like her previous few films, she said that it is planned to release only in Tamil.
Like all of Sudha's film scripts, her untitled next has also been written, not keeping a particular actor in mind.

Sarfira In Theatres On 12th July, 2024

Sarfira releases at a theatre near you on 12th July, 2024. How excited are you for the movie?

ALSO READ: Is Sudha Kongara planning to recast Suriya in upcoming movie Purnanooru with Dhanush?

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