'Captain' Gopinath's life journey now a Tamil movie

'Soorarai Pottru': 'Captain' Gopinath's life journey now a Tamil movie

A still from the trailer of the movie. Credit: Youtube screengrab/Amazon Prime Video India

The inspiring journey of Captain G R Gopinath from an obscure village in Karnataka to a momentous career in the Indian Army and then to the founding of low-cost airline, Air Deccan, that revolutionised air travel in the country is now a Tamil movie.

Titled Soorarai Pottru (Hail the Warrior), an adaptation of Gopinath's 2011 best-selling book Simply Fly: A Deccan Odyssey, will be a Deepavali delight for movie lovers as it will release directly on Amazon Prime Video, an OTT platform, on November 12.

The trailer of the movie in which popular Tamil actor Suriya plays Gopinath was released on Monday and is already viral on various social media platforms. Eru otravan kooda aeroplane la povaan (one who ploughs the field will also travel in an aeroplane) thunders Suriya, whose character is Nedumaran Rajangam, as the tagline of the movie says "a rebel with an idea."

It was an idea first floated by late playwright Girish Karnad that the book written by him could easily be adapted into film as it has "huge cinematic value" prompted Gopinath, the founder of low-cost airline Air Deccan that made air travel affordable for millions of people from the middle class, to give movie rights to Bollywood producer Guneet Monga.

"The movie may not be 100 percent true to the book. It (Soorarai Pottru) is a dramatised version of my book but will stay to its essence. The only condition that I imposed on the producers is that the core story which is being passionate about one's dream and achieving them against all odds should remain the focus," Gopinath told Deccan Herald.

"The book was not written to talk about my journey but to inspire people from rural areas and the disadvantaged sections that big dreams are possible to achieve if one is passionate about it. That even those who do not have any connections can succeed. The book was not about making money but about discovering one's own dream. Like you writing your own horoscope,” he said.  

Bankrolled by Suriya's 2D Productions in association with Sikhya Entertainment, the movie directed by Sudha Kongara, who worked as an assistant director with ace film-maker Maniratnam, is also being dubbed in Kannada, Malayalam, and Telugu.  Besides Suriya, the film features Malayalam actress Aparna Balamurali as the lady lead and veteran Telugu actor Mohan Babu.

The makers of Soorarai Pottru have taken enough care to ensure that Gopinath's life struggles are brought on the screen without any discrepancies. Suriya and his team did meet the former Indian Army Captain to get more insights into his life that transformed the way people travel today.  

The movie covers almost every aspect of Gopinath's life—his life in the village, stint with the Army, his role in the 1971 India-Pakistan war that liberated Bangladesh, back to farming and his launching of Air Deccan. Gopinath was born in Melkote in Mandya district in 1951 and was brought up in Gorur in Hassan district.

Gopinath would have been more happy if the movie was first made in his mother tongue of Kannada, but is content that it is being dubbed in Kannada. "The producers wanted the movie to be made first in Tamil and I left the decision to them. Anyways, there is a dubbed version in Kannada," he said.  

And like everyone, Gopinath is also looking forward to November 12 to watch his life journey on the screen. "I will, of course, watch the movie. I do have Amazon Prime subscription and I will watch at home," the 68-year-old said.