Like everyone else, I laughed my heart out when the news that Keerthi Suresh was going to play Savitri came out. It seemed like a decision that was sure to backfire. Up until now, Keerthi Suresh was just another pretty face who could dub on her own. She was gorgeous in Rajini Murugan but beyond that, she was just someone who had made a career out of being just a beautiful diversion. Hence the mocking was obvious. I mocked too without giving her a chance.
But to my surprise she made me eat a humble pie. For someone who was initially hesitant to take up the role. She had done the best she can. She had given her 200 percent knowing fully well that this was a role of a lifetime. I love artists who can do that despite their limitations. Comparisons as to whether someone else could have done it better is a futile exercise. There are all if’s buts and probabilities. She did the best she can. That’s what matters in the end.
What makes it even more special is that she had to compete against the charm of Dulquer Salman. But you can rarely take your eyes of her as she grows on you as Nadigayar Thilagam. Right from the scene where she utters ” Nageswara Rao garu ochara” with childish enthusiasm to the scene where she holds on to alcohol as if her life depends on it she nails it. The melancholy in her eyes as her life falls apart. Utterly delightful.
It isn’t just a life story. It is a travel which needed to be done right. From being overawed by the beauty of celluloid to being the most magnificent actress of her generation Keerthi needed to get the little things right. The change in posture and stance over the course of the film as the timeline shifts is beautifully done.
This was Keerthi Suresh’s Susan Boyle moment. Everyone laughed. Everyone mocked. But she’s proved us all wrong. I will always remember Keerthi for this film not for the film itself but for showing us that no matter what people say we have it within us to surprise ourselves and surprise our detractors with a commitment that gloriously screams ” Shut the fuck up. I know what I am doing”.