Thursday, 11 July 2013 | MYT 12:00 AM

Mane man

With a song and dance: South Indian film star Suriya reprises his role as Durai Singam, a righteous cop, in Singam 2, a sequel to the 2010 hit Tamil film Singam. - Lotus Fivestar AV

With a song and dance: South Indian film star Suriya reprises his role as Durai Singam, a righteous cop, in Singam 2, a sequel to the 2010 hit Tamil film Singam. - Lotus Fivestar AV

South Indian film star Suriya roars onto screen in a bigger and badder sequel to his hit movie Singam.

THERE couldn’t have been a more appropriate name for the Tamil movie Singam (Lion), which roared its way to box office success in 2010 with its blend of action, comedy, love and music – in other words, a classic masala entertainer.

Much of the credit for the movie’s success was given to its charismatic leading man, South Indian star Suriya, who brought the perfect combination of style, brawn and charm to the role of a righteous Indian cop who goes head to head with a major gangster.

One of the top actors in the Tamil film industry today, 37-year-old Suriya has made a name for himself with acclaimed work in movies Kaakha Kaakha, Ghajini and Vaaranam Aayiram. He has thus far won three Tamil Nadu State Film Awards and three Filmfare Awards South.

Singam proved to be such a hit that it was subsequently remade in Hindi, Kannada and Bengali, with the Hindi version that starred Bollywood star Ajay Devgn going on to become a massive success, too.

Such amazing response from the audience convinced Suriya that the movie deserved a sequel, and he broached the idea of revisiting the character to director Hari Gopalakrishnan.

“Though I had the idea of a sequel while making Singam, I wasn’t sure if it would ever be made,” Hari told the Indo-Asian News Service (IANS) recently. “It was Suriya who encouraged me, since his fans wanted to see him in a sequel.”

Suriya told The Times Of India in a recent interview:

“Singam appealed to all age groups. (This) is the first time I’m doing a sequel, because of the sheer love for the character. We’ve worked hard to bring it to the next level,” he said.

Singam 2 sees the handsome actor reprising his role as Durai Singam, and picks up from the ending of the first movie, where Singam is assigned to a secret undercover mission by the Home Minister.

Stationed as a cadet master in a school in the port city of Thoothukudi, Singam is initially asked to investigate a suspected arms smuggling ring. What he discovers, however, leads him on a trail of intrigue that involves mastermind criminals, not just in India, but internationally as well.

Returning in the role of the female lead as Singam’s love interest Kavya, is Anushka Shetty, who made a big impression in the first outing. Joining her are other beloved actors from Singam, including Vivek, Radha Ravi, Nassar and Vijayakumar. Further adding to the fun is the inclusion of comedian Santhanam and up-and-coming actress Hansika Motwani.

Fans of the original will also be delighted to hear that music composer Devi Sri Prasad has returned to compose the soundtrack to Singam 2. His songs from the first movie, like Kadhal Vandhale and Stole My Heart, were huge hits with the audience, and he looks set to repeat the success with infectious tunes like Puriyavillai and Singam Dance in Singam 2.

Suriya pointed out, however, that the sequel is very much an entertainer in its own right.

“(It is), in its own way, a standalone movie; it starts and ends by itself. The film carries its own identity, with characters that no one forgets.”

With that in mind, Singam 2 goes bigger and badder, throwing not just one villain at Singam, but three, played with suitable menace by Mukesh Rishi, Rahman and British-African actor Danny Sapani. As such, there is plenty of heart-pounding action, including a thrilling chase through Johannesburg, South Africa.

Hari, whose previous credits include box office hits like Saamy, Ayya and Aaru, shared in his IANS interview that he knew he had high expectations to meet with Singam 2.

“With sequels, in particular, one can say that (the risk) is higher, especially if the prequel was a hit. I made Singam 2 because Suriya’s fans wanted it, therefore automatically, the stakes have become high.”

He added that he tried to raise the bar this time around.

“I also had to ensure it was grander than the first. Audiences loved Suriya’s character in Singam, so I had to ensure it looked different, and larger in terms of characterisation, performance and even screen aura,” he said.

While it is too early to talk about a third instalment, Hari is confident that Singam 2 will add to the hype of the original.

“With Singam 2, I’m sure Singam will no longer be just a name, but a brand,” he says. “I think this is applicable to any sequel, but it all depends on the success of the film.”

Singam 2, distributed by Lotus Fivestar AV, is currently playing in selected cinemas nationwide.

Tags / Keywords: Lifestyle , Singam 2 , Suriya , Tamil ovie , Anushka Shetty , Hari

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