At 3.30 p.m. on Thursday, the skies came alive with music. Taking inspiration from the subject of their movie, the team of Soorarai Pottru released Veyyon silli, the first song from the film, mid-air, aboard a SpiceJet Boeing 737 flight, in a first-of-its-kind event.
The flight was a special one for more than one reason. Among the passengers, comprising the team behind the film and journalists, were also 70 children from the Agaram Foundation, who were given the opportunity to go on a flight for the first time.
“We chose students from government schools across the State, based on an essay writing competition. We had asked them about what they would do if they were given a chance to travel on a plane and many had written that they would like for their parents or siblings to have that opportunity instead,” said actor Suriya, about the heart-warming responses they received.
“Whatever inventions are introduced, they are meaningless if they not made affordable and accessible. In 2000, less than 1% of the population was able to fly. Captain Gopinath changed the whole industry and took the common man to the skies,” said the actor, speaking about the film. Stating that Captain Gopinath had revolutionised the aviation industry, Suriya said that the film was a tribute to him and heaped praises on director Sudha Kongara, for her vision and decade-long work on the project. Soorarai Pottru is based on the life of Captain G.R. Gopinath who founded Air Deccan.
Ajay Singh, chairman of SpiceJet, who released the song, said that they were happy to partner with the film, as its theme resonated with their vision of making every Indian fly.
“Suriya promised me creative freedom when I worked on the film, and he gave me enough creative freedom which took me higher than this Boeing 737,” said Mr. Kongara. The actor had earlier said that Mr. Kongara had worked on the film for 10 years.
After the release of the song mid-air, music composer G.V. Prakash Kumar spoke about the song and said that they had chosen to incorporate folk instruments and lyrics in it, while presenting it in a stylish format. “I’m hoping that after this film, biopics become more popular in Tamil cinema,” he said. Amid cheers from the young passengers, the composer sang a few lines from the song as well.
A trip across city
For the first-time fliers, their experience was made better through announcements by the flight captain, who ensured that they got to see stunning ariel views of the Bay of Bengal, the Chennai Port and the M.A. Chinnaswamy Stadium, among other landmarks in the city.
The film is being produced by 2D entertainment and Academy Award winner Guneet Monga’s Sikhya Entertainment. Stating that this was her first Tamil film, Ms. Monga said that she cherished the experience of working on the film.