Suzhal The Vortex: Kathir, Sriya Reddy talk about acclaim for show, why 'North-South crap' should stop

Published on Jul 01, 2022 06:44 AM IST

Kathir and Sriya Reddy, stars of Amazon Prime Video’s Suzhal: The Vortex, talk about the Tamil show’s success and reveal if a second season is on the cards.

Kathir Sriya (Kathir and Sriya Reddy star in the Tamil crime thriller Suzhal: The Vortex.)
Kathir Sriya (Kathir and Sriya Reddy star in the Tamil crime thriller Suzhal: The Vortex.)

Amazon Prime Video’s first Tamil original series Suzhal: The Vortex has been a massive success in the two weeks since its release. Apart from being critically acclaimed, the show has also managed to get non-Tamil-speaking viewers to watch it as well. Its lead actors--Kathir and Sriya Reddy--speak with Hindustan Times about the success and what it means for the OTT landscape in the country. Also read: Suzhal The Vortex creators Pushkar-Gayatri talk about show's influences

In the days since its June 17 release, Kathir and Sriya say they have been inundated with congratulatory messages and praise. Kathir says, “Ma’am and I were talking how as the release was getting near, it felt like 12th standard results were close. We got nervous day by day because we hadn’t watched the show. And even if we had watched, I think we would have been more nervous because we’d only be seeing ourselves. Now, I feel I have topped because I didn’t top then, so at least I topped here.” Sriya says the reception has been better than anything she could have dreamt of. “Sriya: When you dream, you see the most beautiful and fascinating things that may not happen. So, even in my dreams, I would not have thought of something like this. We have got 99.9% positive reviews. You really have to scrape the barrel to see something negative. This has been so overwhelming,” she shares.

Suzhal (Kathir and R Parthiban in a still from Suzhal: The Vortex.)
Suzhal (Kathir and R Parthiban in a still from Suzhal: The Vortex.)

Directed by Pushkar-Gayatri, Suzhal is a crime-drama set in a small town. It tells the story of how a gruesome crime tears the town’s fabric apart, while also involving elements of the town’s unique micro festival Mayana Kollai. Both Kathir and Sriya Reddy have been successful on the big screen, But they say there was no hesitation to come to OTT with Suzhal. “The inception itself was big. It was as big as any big movie. So, there was no hesitation there,” says Sriya. Kathir adds that it was at the show’s press screening in a theatre where he first grappled with its scale. “We had a press show in between and they watched it in a theatre for seven hours continuously. It is not easy. They see films every week. But to make them sit for seven hours to watch a show on a big screen, that is where we gained confidence in the show,” he recalls.

But the intention to do something different was always apparent in how Suzhal was created, says Sriya. She says, “That’s what we intended to do, to put this language barrier back and just watch good content. Just like, you, me or Kathir would watch Squid Game or Money Heist and wait for their seasons, that is the same excitement we hoped and prayed we would be able to pull out from India through Suzhal.”

And the actors agree that its ‘pan-India’ success may just open the floodgates for more content in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, and Kannada on OTT platforms. “Everyone will now search for content. They’ll be more focussed in giving a better show. After .Suzhal, they would want to see what is interesting that they can give. So, I think it will go more into a content-oriented genre. It will be healthier,” says Kathir.

Sriya mentions anticipation about newer seasons for those foreign shows. Is that a hint for Suzhal season 2? “Of course,” she exclaims with a laugh. Karthik adds, “We have just planted the seeds.” But the actors will say no more.

But before signing off, Sriya does add why she feels content from the south is finding universal appeal these days. She says, “This north and south c**p has to stop. I am not segregating. I see the south and they are having a jolly, good ride at the moment but even having said that, we do need to stop this divide. But also, I want to say actors coming from the south, we are always taught and told to be natural. The moment you put on an extra amount of make-up or if you try to act, whoever you are, the biggest of actors are told to stop and go wash their face. I have worked with Priyadarshan or take any great director like Bala, they say be natural and act naturally. We know only this way. This is celebrated.”

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    Abhimanyu Mathur is an entertainment journalist with Hindustan Times. He writes about cinema, TV, and OTT, churning out interviews, reviews, and good old news stories.

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