Veerappan: The film’s life belongs to Muthulakshmi

Veerappan is watchable because it belongs to Muthulakshmi. Usha Jadhav is excellent as Veerappan’s wife.

May 27, 2016 02:53 pm | Updated October 18, 2016 12:34 pm IST

So has RGV got his mojo back? The jury is still out on that.

However, I found Veerappan much more watchable than any of his recent outings. Not for the gun shots, the axes and knives or the oozing blood; the protracted voiceover at the start to give us the back story; the interminable confrontations and chases through panoramic mountains, trenches and jungles; the pore-revealing extreme close-ups of actors (note the one in which a strand of hair accidentally gets into Lisa Ray’s mouth and poor Lisa has to chew on it while chewing on her lines).

Not even for the loud background score with a song that plays on Gulzar’s “jungle jungle baat chali hai pata chala hai”; the brutality heaped on humans and animals alike; the celebration of violence and certainly not for the romanticisation of a bandit king.

Veerappan is watchable because it belongs to Muthulakshmi. Usha Jadhav is excellent as Veerappan’s wife be it cooking in the jungles for her husband (Sandeep Bharadwaj) or braving police torture for him or loving him despite his indiscretions. She retains the innocence and vulnerability even as she reposes trust in a woman who is actually out to use her to avenge her husband’s death at the hands of Veerappan.

Usha also stands out because she acts with her mind and soul while the actress on the opposite end, Lisa, only lets her plumped up lips do all the talking, that too with an odd, speeded up cartoon-like touch. Quite a bit of the film is the tale of these two women. Wish it had remained so.

Top News Today

Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.