Killing Veerappan: Brigand’s mind games

Sandeep Bharadwaj and Yagna Shetty in Killing Veerappan  

After Not a Love Story there have been at least two dozen films from Ramgopal Varma that didn’t deserve our money and time, yet every time his film releases there is a segment of audience that hopes he dishes out that one Eid Ka Chand. Killing Veerappan We cannot presume that everyone knows the life history of the dreaded forest brigand and smuggler Veerappan. Though this isn’t a bio-pic it takes you through a mission spearheaded by K Vijay Kumar who planned the killing of Veerappan and whose role is reprised by Shiva Rajkumar. Even if we know there would be a superficial run on the efforts made to nab him, this movie is worth a watch as you would wait till the last scene for the gratifying moment of Shiva Rajkumar enjoying a piping hot cuppa within a small distance while bullets are pumped into Veerappan.

Varma’s take on Veerappan’s character, his love for AK-47s, the child like enthusiasm to meet Prabhakaran, the way he smashes his infant to a rock and his poker-faced expression while tying the thaali around Muthulakshmi’s neck is both repulsive and humorous. What adds value to the story right from scene one is Varma’s clarity on the plot and what he is trying to convey. Surprisingly the violence becomes a mechanical aspect of the film and what grabs your attention is the one-upmanship, the mind game of both the cops and Veerappan. For the Telugu audience, since Shiva Rajkumar may be an unfamiliar face, but the screenplay and story are tight enough not to focus on any one character. It is all about waiting to see the denouement unfold. The dialogues for the prime characters stand out and the expressions convey a lot more than they should.

The women in the film are rather glamorous for a subject such as this, and a lot of footage has been given to the acquaintance and friendship of Muthulakshmi and the police informer. The last few scenes of Veerappan’s agony at snipping off his moustache which is his pride, glory and a symbol of strength and power is devoid of any heavy duty drama. He merely looks at his followers askance and the final nail in the coffin comes as he gets into white robes and steps into an unfamiliar territory i.e out of the forest. The locations are real and the cinematography and re-recording are assets. Music however has a deja vu feel.

The entire cast — Shiva Rajkumar, Parul Yadav, Sandeep Bharadwaj — stand out. The big plus to this film is the casting of Sandeep Bharadwaj as Veerappan; that is half the job done. Now that Varma has delivered a tight and a sensible thriller the real nightmare is his next volley of films.

Killing Veerappan

Cast: Sandeep Bharadwaj, Shiva Rajkumar

Director: Ramgopal Verma

Genre: Thriller

Music: Ravi Shankar

Bottomline: Once in a blue moon treat by RGV

Rating: 3.5

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Printable version | Nov 24, 2021 2:50:08 PM |

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