2 December 2017 | omkar1984
A desirable addition to Indian movies pertaining to the police/armed forces
In my opinion, the Indian cinema lacks the traction(reasons, immaterial!)when it comes to sensible, no-nonsense, non-'masala' movies about professionals like the armed forces, Intel. agencies and so on. In such circumstances, movies like these are a relief and a glimmer of hope.
First of all, the show is stolen by Shiva Rajkumar! His portrayal of an obsessed and workaholic, ruthless and unconventional, loyal and righteous officer is thrilling. Note that he isn't named in the whole movie(at least, I didn't realize!). His numerous disguises in the movie seem genuine. Nowhere, as the STF chief, he sermonizes about good or bad, he effectively conveys the fact that he's doing what it takes to eliminate Veerappan. When questioned about his ruthless killing of Veerappan's team members, he shrugs saying 'I am killing to tell people that killing is not justified'.
As I said in the beginning, the presentation of the movie's plot and the sequence of events are something that majority of Indian movies lack. There are almost no 'masala' or melodramatic moments. The occupational hazards, the perils, the dedication of the police officers makes service-class,9-5 types people like me feel puny. Tracing a soulless criminal like Veerappan in the dense forests, getting ambushed, betrayals - all these facts are daunting for a common man. Unlike the masterpiece 'Madras Cafe', the director and his team haven't shied from directly referring to LTTE's Prabhakaran, the martyred officers, Veerappan's family and team members. From guessing and eliminating mole within STF, then following the leads provided by that mole to uncover more leads and information reminded me of another classic 'Sarfarosh'.
The plot of the movie is the second strong point. In a span of 2.5h, the writers have tried to cover/mention as many significant incidents pertaining to Veerappan as possible, in the least gory ways.There are several scenes in the movie worth mentioning: 1. Since the beginning, the STF leader(played by Shiva Rajkumar)is clear on the point that Veerappan can be captured/eliminated only after he is lured out of the jungle. During the entire mission, he doesn't sway from that track and constantly improvises his approach 2. Interrogating for information and later eliminating Veerappan's team members, ensuring the spy cam removal before Mutthulakshmi returns to her rented apartment 3. STF chief mocks his subordinate's logic and says that he's a History student and knows how to learn from History 4. Breaking the leg of the captured arms supplier just to ensure that Veerappan buys the idea that the dealer cannot deliver arms in person but rather delegate it to someone else
The cinematography is well-suited to the movie's plot and pace. The make-up crew deserves special mention, the actors seem genuinely the characters(another aspect that Indian movies, especially, Bollywood lack - even a soldier toiling in the desert is having a clean face, without a particle of sand!).
The movie isn't the best of Ram Gopal Varma's works. The camera movements are often irritable, especially, during the shootout near the guest house near the forest. While Varma is known to take liberties, which he accepts openly, there are some points that cannot be digested e.g: Shreya being part of STF after her cover is blown, despite of the lack of combat experience, she participates in all field actions, her identity is disclosed at the end to Mutthulakshmi, the manner in which Gandhi is planned to be arrested - all these are mishaps that no police professional would land in. The lyrics of the songs are defiant and pump up the blood but the music composition for the same is lame !!!
Overall, I would place this movie in the top 10 Indian police movies.