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Killing Veerappan Critic Review By Pavan Survi

Apr 21, 2016 11:46 AM Killing Veerapan Critic Review By Pavan Survi

Star-cast : Sandeep Bharadwaj, Shiva Rajkumar, Yagna Shetty, Sanchari Vijay and Parul Yadav

Director : Ram Gopal Varma

Music : Ravi Shankar

Cinematography : Rammy

Editing : Anwar Ali

“This is the Truth as I Know It” – RGV opens the Killing Veerappan, Based on the real events led to Operation Cocoon head by SP Vijay Kumar to kill Indian bandit Veerappan.

After the death of Veerappan’s (Sandeep) close associate, Gurunatha. He sets out for revenge and kills STF personnel SP Hari Krishna (Rockline Venkatesh) and Shakeel Ahmed. This puts Skilled and Determined STF Cop {believed to be SP Senthamarai Kannan} (Shiva Rajkumar) on the chase to capture the most wanted bandit. Soon he has a plan to capture mastermind of a series of killings and smugglings in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu & Kerala. All of scrambling, peeping and intelligence gathered by deputy STF Rookie Officer (Sanchari Vijay) and Shriya (Parul Yadav), who stays close to Muthulakshmi (Yaga Shetty). The rest of the story is how Veerappan is lured out of forest lands (covering 6000 km2 in 3 states) and How the STF team managed to kill one of the most wanted man of India.

The real revelation of the film would be Sandeep Bharadwaj. I wouldn’t want to see anybody else as Veerappan; he literally lives and breathes in the role. He is more convincing than Kishore in Veerappan biopic Attahasa. Shiva Rajkumar underplays his character and creates the stir with his composed performance, while de-glammed Parul Yadav is restrained and added an extra bit of appeal as Shreya, though this is no earth shattering role as such. The rest of the cast Yagna Shetty, Sadh Orhan, Sanchari Vijay, Rockline Venkatesh and Sreedhar deliver adequate performances.

This is the second Kannada film that’s based on Veerappan, first one released in 2013 as “Veerappan” in Telugu. Whereas, Ram Gopal Varma’s “Killing Veerappan” is a docudrama based on the real events lead to the operation Cocoon. Here RGV only targets one side of the coin and showcases STF in its costliest operation of Indian History. All this could have made a pretty much interesting film, if and only if everything had fallen perfectly into place. RGV starts narrating the film post popular encounter by Veerappan at Budhikere Hala and tries to drive the film along with Shiv Rajkumar’s character in a secret mission. For those who has read the daily bulletins (or read information about the Operation Cocoon) post the encounter of Veerappan, RGV literally stays on the same ground, the essential points that drives STF team is very much same. Seeing that its based on a true story, I can’t help but feel this would have made a better docudrama than what it turned out to be – the script didn’t do anything to portray any ramification about the mission or dacoit. And it felt forced and not polished enough. The script condenses the central conflict down to its basic good vs evil that RGV has little room to explore the nous of both Shivrajkumar and Veerappan. Even the narration of the film is predictable and slow in pace.

I can understand theres so much to operation cocoon and RGV just wanted to highlight a few things but how about doing it properly? In this attempt to showcase the operation, he failed to develop the main characters Shreya, Muthulakshi and Veerappan. No one will have an clear idea about Shreya’s character, whether she is a STF rookie/House Owner-Informer/Anti-Veerappan. Director barely touches the core character Veerappan in depth, even leaves his relationship with Muthulakshmi underdeveloped. Veerappan is showcased as wannabe famous- disturbed – venerate than showing him as a crude dacoit (killed at least 184 people) and a well-informed smuggler (who Smuggled $26,00000 of Ivory & 10000 Tons of Sandalwood). Even there is no proper reasoning given to few sequences like, how they tracked a Gandhi? No proper explanation given to why Parul involved in every other sequence? Whats the time period of Operation? Where is the operation taking place? Why is Veerappan excited to join hands with LTTE Prabhakran when he is ruling things in 6000 square Kilometers of land? Who is Shivrajkumar? What happened to two daughters of Veerappan? Etc.

The background score by Sandy matches up to the mood of the film. The action direction does leave a mark. The actions sequences, though they involve plenty of exaggerated rogue movements, has been choreographed in a decent fashion. A special word of appreciation to the man behind the cinematography Rammy. The usage of Flycam and rogue camera is nicely done. Dialogues by Sashank are fine while editing by Anwar Ali should have been a lot better. The first half to be honest was little boring and wasn’t even half as hard hitting as I had imagined it to be. The second half works better than the first though. Production values of the film are alright.

A film like Killing Veerappan was bound to go one of the two ways – It either would have been a highly original and edge of a seat docudrama that paddled in both drama and action, or it would have been a hunky-dory, but fails to tell a great story. Sadly this film falls into the latter category. STE’s “Operation Cocoon” is obviously a chilling op that should and could have portrayed a hundred times better than this. All in all, this “Killing Veerapan” doesn’t fit that bill.


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