Directed by: Ram Gopal Varma
Produced by: Raina Sachin Joshi
Written by: R.D. Tailang
Screenplay by: Ram Gopal Varma
Story by: Ram Gopal Varma
Based on: Veerappan Operation Cocoon N. K. Senthamarai Kannan
Starring: Sandeep Bharadwaj, Sachiin J Joshi, Usha Jadhav, Lisa Ray
Music by: Jeet Ganguly, John Stewart Eduri (Background score)
Cinematography: Aniket Khandagale
Edited by: Anwar Ali
Production company: Viking Media & Entertainment
Distributed by: A. A. Films
Release dates: 27 May 2016 (worldwide)
Till about a few years back, the whole of India was terrorized by a dangerous and merciless man named Koose Muniswamy Veerappan, who was commonly known as Veerappan or even the ‘sandalwood smuggler’. After having killed many people, police officers, animals (elephants, majorly), his reign came to an end during the year 2004. This week’s release is the Ram Gopal Varma directed VEERAPPAN, a film that has been inspired by the life of the dreaded Veerappan.
The film starts off with the ruthless and brutal killing of police officers in the dense jungles of Satyamangalam, situated in the southern India. This is followed by a narration of flashback of events by STF officer Kannan (Sachiin J Joshi), wherein he traces the past of Veerappan and the incidents that led him to become the most notorious criminal ever. The flashback states that Veerappan made his first killing when he was in his pre-teens. Once he tasted blood and money (in that order), there was no looking back for him. Despite being an illiterate, his sharp mind and meticulous planning could put anyone and everyone to shame, so much so that, even the combined police forces of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu always landed up being unsuccessful in nabbing him. Looking at the recurring gruesome and heartless killings, the sole purpose of Kannan’s life becomes to nab Veerappan by hook or crook. During one such search operation, even though Kannan and his team become unsuccessful in nabbing Veerappan, they land up getting hold of his dutiful wife Muthulakshmi (Usha Jadhav). That’s when Kannan hatches a master plan with Priya (Lisa Ray), who agrees to be a part of the plan because Veerappan had killed her husband as well. As per the plan, Priya poses as a landlord of a big house, where Muthulakshmi is brought in as a tenant. Priya then befriends her with her sweet talks and caring nature. As days pass by, Muthulakshmi falls for Priya’s sweet talks and gradually discloses the whereabouts of her husband Veerappan. Around that time, she also discloses many unknown facts about Veerappan’s life to Priya, who becomes shell-shocked after knowing the bare facts. After knowing the truth about Veerappan, does Priya have a change of heart and pull herself off the masterplan, does Muthulakshmi really land up telling the whereabouts of her husband, does Kannan single-handedly become successful in nabbing Veerappan when thousands of his fellow officers have failed and perished, is what forms the rest of the story.
Know more about the captain of the Ship, the director:
Varma’s first runaway hit in Hindi cinema was Shiva (1990), the remake of his 1989 film Siva. Varma introduced the Steadicam to Indian cinema with Siva. Later, He garnered attention in Bollywood with the romantic comedy film, Rangeela (1995) starring Aamir Khan. The film won seven Filmfare Awards.
He then directed Satya (1998), which won six Filmfare Awards, including the Critics Award for Best Film, In 2005, Indiatimes Movies included Satya in its list of 25 Must See Bollywood Movies. Satya was showcased among the Indian panorama section, at the 1998 International Film Festival of India, Varma received the Bimal Roy memorial award for best direction for this film. In the same year, he co-produced Dil Se.., directed by Mani Ratnam, screened at the 1999 Berlin Film Festival, and won the Netpac Award, as well as two National Film Awards and six Filmfare Awards. Satya, together with his 2002 film Company (which he directed, won three IIFA Awards, seven Filmfare Awards, and a Bollywood Movie Award for best direction, and was premiered at the 2004 Austin Film Festival) and the 2005 film D (which he produced), were also featured at the Fribourg International Film Festival, and the New York Asian Film Festival.
My Gut Feel and comments:
“It does not matter how deep you fall, what matters is how high you bounce back.”
Above quote seems appropriate in the case of Ram Gopal Verma as far as his stint with Hindi movies is concerned as his last few films have not done well.And this time with his latest offering Veerappan he seems to hit the right note. Its Kannada version Killing Veerappan already a success at box office. Although Kannada version only revolves around Operation Cocoon to capture and kill Veerappan, however, hindi version is covering Veerappan’s twenty years of journey. Going by my Instinct I am confident that this time Ramu will not let down audience who did appreciate his kind of cinema in past and keeping fingers crossed this time including me. Lead actor Sandeep Bharadwaj an alumni of National School of Drama seems apt for the role of Veerappan and has brought back it to life convincingly. Screenplay, editing, and support cast all seem in the right place which increases a chance of bringing back the magic of RGV’s style of cinema on celluloid.
Going by my gut feeling I am giving Veerappan 3 stars out of 5, one day before the release.