Director: Ram Gopal Varma
Cast: Shivarajkumar, Sandeep, Parul Yadav, Yajna Shetty, Sanchari Vijay
Rating: 2 stars
It was this director’s decade old dream to make a movie on Koose Muniswamy Veerappan, infamously known as Veerappan. The man famously known to havewho defied forces of three states including the Border Security Force for more than two decades, killing at least 184 persons (100 of whom were policemen which included senior police officers) and above all the kidnapping of Sandalwood matinee idol Dr Rajkumar. With this much history, naturally there were several films, documentaries and TV series made to showcase the life of the dreaded Veerappan, and how it in turn lead to Asia’s biggest manhunt, and the military operation which finally killed him. The recent one being an honest effort of director AMR Ramesh in Attahasa, also made in Tamil, becomes an inevitable comparison for obvious reasons.
It seems like Ram Gopal Varma’s ‘Aag’ still has some catastrophic effect, as the level of expectations raised prior to the release of ‘Killing Veerappan’ and the final output (in terms of slain forest brigand’s life on the silver screen) results in a disappointing experience. The only sigh of relief for the audience is that of ‘Hat-Trick’ hero Dr Shivarajkumar avenging the kidnapping of his super star father Dr Rajkumar, on the big screen playing the smart spy cop.
In his own words, the director had said that this movie has been specially made for three category of audience – firstly those who do not know anything about Veerappan, secondly for those who know a little bit about Veerappan and finally for those who know almost everything about the dreaded man. He further explained that the first category will enjoy the film thoroughly knowing the life of the man, and the second category will be excited to witness more additional information and the last category will be thrilled to witness the fact that nobody has ever showcased Veerappan with so much information.
However, with hardly anything new in addition to its tit-bit narration, the same old incidents in different perception, the maker has hardly made any effort to further dig out ‘unknown’ information. For those expecting to see the director’s magical touch in the making, irrespective of the narration and the story here, for which he was once very famous for, will also be left disappointed! The other drawback is the background score – without which any of the Varma’s brilliance looks very ordinary. The plus is off course Sandeep who portrays Veerappan, but even his role has its limitations.
Disastrous at times, including the climax scene where the wife of Veerappan arrives at the hospital after hearing that her husband is dead, the outside broadcasting (OB) vans of couple of Kannada news channel is shown outside the hospital covering the event. Shocking is that neither of the two Kannada news channels did even existed in 2004 when Veerappan was shot dead along with three of his close associates after more than 200 bullets rained on him while he was inside an ambulance on the night of 18 October 2004 from all corners in the climax of operation cocoon!
Forget Veerappan, watch it for Shivanna.