Release Date: May 26, 2016
Cast: Sandeep Bhardwaj, Sachiin Joshi, Lisa Ray, Usha Jadhav
Director: Ram Gopal Varma
Genre: Biography, Crime, Thriller
Duration: 2 hours 5 minutes
While ‘Gabbar’ from ‘Sholay’ was a fictional character that many of us talked about, Veerappan, on the other hand, invited similar conversations, with the only difference that he was a real human being, or shall we say the devil himself in flesh and blood. A notorious sandalwood and ivory smuggler, Veerappan (Sandeep Bhardwaj) ruled the jungles of South India for around two decades. Of course the jungles were dense, hugely inapproachable, and almost like an unsolvable maze to the uninitiated, but two decades is a long time to bring a criminal to justice, which indicates that Veerappan most likely had links with the administrative and political system. It is also possible that he received support from locals, either willingly or forcibly, which may have helped him run his smuggling operations smoothly in the vast jungles.
The movie Veerappan brings out the blood and gore, as you witness the dreaded criminal committing savage acts involving humans and animals alike. Veerappan’s character is beyond the understanding of the common man, as it is difficult for us to understand how a man can be so brutal, yet remain completely free from any type of guilt or remorse. Instead of guilt, Veerappan finds a sense of grandeur in his acts, as he proudly twirls his moustache and flaunts his gun. For the faint hearted, scenes where Veerappan uses a large boulder to smash the faces of his victims can really make you feel sick. However, the movie also offers some visual relief, as it takes you on a journey among the lush-green locales and spectacular waterfalls of Karnataka. While the first half introduces Veerappan and his dastardly acts to the audience, the second half is all about ‘Operation Cocoon’, a mission by the Special Task Force (STF) to flush out and capture Veerappan.
Sandeep has done a good job at bringing out the true character of Veerappan. Usha Jadhav’s role as Veerappan’s wife, Muthulakshmi, also deserves credit. As for director Ram Gopal Varma, he appears to have regained some lost ground with Veerappan, although still not as good as his previous successes such as Satya, Company and Sarkar.
If you have a taste for crime thrillers, then Veerappan definitely deserves a ticket. However, certainly not something you would want to watch with your family, especially kids.