Killing Veerappan - Movie Review

Friday, January 8, 2016 (All day)
Killing Veerappan (2016)
Cast & Crew: 

Film: Killing Veerappan
Cast: Shiva Rajkumar, Sandeep Bharadwaj, Yagna Shetty, Sanchari Vijay, Parul Yadav and others
Dialogues: Shashank Vennelakanti
Music by: Ravi Shankar
Background score: Sandy
Cinematography: Rammy
Art: Raghu Kulakarni
Edited by: Anwar Ali
Action: Allan Amin
Produced by: B. V. Manjunath, B. S. Sudhindra, E. Shivaprakash
Story, screenplay and directed by: Ram Gopal Varma
Release date: Jan 7, 2016
Runtime: 151 min
CBFC Rating: A

What’s it about!

The story is very straight forward. This is not biopic of dreaded smuggler Veerappan but about the operation of killing him. More specifically, the story is about how a Special Task Force Officer (Shiva Rajkumar) takes up the mission to hunt Veerappan despite knowing well that many officers before him have lost their lives in the hunt for the dreaded forest brigand. This officer has a method to his madness and he believes that all the officers lost their lives in trying to nab him in the forest, so he wants to bring Veerappan out of the forest and then kill him. How he succeeds in it is what the movie is all about.


Great director Ram Gopal Varma is known as the most unreliable director - the moment you think he is back, he disappoints us by making a slew of bad movies and when you think his game is over, he springs a surprise. Almost everyone has written him off in Tollywood after half a dozen bad movies he delivered recently. Although I liked the trailer, with apprehensions I had stepped into theater. All of them are quelled at the very beginning of the movie. From the very start of the movie, one is glued to the proceedings.

Killing Veerappan, without a doubt, is one of the best movies he has made in the recent past. Seemingly inspired by Kathryn Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty, the film about the killing of Osama Bin Laden, Ram Gopal Varma tells the last operation of nabbing Veerappan. It is all about STF Officer who planned the killing of Veerappan and his unconventional methods in the mission - his ideas that are unlawful, he uses daring methods, also had failures, yet succeeded in the end. All these are told in most engaging manner by RGV.

Like in "Zero Dark Thirty", we the audience know how the movie is going to end, yet Ram Gopal Varma keeps momentum till the end with some thrilling action episodes. Yes, of course, he has used some scenes from Zero Dark Thirty like 'torture scenes'. Other than this, Ram Gopal Varma’s story and screenplay is completely original and is filled with gripping moments. (Spoilers) Three episodes stand out in particular (the way the staged and shot) – 1. The shoot-out sequence before the interval, 2) the scene of first direct shoot between Veerappan and STF Officer, 3) the police team having a tea while the bullets are pumped into Veerappan.

Ram Gopal Varma has effectively used all these to make an engaging thriller. The movie also works due to the actors - the amazing Sandeep Bhardwaj as the titular Veerappan, Kannada star Shiva Rajkumar as Special Task Force Officer.  Sandeep is exact replica of Veerappan, the makeup, his physicality and his acting...all are perfect. This is best debut for an actor. Veerappan kidnapped Shiva Rajkumar's father great Kannada acting legend Rajkumar and released him later. And Shiva Rajkumar got the chance to play the role of an officer who killed Veerappan. He seems to have enjoyed playing this role as he has given his best to look so.

Parul Yadav as Shriya one who helps the police officer has given good performance. Yagna Shetty as Muthulakshmi is good too.

The film has superb camerawork. The way it was filmed the shoot-out sequence before interval needs special mention. Editing is quite interesting. But the background score and songs are major drawback. The background tune - Tikkum Takkum Tak .. Takkum Tikkum Tak - is quite an irritation. It is too loud. Though the action episodes are too good, the way the guns explode in the end seem so unreal - almost like they are using Deepavali pistols.

Ram Gopal Varma as writer of story and screenplay and director has once again shown that he is still potent filmmaker. When he’s in mood, he would make better movies. Don't write me off, he tells again with this movie. On the whole, Killing Veerappan is a taut and well-made thriller despite some issues and drawbacks.

Bottom-line: Ram Gopal Varma has made an interesting and gripping sensible thriller. RGV has told the story of hunt for Veerappan in most engaging way.

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