Yuddham` - partly engaging biopic
It`s not easy to recreate a fitting saga drawn out of real life incidents of a
controversial story, but filmmaker AMR Ramesh does his best to make this biopic
of India`s most wanted dacoit Veerappan appear plausible. What could have been a
pulsating thriller of sorts, is jeopardised due to a screenplay that fails to
evoke interest and keep the audiences hooked. That said, one can`t ignore this
film as it successfully brings forth crucial events from the life of the late
In little over two hours, Vana Yuddham presents us events from the
lives of Veerappan; starting from the initial days as a poacher to his last days
as the most feared dacoit in the country. In his regime in the dense forests
bordering three southern states - Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala - for nearly
three decades, he was an undisputed ruler and all those who tried to stop him,
were put to sleep. How was he eventually tracked and gunned down? This forms the
rest of the story.
As former Kannada superstar Rajkumar, who was once captured by Veerappan and
kept in his custody for over 100 days, said after the dacoit`s death - he may
have been bad, yet it`s a life that was lost. You walk out of the theatre with a
similar recurring thought - after all it was a life, no matter how good or bad
it was, there`s absolutely no need to celebrate. On the contrary, you also
refrain from sympathising after you learn about the hundreds of lives that were
snuffed by Veerappan himself.
If you were to compare the pre-interval and post-interval parts then undoubtedly
the latter is more engaging than the former. The entire first half brings to the
fore the rise of the dacoit and the number of people and elephants he killed.
The second half throws light on `Operation Cocoon`, headed by IPS officer Vijay
Kumar (Arjun), who, with the help of Karnataka Special Task Force (STF), watched
the movements of their target for months and finally gunned him down.
The second half scores over its predecessor because it carries some amount of
suspense throughout. It makes you wait for the moment when you breathe a sigh of
relief, whereas the first half was more or less like a docu-drama focusing only
on certain important dates from Veerappan`s life. It didn`t excite the audience
as much as a biopic should have done.
Kishore as Veerappan was brilliant and the ease with which he portrays the
mannerisms of the real character is a treat to watch. You can`t deny the amount
of hard work that he has put in to make his role appear flawless. To see Arjun
don the role of a policeman is not new for Tamil audiences, yet he leaves an
Originally made as Kannada-Tamil bilingual, Vana Yuddham suffers due
to bad dubbing, which turns irksome after a point of time. Some muted and cut
scenes pave way to badly edited shots.
Sandeep Chowta`s music is partly fitting, while the background score is mostly