Director’s touch to the fore

‘VOICE OF VEERAPPAN’ – A REVIEW

The brigand media appears to be scaling new heights with every passing day. The latest episode of the Veerappan saga on a private satellite channel is no doubt yet another milestone in pot-boiler journalism, which deserves all praise for its enlightening insights into the lives of savage outlaws. Though the title to this magnum opus starring Veerappan quite innocuously refers to R R Gopal as the director, we are to believe that no directions were given and there was no prepared script to be enacted. The titles, this time by oversight, failed to give credit to the State Government for authorising and sponsoring the director’s safaris to the deep jungles, of course as a mediator and incidentally to videograph the meetings.

Veerappan’s performance was something par excellence and he is undoubtedly ‘his director’s delight’. This particular episode of the ‘Voice of Veerappan’ turned out to be quite different from the earlier ones. Before, the director sought to project Veerappan as an angry man, wronged by society, exploited by greedy politicians and hunted by the law for `just’ defending himself, seeking justice and rehabilitation. But the latest one had the director bringing out the other sides of Veerappan. The brigand comes out as an action hero when he re-enacted an entire hunting sequence of a wild tusker. It was a wonderful sound and sight display of mono-acting; worthy of emulation by aspiring tarzans.

There was no dearth for comedy, too, and the director has been particularly careful in keeping the powers-that-be in good humour. The digs and jibes at the STF and the earlier regime have been delivered to great effect and is sure to win applause not only from the voters, sorry, viewers but also endear the hero as well as the director to the sponsors and thus ensure continued patronage in future.

As is the practice now, the director himself has taken up an important ‘supporting’ role and has turned in another splendid performance. The scenes in which the director pleads for the release of hostages is sure to have the viewers scurrying for handkerchiefs while the ones in which he tries to make the brigand see sense and return to normal life were quite touching.

The directorial touch was quite evident also in the scenes in which the director, ‘very subtly’ makes the brigand express his apprehensions on what would happen if he surrendered without proper assurances. The climax of course was a masterpiece. Particularly enthralling was Veerappan’s parting words to the hostages, which included us, the captive audience, in the form of a sermon on what is wrong with our society, and on how one should lead one’s life. The sight of the meek hostages nodding their heads in mute acceptance was a subtle hint at the plight of anyone who dared to venture to catch the brigand; the director and the lead actor have scored again in delivering this potent message in a very symbolic way. The point that Veerappan cannot be caught and therefore his surrender must be accepted, has been well brought out by the director.

To sum up, the brigand media’s latest episode stands out as a brilliant directorial venture with every bit falling in place and is sure to hit the target audience, besides enlarging the duo’s fan club.

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Jawahar T R