Heroes take great pride in playing a righteous badass tough cop when the story is inspired from real-life incidents. It’s an equal treat to fans too and it’s a factor that adds an advantage to the box office, as such stories are bound to evoke emotion with the audience. Some of Tamil cinema’s iconic projects have stemmed from real-life cop stories.
Reportedly, upcoming Tamil drama film Naachiyaar, produced and directed by Bala, which will see Jyothika playing the titular role, is based on the life of psycho killer Jayaprakash. Jayaprakash was found guilty for the cold-blooded murder of nine of his family members in Valasaravakkam, Chennai in the mid-1980s. However, a close source from the team told Hindustan Times, “The film is centered on the bold journey of the life of Jyothika. GV Prakash plays a criminal in the movie. It’s not based on any real-life story.”
Director H Vinoth’s 2017 film Theeran Adhigaaram Ondru starring Karthi was inspired from ‘Operation Bawaria’, led by Director General of Police SR Jangid, to arrest and encounter ruthless dacoits breaking into affluent houses along the highways, to loot gold, cash and brutally kill the owners and their innocent families.
However, not all cop films are made to glorify them. Vetrimaaran’s 2015 national award winner ‘Visaaranai’ exposed the dark side of the police department and told the story of innocent Tamil workers arrested and tortured by Andhra cops to confess a crime they never committed. M Chandrakumar, an auto rickshaw driver from Coimbatore, managed to escape from the prison and wrote the novel ‘Lock-up’ which is essentially the plot for the movie.
AMR Ramesh made Vana Yuddham in 2013 which was based on how cops hunted down the notorious forest brigade and dacoit Veerappan. Action King Arjun Sarja played Special Task Force officer Vijayakumar while Kishore essayed Veerappan. Unfortunately, Vana Yuddham was neither a box office success in Tamil Nadu nor a critically acclaimed film.
RK Selvamani made Pulan Visaranai in 1990 which was based on the serial killer ‘Auto’ Shankar, responsible for multiple murders in Tamil Nadu between 1987 and 1988. Auto Shankar and his guys abducted more than nine teenage girls and killed several people opposing them. Superstar Vijayakanth played the DCP, who investigates the mysterious murders and Anandaraj played the infamous Auto Shankar’s role.
Films based on the police community are a plenty across film industries. But given the thrill of being a cop, fans are, more often than not, always at the edge of their seat. This is enough indication for filmmakers to keep films in this genre coming.