Watch Attahasa

  • 2013
  • 2 hr 51 min
  • 7.0  (169)

Attahasa is a 2013 Indian Kannada language film directed by A. M. R. Ramesh. The film boasts a star-studded cast with Kishore Kumar G. portraying the notorious forest brigand Veerappan, Arjun Sarja as the Special Task Force (STF) officer who is on his trail, and Raai Laxmi in a supporting role. The movie adopts a biographical approach, dramatizing the life of Veerappan, who eluded authorities for over two decades and became a symbol of fear in the states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu due to his illegal activities, which include poaching elephants for ivory and smuggling sandalwood.

The story of Attahasa unfolds against the backdrop of the dense forests of South India, primarily between the states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, where Veerappan ruled unchallenged. The film painstakingly maps out Veerappan's rise from a small-time poacher and sandalwood smuggler to becoming one of the most feared outlaws in Indian history. The screenplay skilfully captures how Veerappan managed to outsmart the police and the Special Task Force for years, consolidating his power and creating a network of informants and allies, all while perpetuating a reign of terror over his territory.

Central to the narrative is the cat-and-mouse game between Veerappan, portrayed compellingly by Kishore Kumar G., and the relentless STF officer, played by Arjun Sarja. The STF is depicted as facing numerous hurdles and setbacks in their pursuit due to the difficult terrain of the forest and the complex network of local support that Veerappan enjoyed. The STF officer embodies determination, resourcefulness, and the moral complexity required when confronting a foe who can be as elusive as he is dangerous. The film explores the lengths to which law enforcement must go in order to bring a criminal of Veerappan's caliber to justice, balancing on the edge of legality and ethics in the process.

Raai Laxmi's role, while not as central as the two male leads, is pivotal in providing a more rounded perspective on the events and the emotional undercurrents running through the lives of those caught in Veerappan's web. Her portrayal adds a layer of depth to the otherwise male-dominated storyline, ensuring that the narrative remains multifaceted.

The director, A. M. R. Ramesh, is known for his work on crime-based films, and with Attahasa, he continues this trend by offering a gritty and realistic portrayal of these notorious events. The film's title, which means "roar" in Kannada, aptly encapsulates the essence of Veerappan's domineering personality and his perceived invincibility. Ramesh approaches his subject with a sense of authenticity, without romanticizing or sensationalizing the violence and criminal activities at the film's core.

One of the significant achievements of the film is its attention to detail in recreating the era during which Veerappan operated. From the costume design to the set pieces, everything is meticulously crafted to immerse the viewer in the time and place of Veerappan's rule. The dense jungles of the Western Ghats are almost a character unto themselves, with the cinematography capturing their forbidding and mystic beauty, as well as their role as a natural fortress for the bandit king.

The film also delves into the psychological aspects of the characters, particularly Veerappan, who is portrayed not just as a ruthless criminal, but as a man with his own set of beliefs, ambitions, and fears. This humanization of Veerappan serves to make the story all the more compelling, as audiences are encouraged to understand the motivations behind his actions, even as they are appalled by them.

The soundscape of Attahasa further enriches the storytelling, with a score that is tense and evocative. It underscores the film's suspenseful and dramatic moments, heightening the emotional impact of certain sequences without overwhelming the dialogue or the natural sounds of the jungle, which are crucial to the authenticity of the setting.

In terms of performances, Kishore Kumar G.'s portrayal of Veerappan is both towering and nuanced, capturing the many contradictions of the man. Arjun Sarja, a seasoned star, brings intensity and gravitas to his role, complementing Kishore's performance and maintaining the balance of power that shifts between the hunter and the hunted. Raai Laxmi, although in a more limited role, makes her presence felt, adding an additional layer through her character's interactions with the central figures.

To summarize, Attahasa is a gritty and intense biographical account of one of South India's most infamous figures. With convincing performances, a gripping narrative, and a realistic portrayal of its setting and time period, the film stands out as a significant entry in the history of biographical crime cinema. It's a testament to the chaos and complexity inherent in the story of Veerappan, whose life, crimes, and eventual downfall became the stuff of modern legend.

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  • Release Date
  • Runtime
    2 hr 51 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.0  (169)