This film of 'Chiyaan' Vikram was 'Policegiri' at its best
In the intensely formulaic world of Indian commercial cinema, a few evergreen themes have longer shelf lives. One among them is cop-and- robber drama, ...
In the intensely formulaic world of Indian commercial cinema, a few evergreen themes have longer shelf lives. One among them is cop-and- robber drama, with modern times depicting the cop as bad as the villain he is chasing and ensnaring.
The 2003 Tamil film 'Saamy' had 'Chiyaan' Vikram playing one such grey character of a policeman. Director Hari, known for his slam bang stuff in southern movie industry created a new, macho profile for Vikram who was on a high with a series of hits.
Confronting him in the movie was Kota Srinivasa Rao as the evil incarnate, who too had a brief patch of success during the first years of the new millennium in Chennai cinema. Incidentally, the sequel to this film released in 2018 with Keerthy Suresh as the heroine failed to jell.
Success begets success and the film travelled to Telugu Nadu where it was remade with the redoubtable Balayya as ' Lakshmi Narasimha' in 2004, one of the few remakes the hero had agreed to star in recent times. Produced by Bellamkonda Suresh and directed by Jayanth Paranjee it had Asin as his lady love and Prakash Raj playing the bad guy. The film received positive reviews and also hit the bull's eye at the BO.
The film was dubbed in Hindi and released from its Telugu version and managed a decent response. Yet, in 2013, this film was remade with Sanjay Dutt in Hindi and the producers wanted to ride on the success of the star's 1997 hit 'Thanedaar' in which he co-starred with Madhuri Dixit.
As Dutt was reluctant, as Wikipedia notes, he suggested the name 'Policegiri', a newly minted term, which was immediately okayed by the makers. The Hindi version was helmed by the well-known Tamil director, K S Ravi Kumar.
With the mercurial star's market value nowhere near the peak that he had seen even a few years ago, the urban crowd rejected the film while the small-town Indian fans gave it a reluctant thumbs up, making it one of his average performers.
The hero's in and out trips to various jails and back too affected his image, felt trade circles, as he was no more a reliable guarantee. All the same, the bad cop character, which he could have cracked effortlessly did not stand by him when he was making a return to Hindi cinema after breaks.