RGV never forgets that he is not just a storyteller, but one who has been tasked to bring maturity and excellence within the narrative. With Killing Veerappan, he succeeds to some extent, with his signature technical elements, clever casting, and above all, a real story that has been told previsouly by director AMR Ramesh's Attahasa of which no one knows the whole truth.
Having used the many speculations that were about, and having spoken to the very men associated with the bandit and his killing, RGV brings in startling elements of the life and his ultimate fall. According to this director, it was a cop named Kannan (though not mentioned on screen), who was behind killing Veerappan through Operation Cocoon and not police officer K Vijay Kumar who is credited with the feat. Then there is the character Shreya, played by Parul Yadav, which is another revelation. Veerappan’s ambition to meet LTTE chief Prabhakaran which cost him his life is another new. Also, the damaging revelation that the cop behind the operation turns into a demon himself and goes against some of regular rules. He shows no mercy when seeing his own people dead and will raise many eyebrows. But then again, there is enough space left for doubts as some characters in the film are not well authenticated.
RGV has taken big chances with technique. He has paid attention to the fast pace camerawork and rerecording that tries to keep the audience at the edge of the seat. The background score lingers in the mind even after coming out of the theatres. He has also chosen the right locations to escalate the crime story. RGV has also cleverly captured the sentiments of Kannada audiences by bringing in the Rajkumar kidnap episode, which is discreetly conveyed through Shivarajkumar. The gradual development of violence becomes effective for it is about strategy and not typical bloodshed.
Shivarajkumar as the cop has followed the director’s word to the hilt. He has had the opportunity to explore more on his performance and scorch the screenplay with his intelligence, dialogues and expressions. His portrayal of how evil is born within, when in pursuit of another evil is splendid.
Parul has given a strong performance and Yagna as Muthulakshmi is good though she doesn't come close to real life Muthulakshmi, either in her looks or in her behaviour. Her role in the film is more cinematic.
RGV has managed to keep Sandeep Bharadwaj’s get-up close to Veerappan's looks. However, when compared to what is shown and written about Veerappan, he doesn't come across as strong in his character. Sanchari Vijay, Sathya, Rajesh Nataranga, Sadh Orhan, Gadda Viji among others have little role to do but gives good support.
While there are literally four tracks in the film, the song sung by Shivarajkumar is used effectively as theme music. Emphasis is given more to the background music by Sandy. Cinematographer Rammy has tried his best to come close to reality.
In the modern moviedom, Killing Veerappan can be compelling to the audience who want to know about how the notorious brigand was killed. It definitely begs a question why a personality like Veerappan still holds a strong fascination for filmmakers, While telling a story with facts on silver screen is always a dicey proposition, RGV’s attempt to remain close to subject will not go unnoticed.