Veerappan: Hero or Villain? A Review of Netflix’s The Hunt for Veerappan

The Hunt for Veerappan is a 4-episode Netflix documentary series that tells the story of the infamous Indian bandit Veerappan. The series is well-made and engaging, and it does a good job of balancing Veerappan’s complex legacy.

The series begins by providing a brief overview of Veerappan’s life and career. He was born into poverty in the 1950s, and he quickly became involved in the illegal sandalwood trade. As his power grew, he began to kidnap and extort money from the government and wealthy individuals. He was also responsible for the deaths of dozens of people, including several police officers.

The series then goes on to detail the long and bloody manhunt that eventually led to Veerappan’s death in 2004. The manhunt was led by the Special Task Force (STF), a group of elite police officers. The STF used a variety of methods to track down Veerappan, including surveillance, informants, and even psychological warfare.

The Hunt for Veerappan does not shy away from the violence and brutality of Veerappan’s crimes. However, the series also does a good job of humanizing Veerappan. We learn about his early days, his motivations, and his relationships with his family and followers. As a result, we come to understand Veerappan as a complex figure, not just a monster.

The series also raises some important questions about the nature of crime and punishment. Was Veerappan a hero or a villain? Was the STF justified in its use of violence? These are questions that the series does not answer definitively. Instead, it leaves the viewer to grapple with them for themselves.

Here are some of the things that I liked about the documentary:

  • The series is well-researched and well-presented. The filmmakers did a good job of gathering archival footage and interviews with people who knew Veerappan.
  • The series is engaging and suspenseful. The manhunt for Veerappan was a long and bloody affair, and the series does a good job of capturing the drama and excitement of the chase.
  • The series is thought-provoking. The filmmakers raise some important questions about the nature of crime and punishment.
  • The series is also visually stunning, with beautiful cinematography that captures the lush forests of Karnataka.

Here are some of the things that I didn’t like about the documentary:

  • The series could have been longer, to give more time to explore the complex issues involved in the Veerappan story.
  • The series does not provide a definitive answer to the question of whether Veerappan was a hero or a villain. This is a bit frustrating, as it leaves the viewer with no clear takeaway.

Overall, I enjoyed The Hunt for Veerappan. It is a well-made and thought-provoking documentary that provides a fascinating look at one of India’s most notorious criminals. I would recommend it to anyone interested in Indian history, crime, or the human condition.

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