27 February, 2021

Singam On Long Leave?

The Sattankulam police violence has cast a shadow on super cop movies in Tamil cinema

Ananda Vikatan
Singam On Long Leave?

“Naan police Illada, porukki,” (I am not a policeman, but a thug). Those bold words spoken defiantly by actor Vikram keep resonating as he portrays DCP Aarusaamy in the Tamil blockbuster Saamy. Following a tradition established by Clint Eastwood’s Harry Callahan in the Dirty Harry (1971-88) movies, the hero lives up to his own description, adopting various underhand methods to bring down the criminal-political empire of the villain Perumal Pichai.

The 2003 movie was the first of the five police-as-hero movies that director Hari became famous for. Later, his three movies under the Singam title had actor Surya play Duraisingam, the marauding cop, inspiring a Hindi rem­ake with Ajay Devgn in the lead.

After creating the most trigger-happy cop in Tamil cinema history, it came as a surprise when Hari, in the light of the recent Sattankulam police torture deaths, regretted making those films that glorified policemen. “The only way is to punish all those involved with the highest sentence. The violation by some...

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