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Commissioner back in action

The `Commissioner' is back, as `Bharat Chandran IPS'. Renji Panikkar's debut as director has Suresh Gopi in the lead



COP STORY Renji Panikkar, directing Suresh Gopi, leading man in the movie

It's the time for action. And here he comes, riding his jeep over the barricades from one end of the bridge. Time to welcome that gutsy police officer, who had spared no one who dared to take law into his own hands. Bharat Chandran IPS, the much loved `Commissioner', the hero of the whopping hit of the same title, makes his come back, all over again. Renji Panikkar, who had written the screenplay for such hits as `Thalasthanam', `Sthalathe Pradhana Payyans', `The King', `Ekalavyan', `Lelam', `Pathram' and of course, `Commissioner', amongst many others, makes his debut as a director with `Bharat Chandran IPS', the shooting for which is going on in full pace in various locations in Kochi.

"Bharat Chandran IPS is the continuation of the same character of the film, `Commissioner', in another episode," says Ranji Panikkar, who sports a Sachin Tendulkar-autographed Ferrari cap. The main plot in the movie is the investigation into the murder of Mayambram Baba, who is advocating social harmony. He gets killed before he could reveal certain crucial aspects before an enquiry commission in its special sitting in Mangalore, in the aftermath of a communal riot.

Comeback

Suresh Gopi, who had gone into "a brief, self-imposed hibernation", makes a comeback through the film.

Not every actor has the luck to get into the shoes of a character all over again, which has proved its merit at the box office. How does Suresh Gopi feel, putting on the gear, all over again, as the much loved Bharat Chandran IPS?

"Amazing. This character has perhaps influenced loads of people on their perception of such officers. And many of the officers have been influenced in the way they behave, look and even, think. I have been told by many that women want their husbands to be like him," laughs Suresh Gopi.

Has he seen `Commissioner' recently, as part of his preparations for the role in the `second innings'? "There are quite a few films of mine which I see quite frequently and certainly, `Commissioner' is one of them. It gives me a high as I believe that every film of mine has been a learning experience."

Sanjeev Sankar, the cinematographer, has the camera fixed on the door of the jeep to get a close up of the hero, as he drives across the bridge.

Sriya Reddy, the bubbly veejay of SS Music Channel, who was recently seen in the Mammootty starrer, `Black', is the female lead in `Bharat Chandran IPS' and she plays a cop.

"It's of course, a hero oriented film but Hema, the police officer that I am playing, has a strong presence in it," smiles Sriya. "She is less experienced compared to Bharat Chandran and is perhaps, a bit naοve, but look up to him in a great way."

Why is it that Suresh Gopi dons the role of the "angry hero" in most of Renji's scripts? "That really happened after `Thalasthanam'. He suited perfectly for such kind of roles and we got along famously," says the director.

Renji Panikkar is known for the fiery dialogues that his characters speak in the films that he pens. Do he respond, just like his characters do, to wrongdoings in society?

"Well, such responses may be there in my mind. How my characters do and speak is an exaggerated version of those feelings." Just as Prof. Narendra Prasad's character said in `Ekalavyan', when they want to sound a bit more effective or express with a punch perhaps, his characters speak in English. Right?

Renji Panikkar has that smile on his face, similar to the one he had, while appearing in a cameo role as a journo in `Commissioner', for an answer.

The Shaji Kailas-Renji Panikkar-Suresh Gopi trio has been quite a happening team, before they started working with new "friends". Is there any chance of the three coming together again to recreate the excitement?

"Can't predict," is all that Renji would say. That obviously means that such a possibility cannot be ruled out, he explains.

And what does the hero think about that? "I sincerely pray for that to happen. It's not just for us, the film industry needs it," says Suresh, as he is on an autograph signing spree. "I really wished to have the autograph of the former actress Shobha. Though I was able to have a glimpse of her, I never could get an autograph," he reminisces.

`Bharat Chandran IPS' is being produced under the banner of `Voice Thoughts'. Renji Panikkar has written the script and dialogues, besides donning the director's mantle. Art direction is by Girish Menon, costumes are by Palani, make up is by P.N.Mani, stills are by Rajesh and the production controller is Aroma Mohan. The film made on a budget of around Rs 1.5 crore, will hit the theatres in the first week of August. Till then, wait with bated breath for Bharat Chandran to buldoze the baddies with heavy duty punches, bullets and with those hard hitting dialogues.

VIJAY GEORGE

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