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Indian Cinema 101: When the Hero Actually Kills the Villain!

hero kill

When was the last time you saw one of the most famous Tamil movie hero MGR actually killed a villain in a movie? The harshest response from MGR that I can recall is whipping back his “Uncle” Nambiar in the movie, Enga Veettu Pillai. Image source: Google.

Back in the 1950s, all the way to the 1990s, the Tamil movie heroes are literally worshipped as being good, kind, and helpful and will never hurt anyone. Often coming from a poor or working class, they are treated to be “one of us” – one would understand the struggles & challenges of the common man.

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The villains on the other hand, often rich landlord, will cause the hero to suffer to the maximum with the hero losing his job, his house, his good friends, his lover and even family members. And yet, the hero will just walk away bruised, heartbroken with a sad song for a company.

That is why you will not see any heroes back from the 1950s to 1990s really killing the villain. He will, of course, beat the crap out the villain to a point the villain faints out of pain (the movie then ends there) or repents & turns into a new leaf (and all the bad things happened is forgotten).

Sometimes just before hero kills the villain, the police who was nowhere to be seen from start will suddenly appear to arrest the villain (wonder how they know who to arrest – the guy who whacking the other guy or the guy is almost half dead?). On rare occasions, the villains would be saved by the villain’s wife wanting to save their “Thaali” i.e. not wanting their husband to be dead.

Then in 2005, I saw Vijay’s Thirupaachi where the hero will be determined to kill off 3 main gangsters in the city before his sister gives birth and comes back to the city. The bottom line is to make the city safe for her & her child. Imagine Source: Youtube.

Killing the villain was one thing but in this movie, the director decided to do something that was unthinkable in the Tamil movie – the hero shooting dead a corrupt police inspector – yes, yes, I know Kamal Haasan has done it in Nayagan before this but then I feel that in Thirupaachi, it was done in style.

The scene started off with the usual masala – the hero runs off to the local police inspector and complains about the local gangsters terrorising his neighbourhood. He gives his details and his location. The police inspector who is on the take from the gangsters informs the gangster who then sends his goons to kill off the hero.

The hero is the hero fights off the goons and wins. Then the corrupt inspector comes over thinking the hero would be dead by now, only to be surprised to see the goons all beaten up and the hero takes on him, using his revolver to kill off the goons. Then he turns to the inspector and then kills him with a machete. There will be a lot of quotable quotes in between or what we Indian calls it – punch dialogues.

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The moment I saw the corrupt inspector get slashed and killed by Vijay, I should have been feeling disgusted but I don’t know why but it felt good. It seems like finally, the main character can do what he supposed to do – terminate the entire bad element for once and for good. In the past, the hero will not dare to harm the corrupt policeman because he respects the law, respects the uniform. Now the hero killing off the villains and corrupt police officers have become a norm. It is setting the wrong precedent.

And probably thanks to new English movies like John Wick and Deadpool, you can lose track of the dead bodies that the hero leaves after he had done avenging the wrongdoings. Still, remember the mess that John Abraham left in this particular scene from Rocky Handsome? Ya exactly!

Should we go back to the basics i.e. heroes will never kill others? In view of the violence in movies these days, I think we should.

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