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The Policeman Protagonist

written by Sudheer Satyanarayana on 2020-06-20

The policemen protagonist is a badass police officer. Yet, he is kind to people and tough for criminals. He goes out of the way to help out victims. He is an accomplice in many pranks especially kids and indulges in misdemeanors. He rigs the game, flouts the norms, rules and guidelines and is insubordinate. Because of his extraordinary reputation in nabbing criminals, being knowledgeable in criminology, his insubordination is tolerated by his ireful boss. When he is suspended from duty, he hoodwinks the force and continues to work on the case trying to nab the criminal. Even when there are personal connections to the case, the department does not remove the policeman from the case.

On the line of duty, he falls in love with victims of crime. The age old plot. The female lead character is out on the streets alone in dark. Rapists try to pounce on her. The police protagonist appears from nowhere and rescues the woman heroically, unaided. As the story unfolds, the woman is impressed by the act of valor and falls in love with the policeman.

This plot and character development is commonly found in Indian movies. One of the recent movies I watched that stands testimony to the policeman protagonist is Ratsasan. The policeman misses the psychopath few times and the director misses the bus few times. I think the director lost an opportunity to turn the decent plot into a great movie. I have wondered many times why the policeman cannot be a hero by working as a law-abiding law-enforcement professional. Perhaps, the tendency to create dramatic effect is the cause. It might be okay for James Bond to disobey M once or twice in order to save the world. Disobedience as part of the character is frustrating to watch. That kind of a character is well suited for a rogue cop story, but not a slightly badass hero.

Another common theme scene in such movies is references to Hollywood psychopath movies genre. The Malayalam movie Forensic is no exception.

What I would love to see in police stories:

Such old school loaded dramatic scenes do not excite attention anymore. Move on, innovate and entertain.