Ab Tak 56 – Count on Cops

Well, I’m late. But it is never too late to watch a good movie. Especially to discover a good movie when you watch it with no expectations. Ab Tak 56 could be Ab Tak 156 by now but it’s only today I got to see Nana Patekar lighten up the screens. Ab Tak Chhappan released more than a year back but would be talked about for the years to come.

It’s not a cop’s saga nor some brave attempt of a single man fighting against all odds. Sadhu Aghase is a normal no-nonsense-cop and if you try to brag him with sentiments, he might not budge. Though he is special. He has mastered the art of encounters and can make great South Indian sambhar. Not just that but he demands grammatically right English. In the life of a cop, he gets into a special crime branch and heads a special division thats is formulated to wipe out long-time criminals by encounters. Though he doesn’t keep count of his encounters, someone keeps reminding him of the count. When things go hayward, things change drastically, but for him it is Ab Tak 56 and still counting….

I hated Ram Gopal Varma’s hyped-up movies. I certainly loved Satya. More than liking it terrorised me about a city called Mumbai. But the so-called on-the-road movies that followed were nothing but hype. Even Company wasn’t great. But with a debutant director, Shimit Amin, Ram Gopal Varma produces a movie that more classier and more stylistic than his earlier movies. I wonder how cop movies are made slicker than the romantic ones. Both Kakkha Kakkha and Ab Tak 56 have great BGMs, camera and more importantly some great piece of editing. Not only Shimit Amin gets us into the plot very soon, he also manages to take the movie without a drag. Until the final 20 minutes, I never felt a need to getup and get myself a cup of coffee. The cop story also encompasses the affairs of internal politics in the police department.

Even with a bad supporting cast, the movie would have survived. Shoulder courtesy; Nana Patekar. As Sadhu Aghase, Nana Patekar is at an all-time ease. He isn’t roaming around like someone dipped in starch like most of the cop movies, smokes too many cigarettes than all the Rajini movie put together and utters Saala and Chutiyaa more number of times than any other hindi movie. Performs like a true spirited actor. Nana Patekar has immense talent thats been under-utilized by stuffing him with pyscho roles with an alto voice. I am unable to stop comparing him to Prakash Raj in Tamil film industry. He can also be on the likes of Nasser if used appropriately.

While I was assuming that Revathi was in there because there was a huge role ahead of her in the movie, her miniscule character gets a bullet in the midway. She was probably there to represent the South Indian wife of Sadhu Aghase. Ram Gopal Varma could have probably gone with the humpteen stand-like-a-doll actresses available in dozens in the Bollywood. Kunal Vijaykar gets a role that demands enough eating as much as acting. A role that he would have waited for a long time. Great show.

What a theme of Ab Tak 56 that was. Salim and Sulaiman well known as Salim Sulaiman just took Ab Tak 56 to great heights. With no songs and pelvic-3D-thrust dances, they have used their music positively in the BGM that grips. If only I was worried that I missed the movie in theatres, it was because of the background score. The titles read Murad Siddiqi as the editor. I don’t know anything about him but his job in the movie is a commendable effort.

Shimit Amin chooses to take the reality path in movie making and emerges as a winner. With no unwanted situations and scenes, the movie has a tight screenplay. Except for the lastpart when the movie begins to loose away from the track and treads on the revenge mode, it has been well made. All these exceptions are however handled in the final conversation that ends by saying, Once a Cop, Always a Cop. Watch it, if you haven’t yet for it’s just 56 as of now.

58 responses to “Ab Tak 56 – Count on Cops”

  1. Sunil Avatar

    What a coincidence! I happened to watch ATC (for the second time) a couple of days back! The reason why I decided to watch it again was that I happened to watch a 2 minute program on Reality TV about a cop from Mumbai (forgot the name) who was an encounter specialist. ATC is loosely based on his character. Its a brilliant film. The highlight of course is Nana’s casual performance. With no tiringly sarcastic monologues thrashing the system and the society, Nana’s performance was spot on. I think credit goes to Shimit Amin for such a realistic portrayal.

    Lazy, I do not agree that Company wasn’t a great film. I think its RGV’s best film till date. I’ve watched the film a few times and it’s almost flawless. The best part of the film is the performance by each character, regardless of their screen time. Looking forward to “Sarkar” by RGV and also other films from Shimit Amin.


  2. sridhar Avatar

    The cop is Daya Nayak. Read about him here:

    Takes all kinds…


  3. Srihari Avatar

    IMHO, with due respects, “Ab Tak Chappan” was much much better than the over-hyped “Kaakka Kaakka”.Its the most honest cop film ever made in India.

    Just remembering Sadhu Agashe mouthing those lines – Tum is liye khushi ho ki tum zinda wapas aaye ho – in reply to the rookie feeling that he “has done something for his country”. The portrayal of the disillusionment is something achieved so effortlessly because of strong characterizations.


  4. F e r r a r i Avatar

    I watched this movie sometime back in a movie hall. Pindrop silence in the movie hall for the entire movie. Even the college crowd werent making any noise. One of the good cop movies. It is really a must watch.
    Sigh. Why dont we get such movies frequently?


  5. F e r r a r i Avatar

    I agree with Srihari. Kaakha kaakha was nothing but hype. I didnt find anything realistic. True Surya underplayed his role and it was a pleasure to watch a cop who doesnt scream and win a gold medal. But the movie wasnt realistic.

    Ab Tak Chappan was very realistic. Maybe bcos it was based from a real story 😉


  6. Sunil Avatar

    F e r r a r i,

    It was realistic because it was devoid of any serious commercial element. How many in India would dare to do that? Just a handful…


    Thanks for the link. Yup, that’s the guy I saw on “Reality Bites”. While talking about his “encounters”, he was as casual as Nana!


  7. sangeeta Avatar

    Good cop or bad cop…Movies with lots of violence scare the hell out of me..I remember walking out sh#t(since the word qualified for questionable content) scared after I watched Vaastav..and it was a long while b4 i ventured near a pav bhaji stall..
    Revathi was wasted in the movie.. and for once i was glad that Nana Patekar didn’t over-act:p


  8. sangeeta Avatar

    Me blogrolled u


  9. Anda Kaaka Avatar
    Anda Kaaka

    C’mon guys, it’s unfair to compare Kakka Kakka with ATC – For one thing, poor Surya simply doesn’t have the gravitas of Nana Patekar – the age difference could be one factor. And let’s face it he is simply not in Nana’s league for those kind of roles. Now I like Surya, but Jeeva was irritating and didn’t sound like a villain at all in KK. Very good observation by Ferrari about the behaviour of college students – they screened this movie on TV sometime back and I just couldn’t move. Again my point about Nana Patekar’s screen presence a.k.a the gravitas he exudes when he plays these kind of roles. Just a few days before watching ATC, I had been raving about Hindi film makers are no match for Mani Ratnam etc – but ATC was a sober reminder about the reality.


  10. ravi Avatar

    i was just reading the comments of all the previous people , One had said that jeevan had overacted in KK, to be frank , i liked the movie coz of jeevan , he was apt for the role , Its a sin to compare KK with a ABTAK and company , All three were good movies in their own league, ( i don’t beleive that KK was hyped too much when it got released !!!)
    Company was one of my all time favorites and ab takC nearly came to it!!!


  11. caleb Avatar

    “With no songs and pelvic-3D-thrust dances”

    ha…going to write that down…



  12. iyengarkatz Avatar

    no doubt this movie was a decent watch. and as someone pointed above, cannot quite compare kk to this, for the movie making process is totally different in terms of commercialism vs realism. but i do have a few questions:

    a) how much of weightage does the denouement of the movie carry? is ab tak a good movie because it held your attention until the last couple of chapters after revathi’s death or is it a movie that could have been really good but ended as just another commercial attempt? i ask for shimit who tried to mirror realism almost directly in the early parts of the movie, abruptly ended it with almost a wishful climax. and the ending seemed amateurish compared to the whole movie. isn’t the climax what makes or breaks the movie from tying up all the loose threads of the plot standpoint?

    b) from a psychological standpoint, where do we as the audience draw a line on how much allowance or creative license we will allow a director to utilize as opposed to nit-picking. like the whole english dialogue thread that went in the kk discussion? or logical explanation of how the crane was worked in mx? but none of how nana escaped from the villain’s island and such.


    ps – i wish the movie had done away with the good cop – bad cop routine with a standard fare involving a group where two guys are noble and agree with the hero and one lone guy always has to be envious or against the same.


  13. Sunil Avatar


    I personally do not give much weightage to the denouement. For me the entire build-up of characters, incidents, etc are far more important than the outcome. So I’d still give Shimit credit for his brilliant directorial debut.


  14. Lazy Geek Avatar


    One the point 1, denouement of the movie varies from movie to movie. But the treatment of the movie shows the temperament of the director. Shimit Amin gets full marks here. On the other hand, as you had said, the ending was a little amateurish which they tried to save with the last dialogue of nana and mahesh in the sea side restaurant.

    Point 2, Nana escaping the villains island was just Kaathula Poo. I couldn’t come to terms with that in a realistic movie like that. However since a movie couldn’t details ever second of someone’s life, I assumed he did something usual(like sadhu agahse) to escape. I prefer to make the movie a feel good for me. But truly speaking I would expect a good director to underline the sequence and save a viewer like me from assuming what he never wanted to say.

    As ravi said, Kakkha Kakkha was a suprise hit. It wasn’t hyped except that the song Uyirin Uyire created a sensation. But nobody ever realised that Gautam could shoot a slick movie like that with less than 3 crores.


  15. Sowmya Avatar

    I got this CD free when I bought a DVD player. But I never bothered to see it.
    After reafing your reviews, I feel that I must.


  16. Srihari Avatar

    Just a clarification, as I was the one who started abt KK being hyped. I was not talking about the pre-release hype. As Lazy pointed out, there was not much hype except for Harris Jayaraj’s soundtrack.
    But, once the movie was released, the media went gaga over it; and, I personally felt it was over-rated.
    And, yeah the denouement in ATC (one of the many homages it pays to yesteryear classic “Ardh Satya”!) is like a fantasy. But, thats not reason enough for me to put down the movie.


  17. Lazy Geek Avatar


    You brought about a good point. Why would the media go gaga over a movie and over-rate it if it isn’t worth it. In my opinion, you saying that Kakkha Kakkha was over-rated is your personal opinon and not the media’s.

    In comparison to Ab Tak 56, I feel Kakkha Kakkha had more unrealistic scenes. But you cannot always measure a movie in comparison to another. KK had its own plus and minus. Plus was the detail which Gautam got with the screenplay. The slickness with that limited budget. And ofcourse the characterisation which stood out well. For example Surya as a tough cop, couldn’t accept that he has fallen in love with a girl. Those places were very well handled and the movie also had a relevance of encounters happening in and around Chennai.

    So I don’t think it was over rated. Maybe it was a lot commercial but over rated is just over 😉

    BTW, Enna Srihari ready for a gusthi !!


  18. F e r r a r i Avatar

    Lazy naina,

    Kaakha kaakha came in a time, when there not many good movies. And the movie was good. Like oasis in the desert. Avlo dhaan matter 😀

    Media vachi we cannot judge a movie. For that matter, the same media went gaga over movies like chinna thambi 😦


  19. Bart Avatar

    First things first.. when you see some “X”, why should it always be compared against some “XA” or “XB” just because there is a common factor “X” in it? Can’t they be looked at individually and appreciated…Though it is human and a typical Indian tendency (starting right from comparing ranks and grades in schools.. ), treat the above question as just another ignorable wish..
    Now, “Kaaka kaaka” came at a time when “saamy” was ruling the roost. In a way, probably it got affected too bcoz of this. The mass preferred saamy over KK though KK was arguably a better made movie than the other (can’t help comparing myself!). Now, KK certainly holds lots of merit and fort on its own for multiple reasons which can be summed up by one word “execution”, which was very different from the movies seen in Tamil until then. This comprises music, lead pair, editing, photography and more importantly the screenplay other than direction.. Post KK, you can see antony’s slick editing catching up in the industry in the form of “4 the people”, a malayalam hit (dubbed in as “4 students” in tamil), then “manmadhan” and so on. So, it certainly cannot be said that KK was hyped or a fluke. It has set a trend in its own way. Mind you, nobody advertised it as realistic or life-like.. It said “it is a story of a cop”. But it was certainly different with no bombastic dialogues or too much of artificialness or larger than life characters… Atleast, the heroine was shown dead without hero romancing a second heroine, which is typical in a tamil mainstream cop movie. So, in short, whether it was through media hype or not, KK deserved the victory and still retains the freshness it brought to Tamil cinema though it is around 2 years old now…
    “ATC” is in another league (not necessarily a higher level just bcoz it is realistic) and probably you can compare it against “satya”, “company” and the likes…


  20. Srihari Avatar

    Dunno why one should not compare XA to XB, or even XYZ to ABC for that matter!
    One thing common about all movie buffs is place one movie w.r.t. other movies he/she had watched. Making lists/ratings in minds/on paper is a compulsive habit for us all, however futile, the process turns out to be!

    I said “the media went gaga over it” and, “I personally felt it was over-rated” :).

    I ll clarify my stand. Reiterating, this is my personal opinion.
    Compare the Jeevan character who is supposed to play the cool-but-dangerous-gangster role, a la Bhiku Mhatre in Satya (and u know what? Gautam offered it to Bajpai first to let it come the same way). But his role of Pand(i)ya ended up like a caricature of a hollywoodish (psychopathic) killer who gives a tough time for cops. He takes the heroine with him for a pretty strange reason, all which, makes you ask this question – What did Gautam want to make? a stylised-cop-chase-killer movie or as he put, an episode in a policeman’s (in Tamilnadu) life? Where was the flavour. I ve not heard of encounter-specialists in TN, being a bunch of hip-looking young chaps waering levis jeans and allen solly shirts. Nor have I heard of a gangster hell-bent on selling the policeman’s lover to a brothel coz the gangster shot his bro.


  21. Lazy Geek Avatar


    the media went gaga over it; and, I personally felt it was over-rated

    When you say it was over-rated, the over rating was done by the media and you thought the media was over-rating the movie. The minute you say it was over-rated you are bringing in another component called media. Thats my point.

    Like Prabhu said we can’t go by the media all the time. Its the public reaction that makes or breaks a movie. Even it isn’t reliable at times.

    My point here is that, hype or no-hype isn’t important outhere. Was KK trying to show a cop’s life as realistically or not maybe a worthy discussion. KK was fiction man, we have to agree. It wasn’t daya nayak or someone who fed to the storyline though some inputs came from a senior police official. Was Gautam Menon able to ground the fiction as a reality movie is also worthy discussion. And I think he did/ he didn’t. He managed but he wasn’t getting there.


  22. Vijay Avatar

    Kaakha Kaakha benefitted and got its tag as being “realistic” because it was released alongside Saamy and other movies. In reality, it wasnt all that realistic 🙂 Its just the media psychology isnt all that different from us. They tend to compare too and they see a lot more rubbish movies than us because its their job to review. I have seen Malathi Rangarajan in Hindu giving decent reviews to medicore films. I think seeing Tamil movies endlkessly would do that to you. Kaakha Kaakha had the slick feel – courtesy Gautham Menon watching many Manirathnam movies and English flicks (in addition to “pere” dialogues, dialogues in general were brief, a Mani Rathnam movie characteristic) Mani Rathnam did it long back in Agni Natchathiram – making a slick movie with a small budget and making Prabhu look like a decent no-nonsense cop. Gautham Mennon has done the same after 15 years, he didnt do anything new. The ending was silly – comparable to some KS Ravikumar or P Vasu movies, cinematic and no different than your Saamys and Dhools.

    In summary, its not a bad film. But definitely not a great cop film either, certainly cannot be used as a benchmark in comparison with other serious cop films, certainly not mentioned in the same breadth as Kurudhipunal or Ardh Satya.


  23. ram Avatar

    wonder if revathy will ever get a role in her middle-age that will do justice to her abundant talent…what an expressive actress who’s wasted in these insignificant roles…i think her last truly great role was Thulasi in “Marubadiyum.” Though a frame-by-frame remake of a Mahesh Bhatt movie, Balu Mahendra’s handling of the protagonist made it worth watching…remember “Elorum Sollum Paatu” and “Nalam Vaazha?”


  24. Vijay Avatar

    “Was KK trying to show a cop’s life as realistically or not maybe a worthy discussion.”

    I dont think the movie cared too much abour portraying a cop’s life realistically as it cared about the slick presentation. In other words, style over substance. Do you really think gangsters in real world speak and act like they did in “Pulp fiction”? I am not daring to compare KK with Pulp fiction. Just a case in point. PF was all about style. Gautam Menon tried to incorporate slickness,stylize cop’s lives, maybe his urban background and upbringing influencing his style. But the style/slickness itself was’nt anything new that we havent seen before. PF was acclaimed because its style for gansgter movies was new. Kaakha Kaakha didnt bring any new styles in, nor did it take itself seriously in attempting to portray an average cop’s life.


  25. iyengarkatz Avatar


    on point 1: how can you say the treatment of the movie is what shows the temperament of the director and shimit scores full marks when the movie was worth the watch only upto mid-point? can someone who creates a half-baked pie be called a good chef? when someone loses their head midway into a movie, what does it say about their temperament?

    on point 2: when you say it is kathula poo, to me it looks like you are willing to take things with more than a grain of salt. for someone who couldn’t enter the place unescorted, how did he get out unescorted and reach mohan agashe for the climax scene? again goes back to how much you are willing to say is chalta hai when it comes to the story and plausibility of it. dont you think when it could detail the fact that he likes to use a certain condiment in his recipe for sambhar, it could not take the time to actually show how the heck he escaped scot free? again, that is why i asked, where do we draw the line and say, jumping over a mountain with a chariot is acceptable as opposed to jumping down from a pole to tackle a bull??


    you are free to compare xa to xb, but dont ever pan xb because it is not like xa, for one cannot compare apples to oranges and then say, the colour of the orange is not red enough in your eyes!

    you seem to also have an anti-tamil bias or mebbe it is just anti-kk bias. you cannot accept a levi jeans wearing cop but you can accept a cop who chats with a wanted mafia boss like he is a good friend?? i have never heard of a cop who decided to be branded a mafia surrogate hitman and murderer in order to ensure a cop stays a cop?? i have never heard of a cop who accepts flow bouquets from mafia bosses nonchalantly like he was accepting it?? where is all that happening? why would you pan a commercial movie for another half baked commercial movie?? any of jeevan’s antics that you’ve mentioned seems more tolerable that the laugh aloud climax of atc. so which movie fares better then???? personally, i can stomach even armani suited cops to a half baked plot!


    kk may not have been totally realistic but it was a lot more realistic and grounded compared to the cop stories that are the norm. no flying in thin air kinda stuff. kk did not benefit because it was released along with saamy, it benefitted because it was eminently watchable on its own. the same reasoning can be made for atc by stating that people are so used to seeing karan johar style mush movies that the moment they saw something different, they started proclaiming it as a good movie!

    if you think kk climax was like dhool, what would say atc’s climax compares to? vandhinaathan? i mean, vaanchinathan? kk cannot be definitely compared to kurudhi punal or ardh satya, but it still is a good movie. not a great one, but it is a good movie no doubt. again apples and oranges comparison.



  26. Prabhu Avatar


    Konjam over aa illa, when you are mentioning srihari that he is against tamil movies or something like that?
    If someone doesnt like KK does it mean, he is against tamil movies 😛

    I think you havent read the real life stories of Mumbai encounter cops. And meeting a mafia in Mumbai is not at all tough. I Personally knew the Assistant Commisioner of Police Bandra,Mumbai. And many incidents he narrated are very very similar to what they showed in ATC. Remember not every mafia is Dawood Ibrahim!

    If you like KK fair enough. Good Movie. Dont try to pull down ATC just because it is a hindi movie, and go gaga over KK JUST because it is a tamil movie.


    P.S. Enna venumnaalum sollalaam. yaara venumnaalum sollalaam. But Captain pathi thappa pesina Damil Maggal Manniga maataanga


  27. iyengarkatz Avatar


    flower bouquet as he was expecting it.


  28. iyengarkatz Avatar


    if u notice, i added anti-kk bias right after that. well, when one tries to paint atc as a great cop movie, it puts me off. as far as im concerned atc and kk can be put in the same boat, movies that try to be great but fall short in their own rights.

    prabhu, the point that i want to make is that the reasons why kk is being panned is as silly as the cop wearing levis jeans etc. if i made a movie about a young politician who wears allen solly shirts and genesis trousers, are you going to say it does not reflect life accurately for all politicians are dressed in khadi?? dont you think there has to be more objectivity in review and comparison than has been shown so far?

    frankly speaking, i think i have come across more of a kk fan than i am. i am not pulling down atc because it is a hindi movie, im pulling it down for it just imploded in the middle. i am not praising kk because its a tamil movie, i like it for it remained consistent in treatment till the end, despite all/any loopholes. that is all. but, i dont agree when ppl say kk’s stylish look was a rip-off on mani rathnam’s style etc. lets stick to basics of filmmaking when we trying to compare notes.

    im sorry, vandhinaathan always has that effect on me;-)



  29. Srihari Avatar

    When you say it was over-rated, the over rating was done by the media and you thought the media was over-rating the movie.

    Now, I got what u were telling. Then, I would reiterate what prabhu was telling. Media is not always right in judging a movie; nor are the junta; nor, am I :). But, yeah this is just a discussion abt how we felt abt the movie. thats all. For me, I personally felt it was more a wannabe-cop-flick than “an episode of a cop’s life”. Thats all!

    personally, i can stomach even armani suited cops to a half baked plot!
    Of course, the plot is all-important. But, when you try to make a movie where the plot proceeds in such a way mainly because of where it is set. I dont know if I sound confusing. A movie like Mouna Raagam needs no flavour for its plot. Its universal (most of Mani’s movies are, except Iruvar and some more!). Thats not the case with Satya (oh! I am not the pro-hindi congressman sitting out here), Thevar Magan (Kamal swore it could not be remade in any language which Priyadarshan managed to and pulled off a hit!), ATC et al.
    And, I was not comparing KK to see how close it was to ATC (C’mon, then its a “remake”). Just to see how enjoyable/interesting it was compared to ATC. Just as a point, do you think extortion is as big a business in the underworld of chennai as the movie supposes it to be. The scene Sadhu Agashe (a superb scene) talks to a gangster in front of his house is darn real in Mumbai, as Prabhu pointed out. My point on Levis jeans was not that the hero should not have worn this. But the character definitely could have been more real if done otherwise. A simple point, how many of those policemen have the nice little hide-out (which Anbuchelvan has)? Not that it was posh. The taste with which the house built was not that of the TN encounter-specialist policeman, where even a Dharani could pull it off better (relatively, of course) when he wanted such a character for a villain! I am not talking abt being baddie. But the behaviour. And, he was a bachelor.. aged 28.. an Asst Commissioner.. an encounter specialist at the same time..
    That was not the case with ATC. ATC had an aged policeman. Nana played his age. Surya played a char elder than himself. ATC wanted to talk abt an encounter specialist. It wasn’t just a cop-story where the director found if the protagonist was an encounter specialist it will be all the more interesting.
    I am not panning KK to death, coz i pointed out so many flaws. I can talk abt its interesting sequences as well. It was refreshing in an otherwise much-polluted arena in tamil cinema. But, notches below ATC.


  30. Maverick Avatar

    Ab tak 30 including mine.
    Close this comments section once it reaches 56.


  31. Lazy Geek Avatar

    Ab Tak 31 !!


  32. iyengarkatz Avatar


    WHOA! don’t even compare virasat to thevar magan in the same breath! amrish puri/anil kapoor/milind gunaji came nowhere close to sivaji/kamal/nasir! virasat may be a hit, but the remake lacked all of the punches which brought to life thevar magan. let’s not go there.

    as for extortion being real or not in madras, ask ppl who have taken loans from kandu vetti. they will tell you about extortion tactics in madras. as for your statement that if surya’s character hadn’t worn jeans, he would have been more believable, i dont agree. like you said, he plays a 28 year old guy. in today’s time when 60 year old men are wearing jeans in madras (its true, in case you don’t know) why wouldnt/shouldnt/couldnt a 28 year old guy wear it? because he is a cop and most cops dont wear that? if you go by that account, he cant even play a cop because he does not have a big thoppai that all cops have and so one can say if he had a thoppai, it could have been more realistic!

    as for you claim that how many policemen have a tasteful hideout like anbuchelvan, how many policemen do you think come from middle to upper middle class families? are we to believe that all policemen are tasteless and live in those white-washed police quarters? i cant even believe that you point to these as flaws that make a movie unrealistic! is it possible he could have inherited that house from his parents?

    surya’s character’s age is a problem? what next, his moustache length? this is what i mean by nitpicking on the most trivial of issues. both movies used the encounter specialist theme for that was needed to further their plots. atc may have wanted to talk about an encounter specialist, but it ended up being another cop movie while kk took a cop movie and made it look like an encounter specialist. and you are right in saying atc wanted to tell the story of an encounter specialist. it wanted to, it tried to, but in the end, it never did ultimately.

    finally, polluted tamil arena?? which world are you living in? one atc does not hide a zillion fidas and hum saath saath hain. don’t try to make it look like tamil film industry is another ho-hum movie making field whereas bollywood is on the cutting edge of movie making whose quality is unparalleled. in your personal opinion, kk could be many notches below atc. in my personal opinion, atc and kk stand in the same box called commercial movies. in comparison from all aspects, i am sure kk will be few notches above atc in some aspects and vice versa. BUT, kk at least did not lose its head and plot, in my opinion compared to atc. and that is critical, for you can start anything, but how you end it is what finally distinguishes the whole endeavour.



  33. Vijay Avatar

    Iyengarkatz, I didnt mention anything about ATC. I havent seen the film yet. But Kaakha Kaakha’s climax was definitely silly and was comparable to KS Ravikumar or P.Vasu films. If Saamy and Dhool are your measuring yardsticks, than by those standards Kaakha kaakha was a ggood film. Cops speaking in English or literally speaking dialogues translated from English movies are just minor irritants. They are not the reasons for me to drub the movie. Neither was one of the final scenes in Kaakha kaakha which was a straight ripoff from “Seven” (if you have seen this film you’ll know what I am talking about). And yes Gautam Menon’s style is nothing new. The slickness, brevity in dialogues and the no-nonsense serious cop falling for a woman have all been portrayed before by Mani and others with equal if not more slickness. So Gautam Menon doesnt get points for originality nor a good climax. The ending was absolutely unrealistic, straight out of an average Tamil masala movie.
    Added to these are your customary duets and dances. The uyirin uyire song itself was lousily placed in the movie. I can go on.

    But once again the point is, compared to some of those terrible Vijay movies which one has to endure, Kaakha kaakha was better. But those movies dont take themselves seriously. Saamy’s director knows his agenda right from the beginning and sticks to them. Kaakha kaakha pretends to take itself seriously and lets down in places. Its a half-baked attempt at best.


  34. Vijay Avatar

    “any of jeevan’s antics that you’ve mentioned seems more tolerable”

    and oh, thanks for reminding this. This was another irritating aspect of the movie, the over-the-top performance of the villian, the same repetetive “avana thookkuven”. “ivana thookkuven” kind of dialogues. I guess “thookuven” has replaced “kadhaiya mudippen” or “close panniduven” as some sort of “cool” dialogue in Gautam Menon’s books 🙂


  35. Srihari Avatar

    WHOA! don’t even compare virasat to thevar magan in the same breath!
    There seems to be certain wrong presumption (no, its not misconception) here that I am a pro-bollywood freak. When Prabhu pointed it out i could not figure it out. But, now when you thought i was praising Virasat (OHMYGAAWWDD), I got the whole thing coming upon my mind.
    DUDE, I was ridiculing “Virasat” (personally I hated it, though I haven’t watched it even once fully) when I said priyadarshan pulled off a hit, even after losing the regional flavour which “Thevar Magan” was profusely set up on!

    .. Its universal[flavour]. … Thats not the case with Satya (..), Thevar Magan (Kamal swore it could not be remade in any language which Priyadarshan managed to and pulled off a hit!), ATC et al.

    It was just an ASIDE (repeate, ASIDE) that, “Kamal swore it could not be remade in any language”. BUT (I used “which”, which might have been misleading if the CONTEXT in which I was talking was ignored blissfully!) this king-of-remakes-guy Priyadarshan remade it and even pulled off a hit (as fate would have it 😦 ). I got reminded of this coz Priyadarshan proudly declared this (that he remade “Thevar Magan” gloriously! heck!) in a recent interview at rediff and wanted to mention this as an exmaple of loss-of-regional-flavour, THOUGH it was a hit.


  36. Srihari Avatar

    and more rants:
    don’t try to make it look like tamil film industry is another ho-hum movie making field whereas bollywood is on the cutting edge of movie making whose quality is unparalleled
    Oh! C’mon, I told you before, I am not the pro-hndi congressman out here. Just because, I said “polluted tamil arena”, does it mean I am praising bollywood? It was my way of saying, “but it was a lot more realistic and grounded compared to the cop stories that are the norm” or “vandhinaathan? i mean, vaanchinathan?”. Can I go abt ranting abt ur above-mentioned quote?

    I ve hardly seen 1/10th of hindi films as much as tamil films in my whole life and am the tamizharasan-guy-you-ll-find-next-door. Dont PRESUME, buddy! And, now I kinda understand why you over-reacted when KK was compared to ATC…


  37. Srihari Avatar

    and more rants:

    and more rants on my previous comment.

    P.S.:- Sorry Lazy, Its so badly turned out like those forums. I am shutting up now.


  38. Lazy Geek Avatar

    Come on Srihari. Be sportive. I was just relaxing myself. I was kidding.

    BTW, Ab Tak 38 😉


  39. iyengarkatz Avatar


    point noted that you are not pro-hindi or pro-bollywood or anti-tamil or anything. the reason why i PRESUMED you preferred hindi to tamil was because in a debate comparing a hindi movie to a tamil movie, when you make a statement such as a you did “polluted tamil field” but remain silent on the “hindi field” it does look like you prefer one over the other from an objective and to an extent subjective viewpoint.

    also on priyadarshan’s claim, he was dead wrong for a colour co-ordinated village setting does not re-create the rustic charms of thoovallur! 😉



  40. s Avatar

    oh ho Lazy!
    I, of course, was not reacting to ur “Ab tak 31!!” comment!! (in fact, I understood it only after the “Ab tak 38” mention). Didnt u see me being coool and calm? :))
    I was just being considerate and empathetic to ur comments section which i wish should not go in the way of tamil-hindi films-whos-better fight arena ;).


  41. iyengarkatz Avatar

    a question posed related to atc, but not as discussed in this above thread:

    how far is the ending statement once a cop always a cop true when it comes to this movie? life was all cool, chit-chatting with mafia bosses, playing the game of competitive rivalry with fellow colleague and grooming probable successor. but the drive to do what the character does in the end was lacking until his wife got murdered. then it became personal and supposedly the dam breaketh over. why does a personal vengeance get justified as a duty conscious cop’s actions? he would have never embarked on this journey voluntarily if his wife was alive. and leaving aside targetting this movie, i always wonder if a good cop movie is one where the character does things because he believes in it from a duty standpoint, as opposed to killing someone close to him to get him all riled up? why couldn’t arjun make that decision in mudhalvan prior to his folks being killed? i know everything is personal, but why dont ppl show heroes who make duty or consciousness their personal revenge on those who dont care about it?



  42. Srihari Avatar

    hey.. “s” stood for my name in the prev comment.

    P.S.:- And yeah! Lazy, i guess you kinda got carried away with my accidentally-similar comment on the Sujata-replied-post i guess 😉


  43. Sureshkumar Avatar


    I haven’t seen ATC yet but yesterday i saw “Kurudhi Punal” in the bus when i was travelling from salem to chennai and then i just thought that this movie is most honest cop film ever made atleast in Tamil. It may also be the best in India but i can’t say it as i haven’t seen the movie which got appreciation as a “honest cop movie ever made in india” by you. Kurudhi punal was the most gripping songless movie i have ever seen in tamil. I am watching it for the nth time but i didn’t felt it boring. I think you might have forgot about this movie before giving the tag “best cop movie ever made in in india” to ATC. As you have seen both the movies, i want to make clear where Kurudhi punal looses to ATC. Btw, i read the basic story is by Govind Nihalini, is it a remake of any hindi movie.



  44. ram Avatar

    hi guys, is it just me or does anyone else think of “Satya” and “Company” as RGV’s homages to “Goodfellas” and “asino?”

    At least, I think so…all four movies have a single, governing theme- Power corrupts; Absolute Power corrupts absolutely. Goodfellas and Sathya are on a smaller scale when compared to the other two movies…any views?


  45. Sunil Avatar


    Kurudhipunal was a remake of Drohkaal, written and directed by Govind Nihalani.


  46. iyengarkatz Avatar


    the point is not to justify atc in comparison to kk. as it stands, as judged alone, is it a better than average movie? YES! is it a good movie? mebbe but not in totality. is it a great movie? NOPE! and it is not more honest than ardh satya or drohkaal/kurudhi punal. again to each his/her own! 😀



  47. iyengarkatz Avatar


    somehow the comments section flipped over and so i replied to a much earlier comment of srihari. sorry dude!



  48. Srihari Avatar

    By “honest”, I meant it being totally unpretentious and talking abt very “very professional cops, without mouthing a single “i am THE honest person” dialogue, which is so usual for a villainous cop character, but not for a normal good cop in any Indian movie. I never said ATC is a great movie, and only being HONEST doesnt make it a great movie.
    And actually, I was talking abt only the recent movies (though I inappropraitely used the word “ever”) as the discussion was w.r.t. “Kaakka Kakka”. My opinion was that its much better than KK. Thats it!

    Kuruthippunal is one of my top favourites and ATC is NOT. And I dont consider Kuruthippunal (for that case, the great original Drohkaal as well) as a cop movie at all. Its much more!!

    And if insisted, for me, the best cop movie ever made in India is (including the above-mentioned much-more-than-regular-cop-movies) is ARDH SATYA!!



  49. Srihari Avatar

    and Suresh!
    Kuruthippunal is one of my top favourites in Tamil Cinema and made by my idol Kamal Haasan (and yes, remade from Nihalani’s Drohkaal). So, thanks for thinking that “I might have forgot about this movie [Kuruthippunal]”, rather than inferring otherwise; Though I was not actually “forgetting” it, but only that I dint consider them (plural coz there are hell-a-lotta other movies as well) anywhere in the domain of my discussion!!


  50. Srihari Avatar

    I understand that the ordering of comments has been changed and thats the reason for this sudden reply to my very very early comment.

    I never compared ATC to classics like Kuruthippunal (not in any of my earlier comments as well, I mean). Only that I found it much better than KK.

    I think everybody hear has agreed to the fact that KK can’t be compared to a classic like Kuruthippunal. For me, its BLASPHEMY as I ve mentioned in this review of mine.

    P.S.: Lazy, Ab tak 50!


  51. Lazy Geek Avatar

    Srihari, Apart from Ab Tak 51 with this comment, the link that you had given for KK review didn’t work !!


  52. Srihari Avatar

    doesnt work?? 😛
    wrote it long ago. Works fine for me, though..



  53. Srihari Avatar

    I am adding this after much reluctance.
    Katz buddy!!
    On a personal note, dont you think u made the PRESUMPTION even before the mention of “polluted tamil arena” when you said this –
    “you seem to also have an anti-tamil bias or mebbe it is just anti-kk bias.”
    Prabhu pointed it out when he said “If you like KK fair enough. Good Movie. Dont try to pull down ATC just because it is a hindi movie, and go gaga over KK JUST because it is a tamil movie”. I dint react coz I could not get a hang of what you were trying to tell and felt the same way as Prabhu did.
    My question here is, I was not even aware of the hindi-tamil-bias-possibility until u mentioned it the second time. So, were you not the one over-conscious of such a bias? And, is that why you over-reacted??
    Hey.. Nothing serious.. summa thaan kaettaen!!


  54. iyengarkatz Avatar


    the anti-tamil bias that i mentioned that you claim i presumed before prabhu mentioned it, was not because that bias was in my mind, but because it seemed to me that you were praising one better than average commercial movie than the another similar venture and the reasons that you were picking on, such as levi clad jeans etc made me think that you were willing to forego any such trivial issues in atc as opposed to in kk. that is what the anti-tamil bias was supposed to point to. i added the anti-kk tag just behind it, because on second thoughts, it seemed more possible since we were debating between kk and atc. and i did throw in the anti-tamil bias also because most ppl who prefer or think a hindi movie is better than a tamil counterpart never compare the two on an objective ground or even keel and so the reasons why the pan the tamil movie will be ignored when it comes to the hindi movies. that is all.

    btw, no doubt kk cant be compared to kp, but atc also cannot be compared to kp. and you did make the statement atc is the most honest cop story, which to me means you preferred it over kp, since most means THE ONE kinda compliment and that is why i said atc aint more honest that ardh satya or kp. atc is a good effort, that’s about it.



  55. iyengarkatz Avatar


    * than another similar venture

    * reasons that they pan


  56. Srihari Avatar

    Hi Katz!!
    I dont think ATC is comparable to KP as well!! Its bcoz my very first comment (where I was actually comparing ATC to KK and wanted to say its a very honest movie and better than KK. though I used the word “ever” which I never meant :)) is in the fore again coz of the comments reverse-ordering. I did see you mentioning “anti-kk bias” just after “anti-tamil bias” (the part which irked me) and I appreciate it. I think I ve clarified about the “most honest movie” part already in reply to Suresh’s comments. –

    By “honest”, I meant it being totally unpretentious and talking abt very “very professional cops, without mouthing a single “i am THE honest person” dialogue, which is so usual for a villainous cop character, but not for a normal good cop in any Indian movie. I never said ATC is a great movie, and only being HONEST doesnt make it a great movie.
    And actually, I was talking abt only the recent movies (though I inappropraitely used the word “ever”) as the discussion was w.r.t. “Kaakka Kakka”. My opinion was that its much better than KK. Thats it!



  57. Lazy Geek Avatar

    Katz, Is it Gautam ghost writing comments in your name 😉 Just curious dude !! I loved your argument though I may not buy all of them.

    And Hari is a born Kamal fan. He was born and he loved kamal. Period. Great discussion dudes.

    I am not asking to stop here. Don’t mistake it that way but in my humble opinion ATC was more relaistic than Kakkha Kakkha. The reason you could compare these movies was that it was dealing with encounters. Kakkha Kakkha had its share of golden moments though.


  58. Srihari Avatar

    I had already explained abt the “most honest movie” part in reply to Suresh’s comments, which I thought you must have read.
    And thats why in my reply (where I said “I never [actually] compared ATC to classics like Kuruthippunal”) to your comment (which you added by mistake because of seeing my much eariler comment at the top, and in which you had said “it is not more honest than ardh satya or drohkaal/kurudhi punal”), I didn’t explain it all over again to you; which I anyway did in my previous comment :).

    Ha! Pretty confusing! huh? 🙂


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