Since the genre of superhero movies hasn’t really picked up in India, we still identify with social heroes in our daily lives – policeman, son, or brother.
Cop movies are a genre by themselves in Hollywood and world cinema. In Telugu cinema, the role of the Police Officer has evolved over the years. From arriving late (just after a murder), or just before ‘The End’, when justice has been delivered by the hero, police roles have come a long way.
Today’s hero as the police officer does a lot of things. He fights for the family, the locality, the city, and also for the nation. At the same time, he has to fall in love, sing songs, and dance too – thank god I didn’t appear for the IPS exam!!
Here are some of the most iconic police heroes in Telugu cinema and their evolution.
N.T.Rama RaoThe iconic actor did not portray a cop in too many movies. But he began his career playing a policeman in Mana Desam, and ended his career as a Major in Major Chandrakanth.
This was probably because, back in those days, the role of the police officer was mostly the side-role. Upcoming or struggling actors would play the role of the honest cop who often helps the hero to achieve his aim. If you’re a struggling villain, you got to play a corrupt cop who accepts bribes and lays obstacles in the hero’s path.
Rajashekar and Sai Kumar
These two rugged, action-stars should be given credit for making cop movies cool again. Ankusam and Police Story were both gritty cop movies that proved that a tight storyline, with a Good vs Evil plot would always work at the box office. After the release of these two films, other stars began to play cops too.
Chiru pulled off the role of a police officer in SP Parasuram with elan, but the movie didn’t work. But, still the Police as a Hero was not seen much. But all of that changed in the early 2000s. Police stories came back. With a bang bang!!
Nag was usually associated with romantic films, did Shivamani and reminded us viewers that when police officers fall in love, the entire city comes in support of you. Shivamani did well at the box office, and it began a spate of cop movies in the industry. Today, no major actor has refrained from playing a cop.
Venky with Gharshana, gave his career a shot in the arm. Till then, he had been saddled with romantic roles and was being typecast in them. With Gharshana, however, things began to change. Gautam Vasudev Menon, who also directed the Tamil version of the film Kaakha Kaakha claimed Venky was more convincing than Surya in the film.
Balayya too with Lakshminarasimha came out of the faction trend that was going on at that time. Being a Police Officer is always beneficial. He got Asin to play lead actress in this one.
He changed the game with Pokiri. The mega-grosser made Mahesh Babu the unquestionable star of collections, and began a slew of cop movies made by every other major actor in the industry today. Taking him as an inspiration, every actor from Gopichand to Allari Naresh, have taken the cop movie genre from serious roles to comedy.
PK with Gabbar Singh put the final nail in the coffin. While the cop had to be serious all through, PK changed the dynamics of the game. Here was a cop who not only fought crime, but also trolled on the criminals like we do on Facebook. The antakshari scene is still watched over and over again by fans and detractors alike, just for the humour he infuses into the seemingly serious scene.
pk with Temper got his much needed hit. Playing the bad-ass Inspector Daya, Tarak showed his peaks of emotion.
The most stylish of the lot also satisfied himself with a small time special Police Officer as gave some stylish look to the Police Officer too with those black vest and a uniform over it. The next lot too went on donning the Police uniform lighting the screen with their slick actions and powerful dialogues.
Cop movies today are the most dependable platform for every hero, and it’s no wonder that it is a must for every upcoming hero. Even Sampoornesh Babu played a cop in his latest movie, if that is any indicator of the genre’s popularity.
And let us know if we missed any iconic cop movies in Telugu cinema.