Malayalam cinema has had quite a few notable characters who were policemen. From macho-men to absolute cowards, we have them all. So we thought we’d list down the best cop characters in Malayalam cinema.
And the first one is…
Bharathchandran I.P.S – Commissioner (1994)
You knew this was coming, didn’t you? Any list of policemen on popular media should have Suresh Gopi’s Bharathchandran IPS. Out of the many times that Suresh Gopi has donned the khaki on screen, this one is arguably the most memorable. What makes this character one of our favourites is the way he displays brute strength in every frame, coupled with his impeccable dialogue delivery. There are several memorable scenes in this movie, but none more memorable than the famous “Just remember that!” scene.
C.I James Pallithara – Aanaval Mothiram (1991)
You know the character is not going to be a badass superhero when Sreenivasan is playing him. But the fear of dying without leaving enough money for your wife and child can make a man do crazy things. C.I James Pallithara starts off as a coward, avoiding danger at all costs. However, almost as soon as we are convinced that this dude is the sidekick, he is told that he is going to die soon. And he turns into the hero of the story. Portrayed in a way that only Sreenivasan can pull off, his humourous bravado makes him an extremely likeable character; a perfect example of how a man would go to any lengths to provide for his family.
Idamattom Palackal Easow Panickar I.P.S. – Crime File (1999)
Another Suresh Gopi entry, and obviously Easow Panickar is a crime-fighting badass. Easow Panickar is not just fighting against corrupt superiors, but also handling an extremely sensitive case – the murder of a nun. Suresh Gopi kills it with another power-packed performance, with dialogues that give you goosebumps and make you want to go join the police force asap. Here’s one to jog your memory.
Dasan & Vijayan – Pattanapravesham (1988)
Yes, I know we’re cheating by listing two of these guys together. But they are two halves of the same coin, and they wouldn’t be able to solve crimes without their combined misadventures. This comedic duo was the Malayalam equivalent of Inspector Jacques Clouseau from The Pink Panther, making us laugh our guts out throughout the trilogy, and somehow always solving the crime. Here’s one of their famous misadventures.
Sub-Inspector Biju Poulose – Action Hero Biju (2016)
Action Hero Biju is hands down one of the best police movies Mollywood has produced. Biju Poulose is an ordinary man who chose to wear the uniform to make a difference; like all the policemen that one would meet in real life. He deals with situations tactically – using force and brute strength when required, and jokes and taunts when not. This might just be the closest we’ll get to an accurate portrayal of a police officer’s life.
S.I. Prem Kumar – Thattathin Marayathu (2012)
I’ll be honest with you. When the movie started, I thought this would be the typical “girl’s family bribes cops to beat up the hero” story. And what a “twist” S.I. Prem Kumar was! He personifies the concept of “Janamaithri Police” and is a welcome break from the usual portrayal of police officers. Prem Kumar has empathy and is not afraid to do the right thing; sometimes going out of his way to do the right thing. And that’s what makes him a very endearing and memorable character.
S. I. Manikandan C. P. – Unda (2019)
Out of all the times that Mammootty played the role of a police officer, this one is my favourite. As an officer sent for election duty to a region in the Maoist belt, S. I. Manikandan has the impossible task of fending a polling booth against guerilla attacks with an inexperienced unit and limited ammo. The movie has almost no “mass” scenes and has Mommootty giving us a heartwarming performance that leaves a lasting impression. S. I. Manikandan is another one of those characters who opens a window into a policeman’s life, showing us that they are more similar to us than we know, and overcome their fears and weaknesses to rise up to the call of duty.
That was our list of the best police officer portrayals in Malayalam cinema. Do you agree with our list? Let us know in the comments section below.