When NSG Commandoes stormed the building where nine Tamil Tigers headed by One-eyed-Jack Sivarasan -- who masterminded the assassination of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi -- were hiding, they ended their lives by consuming cyanide.
More than a decade later, M S Ramesh, a graduate from the Madras Film Institute, is making a Kannada film titled Cyanide about it.
"I am not looking at awards. I am also not making any political statement. I am just looking at the facts as they are," Ramesh says.
"My idea is to present the film in a realistic manner without taking any sides. One thing I have done is to highlight the contributions of the Karnataka police who did remarkable work in tracing out these Tigers who had infiltrated into Bangalore after the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi," he adds.
Ramesh also says that the 150-minute film narrates the incidents that took place from the day the Tigers landed in Bangalore till they committed suicide. Ramesh has dedicated this film to the Karnataka police team.
Ramesh is being assisted by his classmate Rathnavelu, a leading cameraman in the Tamil and Telugu film industry. "His work has added extra dimension to the film. His lighting work and shot compositions have been excellent. I am sure the film will be a trend-setter in the Kannada film industry," says Ramesh.
Ramesh has selected Ravi Kale, who was introduced to films by Ram Gopal Varma, to play the role of Sivarasan. Malavika plays the role of Shubha, Sivarasan's accomplice. Her husband Avinash plays the role of IPS officer Kempaiah, who headed the investigative team. Rangayana Raghu plays the role of Ranganath, who escaped capital punishment and was set free by the Supreme Court after a long drawn court battle. His wife Mrudula's role is played by Tara.
"It needs to have lot of guts to play the role of Sivarasan. He was the villain and I did not hesitate to take up the role because it was challenging to me," Kale says.
"It certainly is a different film. I think I will wait for people to comment on my work. One thing I would like to add is that Ramesh has worked very hard to make this film," says Tara, who won the Best Actress National Award for her performance in Girish Kasaravalli's Haseena.
The Kannada version will be released by the end of June.
Text: R G Vijayasarathy