News Karnataka
Tuesday, September 26 2023

Garuda Gamana Vrishabha Vahana: Shiva – A Character Study

GGVV 000
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When a movie that creates a dent in the history, it usually takes a life on its own. People like to theorize about the story, characterizations and incidents that take place in the movie. GGVV is one of those movies in the recent times that was talk of the country.  However, this post will not be about how good Garuda Gamana Vrishabha Vahana is. That has already been a proven subject of many reviews and videos online. GGVV is among the rarest two handers in Indian cinema. We will be focusing on one of the lead characters, Shiva.

At the surface Shiva may come across as a regular gangster who shows no remorse to his victims. Does what ever he wants, when ever he wants. But if you delve deeper into this character you will find a demon inside him. Someone who wants to devour everything in his path. To be particular he has a lot of traits matching a Serial Killer.

What makes a Serial Killer?

According to Dr. Elizabeth Yardley, Director of the Centre for Applied Criminology at Birmingham City University

“A person who commits a series of murders, often with no apparent motive and typically following a characteristic, predictable behaviour pattern.”

Most of the men killed by Shiva had no concrete reason to die at his hands. They never threatened Shiva directly. Shiva took it upon himself to take care of the business on behalf of Hari. Was Shiva just quenching his thirst of blood by masquerading as a saviour? Shiva is always looking for a reason to whip out his knife. At a certain point even Hari is befuddled by Shiva’s erratic behaviour. Because these are not the patterns of a gangster.

A Psychopath

Shiva is not just a Serial Killer but a Psychotic one. Serial Killer are most often Mistreated in Childhood, Dominated by a parent.

When Shiva kills Emmekere Dayanada, Brahmmayya the narrator explains that he didn’t beat him to death because he pointed a gun at Hari, but to all the people who had abused him since childhood.

“As children, psychopaths suffer from abuse-sometimes psychological, sometimes physical and often sexual. Such brutal mistreatment instills them with profound feelings of humiliation and helplessness. They have a great deal of trouble with male authority figures. Because they are often dominated by their mothers, they have a powerful hostility toward women.”

Shiva’s childhood is filled with misery and mistreatment. He was left to die by his mother, who ran away with someone and didn’t wanted the baggage of the son. His hatred towards women is further proved while he screams abuse at the nurse who tends to his wounds in the hospital. We further see sexual abuse in his life as his story unfolds. When we see Shiva for the first time as a boy unwrapped from a bag as if he was a carcass, he is covered with cuts on his body and a deeper cut around his throat. The cut around the throat may symbolize the serpent around Lord Shiva’s neck, but as a human character it remains a sign of his ill-treated childhood.

The Weapon

Serial Killers are always fond of the weapons and the way they kill. Different types use different weapons varying from Gun, Knife, Fire, Poison and other Drugs. Most of the Gangsters portrayed in the movies aren’t fond of a particular weapon, unless there is something personal about it. In GGVV Shiva uses a knife to kill most of his victims. Apart from Emmekere Dayanada and Sushanth he kills all others with a knife. The way Shiva uses knife is swift and precise like hot knife through butter. He never leaves them half dead. And he keeps the knife in his waist at all times, ready whenever time comes to put someone out of misery. How can we forget him dancing with the knife in the hand in the rain after killing Pili Prakasha.



The most important trait to consider Shiva as a Serial Killer is him wearing the footwear of him victims. If you have watched the US series Dexter, you will know what a Serial Killer’s Souvenir is. On screen it was shown he started collecting the footwear after killing Emmekere Dayananda, but it can be theorized that he started it when he was wearing a woman’s footwear when he was a boy. It pretty well can be his mother’s footwear who was probably killed by him on the railway track. Even though there is no definite answer in the movie as to what he does with these footwears, this is something that no gangster ever does. Shiva is not just your regular gangster. If you ask me, he is a Serial Killer in a Gangster disguise.

Agree or disagree, what Raj B Shetty has done with Shiva is unique in Indian cinema, from the look, the attitude and the unpredictability. Big shoes to fill in (No pun intended) who ever takes up the character in the remakes to come.

Let’s see Shiva’s Footwear Collection!


Shiva wearing Sushanth’s Footwear

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Brijesh M. Gokhale

Brijesh Margadamane Gokhale is a digital technology entrepreneur with over a decade of experience in graphic design, web development & content writing. An avid movie buff he is interested in writing, film making, science & technology, literature, music.

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