‘Inspector Rishi’ Character Explained: Why Did Rishi Try To Stop Sathya And Kathy?

Inspector Rishi on Amazon Prime Video is an interesting show that covers many aspects of nature conservation and the human connection with it. There is a balance that needs to be retained between humans and nature, and this subject is explored in depth by the showmakers. Inspector Rishi is a Tamil-language series that has several characters who extensively work for nature and animal conservation. A series of murders in the forest around the town of Thaenkaadu brings in several police officers to investigate the matter and get to the bottom of the issue.


Spoilers Ahead

Who Was Inspector Rishi?

Inspector Rishi is the key character in the show. As conveyed through several flashbacks, Rishi was not favored by many seniors except a few to investigate the peculiar murders that happened inside the forest of Thaenkaadu, Tamil Nadu. Rishi had monocular vision, but that did not stop him from being an ace police officer. The show began by demonstrating his excellent skills regarding nabbing the culprit. He was not a traditional police officer who stuck to the rulebook. He chose to take his own path, and his unorthodox methods of finding the culprit led him to become the lead investigator in the Thaenkaadu case.


Rishi was assigned to find the culprit behind the peculiar murders, which involved the victim dying of a heart attack, followed by their body being covered in a web formed by a specific insect. On his arrival, there was already talk of “Vanaratchi” carrying out these murders, but he remained aloof about the folklore so that it did not hamper his investigation. As a police officer with years of experience, he did not believe in the existence of a paranormal or a spiritual entity committing murder.

Rishi was sure the murders were committed by a human being who was spreading the fear of the forest spirit to keep the locals and police at bay. The motive and culprit were far from being discovered, but Rishi and his team, which included Chitra and Ayyanar, along with the forest guards Sathya and Irfan, went after every lead that could take them toward solving the crime.


Does Rishi’s Past Affect His Current Investigation?

Unbeknownst to many, Rishi had a tragic past and was trying hard to get over it. As told to Kathy, who had become good friends with Rishi, he had been in love with and engaged to Viji, a photographer. Over the years, their relationship turned sour as Viji became possessive and controlling, which began to affect Rishi mentally and professionally. Rishi probably, for the longest time, could never walk out of the relationship, fearing Viji’s dramatic and suicidal reaction to the breakup. This was the case of a classic abuse victim who chose to stay back for the sake of their toxic partner despite knowing the relationship would eventually take an ugly turn, leading to a nasty breakup. This was also an example of a man who was the victim of an emotionally abusive relationship, and he chose not to talk about it, fearing judgment from society. Rishi eventually broke up, but not before she began to emotionally blackmail him. Sadly, on the same night, Rishi not only lost sight in his left eye at a shootout but Viji was killed in the same incident. 

Rishi was hit by two traumas, and it took a while for him to recover from the tragedies. Rishi was adamant about wanting to rejoin the force and trained himself to look at and perceive his surroundings with one eye. The trauma that never left was Viji’s death. He was constantly haunted by the visions of her bloodied body, and the man had gotten used to the hallucinations. Rishi was drowning in guilt for not saving her, and making her upset moments before her death.


Rishi was informed his hallucinations were a result of the trauma response and cited that as his refusal to believe the “Vanaratchi” theory. He was aware that the mind was capable of messing with the eyesight and other physiological functions of the body. The love story that Viji and Rishi shared was tragic, and the audience would only empathize with him for having lived through the trauma.

Who Committed The Murders, According To Rishi?

At Thaenkaadu, he was faced with several obstacles, which included the poachers. Rishi could not fathom the power, influence, and contacts of these poachers that aided them in kidnapping the two most prominent forest guards and murdering one of them. Rishi and his team believed the theory of the poachers carrying out the murders, believing the ring began to spread the rumor about “Vanaratchi.” This theory was plausible, as three of the victims were connected to the poaching ring, and it was possible they were killed because of some friction. But the death of the leader of the poacher ring put Rishi on the back foot, and he began his investigation again from scratch.


Rishi soon concluded that someone who was working for them was hiding in plain sight and carrying out these murders. He was sure about this theory because it was obvious that the culprit was too attached to the forest and killed those victims who wanted to erase and kill the vegetation and the animals.

Who Did Rishi See Outside The Guest House?

Just like Kathy and Selvi, Rishi could sense the presence of “Vanaratchi” and followed the creature to a tree trunk, watching the forest spirit from close quarters. Rishi so far did not believe in the folklore but with this incident he was becoming less of a skeptic. Rishi soon fell in love with Kathy, the only person who did not judge him for his tragic past. Her gaze and ability to understand his pain made him forget Viji, and slowly, the visions began to disappear. His fondness for Kathy only grew over time. Her love for the job and environment, followed by her emotional stability, eventually made him fall in love with her.


Did Rishi Crack The Case?

To his horror, his theory regarding the real culprits, about them being in plain sight, turned out to be true. Sathya, Kathy, and a bunch of people were the last living members of the Kaanagar tribe of Thaenkaadu. Their parents and other tribespeople committed suicide in a mass ritual, while Sathya and Kathy, as young children, along with many toddlers, walked away from it and chose to live to protect the forest. As expected, Rishi took a different route, and he could connect the dots based on several leads he gathered. The sacrificial rituals and the images of the medicines and herbs left by the Kaanagar tribe helped him crack the case. Sathya, Kathy, Mangai, and their group were not just scaring away the victims but committing murders to save their forest.

Why Did Rishi Try To Stop Sathya And Kathy?

Rishi may have sympathized with the cause Sathya and Kathy were fighting for, but their vigilante approach was unacceptable. According to him, they were no different from real criminals who were killing people to solve the problem, which is never the solution. He was not keen on seeing them in prison, but the evidence against them was incriminating, and he could never bring the situation under control. Even though Sathya died in the mine explosion that was meant to kill the mine workers, the plan went awry, which led to Kathy’s arrest. Rishi had to let go of Kathy even though she may have loved him. Her cause and love for the forest were above all of her relationships, which made her take extreme steps. Rishi could comprehend that, but it would take a while for him to move on. Kathy’s ‘love’ was purely a ploy meant to betray him, and Rishi would have a tough time getting over it.


Rishi was the only person who witnessed the real “Vanaratchi,” but since he was a victim of mental abuse, he might have imagined the forest creature. The memory of seeing her from close quarters was fresh in his mind, and he wondered if his mind played the trick on him because of the overwhelming burden of solving the case. Rishi was a rational man, but this time, he was at a crossroads and did not know how to make up his mind.

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Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan is a cinema enthusiast, and a part time film blogger. An ex public relations executive, films has been a major part of her life since the day she watched The Godfather – Part 1. If you ask her, cinema is reality. Cinema is an escape route. Cinema is time traveling. Cinema is entertainment. Smriti enjoys reading about cinema, she loves to know about cinema and finding out trivia of films and television shows, and from time to time indulges in fan theories.

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