Review: Vikram Vedha
By Sunita Vijay
Vikram Vedha is inspired by the folktale Baital Pachisi in which King Vikramaditya sets to apprehend Betal, who repeatedly entangles him in a confused situation by narrating engaging stories. Vikram, a cop and Vedha, the wrong guy, are portrayed in the same stitch – Vedha as story-teller picks incidents from his life’s chapters and provokes Vikram to reply at the end of his story narrations. Thus, Gayatri and Pushkar interlace three wonderful tales and empower it with two big Bollywood stars to make a faithful remake of a remake, Vikram Vedha.
The film kick starts with a bang and remains in top gear all through. A couple of minutes into the film and the light-hearted talks amongst cops who invade a shambled structure after receiving a tip to nab Vedha gives the assurance that it’s going to be an entertaining masala action flick. The narration and screenplay nowhere disappoint. Suspense lingers. Dialogues are crisp. The character of Vedha has been thoughtfully written and each scene unfolds a different layer and trait thus making it a meaty watch. The more you watch Vedha, the harder you fall for him.
Saif Ali Khan shines as the righteous cop of a Special Task Force and Hrithik Roshan dazzles as Vedha, the underworld ruler of Lucknow. Combined, they provide an interesting cat and mouse chase. If Saif charms us with his demeanor, Hrithik is like a wild gust of wind. It is delightful to watch Vedha slip slyly from the clutches of one of the best cops every time he is on the verge of nabbing him.
The action scenes are thunderous as the heroes strike like lightning. They resonate with the feel of South Indian choreography and are shot against the impressive old Lucknow structures as backdrop. The film holds on to an intriguing energy all along. Saif and Hrithik routinely set the frame ablaze!
Vikram is an encounter specialist who is all set to collar Vedha. Not once but thrice Vedha is overpowered by Vikram but just like King Vikramaditya he gets entangled in Vedha’s engrossing story. Supported by flashbacks, each story ends at a juxtaposition where Vikram is asked to make a choice between good and evil, right and wrong and provide an answer that is ethically acceptable. Vedha seeks answers and Vikram’s answers are laced with duty-bound attitude and virtue.
Hrithik with sunburnt skin, haggard yet befitting clothes, frizzy hair, and an unkempt beard carries a typical swagger that oozes with rustic charm. His physique confidently speaks that this man is unbeatable in action. And his talks are hypnotic – we want to listen more from him and he convincingly makes us believe in him! Despite carrying the blood of about sixteen people on his hands, he looks innocent and adorable. Even in a ruffled state, he owns a hero-like magnetic aura that refuses to fade.
Saif carries a polished and confident look and effortlessly wears the skin of a tough, duty-bound cop. He exudes conviction, confidence and is specialised in his job.
The movie ensures that viewers may sink their teeth in an engaging story. An interesting twist is when Vedha hires Vikram’s wife as lawyer. The role is played aptly by Radhika Apte. Interestingly, the cop and lawyer under one roof handling the same case bring tiffs and squabbles in the house. As the story unfolds, we realise how the roles of all the characters have been appropriately crafted to play this thrilling symphony.
The supporting characters are outstanding, but Saif and Hrithik overshadow them. Crucial roles played by Rohit Saraf and Yogita Bihani (Vedha’s younger brother) and his girlfriend required more screen space. Satyadeep Mishra, who plays Vikram’s teammate, supports well. Sharib Hashmi, as Vedha’s companion, is good as usual, both in anger and during light moods. The role of a new recruit in special task force is cleverly written, good enough to provide light moments during action scenes.
Sam CS’s background score escalates the action experience. Due credit goes to the director of photography, PS Vinod, and editor Richard Kevin for making this film shine in all aspects.
The beautiful combination of Vikram’s angst and Vedha’ swag, Vikram’s righteousness and Vedha’s wrongs, Vikram as husband and Vedha as doting brother, works marvels! Both have common traits, intelligence, intuitiveness and a brave demeanor. Both the characters run parallel, enfeebling each other, both right in their chosen paths.
Good and evil are shown in equal proportion, whom to favour and whom to loath. Vikram Vedha has a wonderful climax. This thriller is not worth missing, ignoring its few scattered flaws.