Vikram Vedha Movie Review |

critic’s assessment:


Vikram Vedha is inspired by the folktale of Betal Pachisi, in which King Vikramaditya tries to capture a cunning demon who repeatedly tells various puzzling stories to the king and escapes when the king gives the correct answer. The film is set in modern Lucknow. Vikram (Saif Ali Khan) is a senior police officer who leads a task force set up to corner feared mobsters. Their primary target is Vedha (Hrithik Roshan), a middle-class mobster who has suddenly risen high in the hierarchy after committing a spate of murders. Like the Betal of the stories, Vedha tells the agent a story every time he gets captured and escapes. The stories mirror the past lives of both the goon and the police officer, telling us how circumstances have shaped them into who they are. Vikram, who is known as a cheerful police officer and believes in separating life into black and white, begins to see everything in a new light. He begins to understand that not everything can be classified so easily, that life is instead made up of shades of gray. He begins to unravel the events of the past layer by layer and discovers that there is nothing right or wrong in his and Vedha’s world. People like her should choose the lesser evil and stick to it.

The film is a retelling of Pushkar-Gayatri’s own Tamil thriller of the same name, which was released in 2017 and stars R Madhavan and Vijay Sethupathi. The film was hailed as an instant classic and rejuvenated the careers of both Madhavan and Sethupathi. Remaking an already acclaimed film is a challenge, even for the original directors. The Hindi heartland or rather badlands is an unfamiliar environment for them, and they have made an effort to get the background right. Much of the film was shot on location in Lucknow. Kudos to cinematographer PS Vinod for not sparing Lucknow’s grit and grime in his cinematography. The dialogue ranges from conversational to philosophical, in keeping with the structure of the film, which itself is both a neo-noir thriller and a story that simultaneously deals with human existence.

People who haven’t seen the original wouldn’t miss the raw, visceral quality of the Tamil version. While it’s the same movie with minor variations, it doesn’t punch you in the gut like the original did. Although we have to say that the director duo has not bollywoodized much of it. Its essence remains the same. Also, Hrithik and Saif are totally different from Maddy and Sethupathi. They have their own quirks and characteristics and therefore the approach to playing the roles is different. With his Greek divine appearance, Hrithik will never look like someone from the lower middle class. And Saif looks too friendly, too polished for a cop.

Both actors gave everything for the film. They all did their best to make their characters as real as possible. They play on each other’s strengths and their confrontation scenes are reminiscent of the Amitabh Bachchan-Shatrughan Sinha scenes of yesteryear. Take out the cell phones and the movie is pure pulp, 1970s, Salim-Javed movie brand. Hrithik has the meatier role of the two. He imbues his gangster avatar with tenderness and vulnerability. His scenes with Rohit Saraf, who plays his younger brother, provide an emotional core to the film. Saif also turns out to be a loving husband and shares a few scenes with Radhika Apte, who is flawless as always. She is one of the film’s surprising twists and turns, and her verbal spars with Saif help lighten the dark and gloomy atmosphere of the film.

Watch the film for its stylized action scenes. The Parkour series with Hrithik is action choreography at its finest. And also for the strong performances of both Saif Ali Khan and Hrithik Roshan.

Trailer: Vikram Vedha

Rachana Dubey, September 28, 2022, 15:03 IST

critic’s assessment:


Vikram Vedha Story: Vikram, an honest officer in the Lucknow Police Department, is on a mission to find and eliminate mobster Vedha. However, when Vedha surrenders to the police and starts telling stories to Vikram, it changes the understanding of right and wrong.

Vikram Vedha Review: Born from the Tamil hit of the same name, ‘Vikram Vedha’ is a neo-noir action thriller rooted in Pay Pachhisi, a popular Indian folk tale. Vikram, a top officer of the Lucknow Police Special Task Force, is tasked with finding and killing mobster Vedha Pay. However, Vedha surrenders to the police. During the interrogation, he begins to tell stories to Vikram, who slowly begins to change his own perception of right and wrong.
Conceptually, the film is very well written and through and through. Almost everything, even small props and small satellite characters set in the film, have relevance to the central plot. The directors, Pushkar and Gayatri, who are also the film’s writers, make it a point to leave the flow of the story to the two central characters after they have been sufficiently established. The parts of Vikram and Vedha are written with a kind of finer detail that works on so many levels. Like Vedha’s love for Raj Kapoor songs, which has been used in action scenes. It’s impressive how nuanced things like this are woven into the story.

Almost everything fits neatly at the end, without much wastage. The exception here is the trail of a prominent character like Parshuram bhaiyya who is still there with his followers. It’s left unfinished, though you keep hoping it would tie into the central plot somewhere by the end. The writers could also have focused a bit more on the love story of Chanda and Shatak (Yogita Bihani and Rohit Saraf), which gives rise to a pivotal conflict in the film. You also long to experience a little more of Vikram, and a little more dwell on how Vedha became as powerful as he is.

In terms of execution, the film offers a certain freshness and stays true to its world. Even with a non-linear story, it’s not hard to keep up with the movement of the story and characters. Yes, the procedure feels slow at times, and the climax feels a bit stretched. But the film earns a large number of accounts. The action scenes are very well choreographed. Like the pre-interval action scene in which the police comb an area for Vedha, and how he escapes to a container yard, is done quite slick. Using Lucknow as a setting is pretty neat. The film has some delicious local flavors – from the food to the side streets to the neighborhoods. The music album of the film is above average. The Alcholia song gets even better with Hrithik dancing in the video, but makes you wonder if it was really necessary.

In terms of balance, the film leans towards the character of Vedha, which is excellently played by Hrithik. He is menacing, ruthless and yet extremely emotional in parts. He absorbs the atmosphere of the character very well. He convinces effortlessly as Vedha. You can’t help but notice the dialect that reminds you of the actor from his Super 30 avatar; that needed a little more attention.

Saif as an honest cop, who thinks he knows what is right and wrong, perfectly compliments Hrithik on screen. He has his body language under control, embraces the character’s inner strengths and vulnerabilities and very well reflects the gradual change in his thinking. Yes, you would have liked to see some more of Saif in the story. The actor is here in his classic good form, but he needed a little more to chew on. Ditto for Radhika Apte, who plays Vikram’s wife, Priya.

In summary, Pushkar-Gayathri, the writer-directors of the film, have more or less stuck to the blueprint they created for the original, including the way they weave the elements of folklore into it. It’s a plus that they haven’t changed the roadmap too much. But they also didn’t try to revisit the elements they had on hand to make the redux better than the original. And yet, this one is worth a trip to the big screen.

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