Director duo Pushkar and Gayathri, has demonstrated through their earlier films Oram Po and VA Quarter Cutting, their quirky style of filmmaking. In their third directorial Vikram Vedha, Madhavan and Vijay Sethupathi join them for a brilliantly written story that is bound to satisfy the audience from all corners.
This is for all those who do not know about the Vikramaditya-Vedhal stories. In these tales, Vedhalam is being carried by King Vikramaditya and the former narrates a story to the latter and upon its culmination, a tricky question is put forth to the king.
If Vikram keeps mum despite knowing the answer, his head would be blasted to pieces. This is the basic knot around which Pushkar and Gayathri have spun their gangster tale and in due course, poses a query of dharma and adharma too.
Right from the word go, Vikram Vedha begins on a clever note and maintains it till the end. It is a long time since we saw a writing that trusted the audience’s intelligence and respected them too. Kudos Pushkar-Gayathri!
It is said that a film is 90% done when it has the apt casting and Vikram Vedha can boast from the rooftop on this feat. What a performance by the leads Madhavan and Vijay Sethupathi! Amazing demonstration of their skills! It is to the credit of both these artists that they have chosen a story that has two leading heroes. It clearly shows the confidence and secure feeling they have towards their respective crafts.
There are quite a few scenes where Vijay Sethupathi sashays through his role effortlessly and gains the applause- his body language, dialogue delivery, movement of his facial muscles and his nonchalant swag. Hats off to Maddy for giving the space for another actor to score. It is a delight to watch these seasoned actors perform. The supporting cast of Shraddha Srinath, Kathir, Varalaxmi, Prem and others have all done a brilliant job.
Dialogues are one of the many highlights of the film and they exude sharp wit, sarcasm, emotions and intelligence, a sample being- “Gandhi payyan Gandhiyaa, Godse payyan Godse yaa?” “Yen sir, indha factory ellaam, nejamavae yedhachum seyvaangala, illa namma maadhiri gangster sanda poda katti irukkaangala?”
There are plenty in the film like these to relish. Cinema is a visual medium and it does not need pages of dialogues to explain what is happening. This is evident throughout Vikram Vedha and the best one is when Maddy goes to Prem’s house to inform an important news.
Technically also, Vikram Vedha scores its brownie points. Sam CS’s tracks are a winner all the way and his BGM is at a different level in every scene. PS Vinod’s camera work is perfect in his sepia tones and in other scenes where his lens is reflective of the mood of the film.
As conveyed by the team, the film is all about good and evil, but the interesting aspect here is the difficulty in choosing the sides. So, when the film comes to end, you still wonder which is black and which is white and realize that most of it falls in the gray realms.
The writing is brilliant and deserves all the plaudits. The film’s narrative structure follows a pattern of Vijay Sethupathi narrating a story to Maddy and it suits fine in most occasions. But there could be a few who might feel it a little odd when a police officer stops to listen to a story by a criminal at a crucial juncture of the investigation.
This again is a minor niggle and does not appear huge in the larger scheme of things. Summing up, Vikram Vedha is a very cleverly written, engaging story, carried on by the superb performances of its cast members and supported best by the technical department.
Verdict: An intelligent, engaging film with superb performances backed by technical brilliance.