Vikram Vedha: Impeccable Detailing, Spotless Consistency and Undying Entertainment
Movie Review by Trijai Nerthi (Rocheston Certified Movie Critic)
First of all, directors Pushkar, Gayathri and dialogue writer Mani Kandan, should be lent a heartfelt round of applause for demonstrating that smartness can be packaged in commercial entertainment. Vikram Vedha is one of those rare films that will surprise you with its impeccable detailing and spotless consistency. With the use of clever writing and an unpredictable screenplay, the film effortlessly pulls people from all walks of life and hands them the kind of entertainment they’ve been waiting to receive for years.
As implied by the title, this film follows two characters; Vikram a hardcore cop who only views the world and its people to be black and white and Vedha, an aging gangster who believes that people are dominated by their underlying shades of grey. Caught in a cat-mouse chase, definite lines begin to blur as these two characters cross paths. Eventually, when each person’s version of truth comes out, the situations they’re entwined in change their lives forever.
Vikram Vedha is a fine example of how sincere and synchronized team effort can pay off. From technicalities to the aesthetics, the film engrosses you as one whole package. A few of the many admirable aspects of the film include impactful dialogues, powerful silences, smart writing and unexpected plot twists.
Many of Mani Kandan’s dialogues have you constantly breaking into a smile with contentment. A while into the first half, Vikram says to Vedha “We are not the same. I am a police officer. You are a gangster. I belong on the just side of the line whereas you’ve long-crossed this line of goodwill.” After this scene, the film takes plenty of unsuspected twists and leads you to the climax, where Vedha tells Vikram “Do you still believe this line of goodwill exists? Does the line look blurred to you now? Or has the line been transformed into a circle within which we stand together?” This kind of clear and crisp writing can be achieved only through incredible consistency and a keen attention to details. The way the directors begin the story with a question and finish it by raising a question, leaving the film open to each one’s perception demonstrate their clarity and expertise.
Apart from impressing you through props that act as metaphors now and then, the directors also surprise you by using viable and powerful moments of silence. In a scene where Vikram takes it upon himself to deliver bad news to a loved one, the way they use silence and expressions to convey the character’s feelings is so effective.
Vikram Vedha never undermines you by spelling things out, it uses subtlety to immerse and thrill you. For instance, Vikram reveals the rat in Vedha’s gang by the simple act of smoking. This kind of symbolism and subtlety is what manages to retain your whole-hearted attention.
You can’t help but notice that the film loosely borrows Vikramadithya and Vethal’s format of storytelling and transforms it in a contemporarily relevant manner. There are also instances when Vedha’s ideologies start to resemble that of Velu Nayagar’s (Nayagan). But this is an inevitable inference that any memorable gangster is bound to carry. The evolution of the characters, Vikram and Vedha are handled so beautifully that it becomes impossible for you to pick one over the other.
As Vikram, Madhavan is hardcore, stylish and straightforward. He has put in a lot of effort to get into the skin of a character who swears by the black or white tendencies of people. Madhavan perfectly portrays the impact Vedha has on Vikram’s character by emoting frustration and sentiment wherever necessary.
As Vedha, Vijay Sethupathi undoubtedly steals the thunder of the other actors on board. He owns each and every scene he is a part of. The way he interjects humor to a serious scene is a delight to witness. His dialogue delivery, spontaneity and screen presence oozes top-notch mastery.
Shraddha Srinath and Varalaxmi Sarathkumar have fulfilling characters too. Chandra’s (Varalaxmi) bravery and Priya’s (Shraddha) relentless ambition is portrayed realistically and in a contemporary manner.
P.S Vinod’s cinematography lends the story all the visual character it needs through the use of varying shades and shadows. The film’s visual color palette is kept versatile and is found to ape the mindset of the characters. Sam C.S’s music is another strong aspect in the film. It especially acts as a backbone to Vedha’s character. From his introductory scene to the climax sequence, it packs his screen-presence with resonating thunder.
On the whole, Vikram Vedha is an impressive film that proudly bears great writing and greater performances. You are bound to be haunted by its stunning layers.