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Movie Review | Vikram Vedha: A refreshing cop-gangster saga!

Pushkar-Gayathri’s Vikram Vedha showcases that a film can be made in any language or for any audience, can be told with the premise & outcome without deviating and keeping the narrative tight.

Vikram Vedha is a neo-noir action thriller directed by Pushkar-Gayathri. It is a remake of their own 2017 Tamil film by the same name. Vikram (Saif Ali Khan), who plays an honest police officer, seeks to apprehend Vedha (Hrithik Roshan), a dreaded gangster. “Vikram sir, aapki imandari se sab darte hain,” says Vedha in a dialogue that defines the characters of both Vikram and Vedha. Also, when Vedha surrenders, Vikram’s perception of good and evil begins to transpose when Vedha narrates stories to him. In fact, Vedha’s character is introduced with this dialogue, “Ek kahani sunaoon?” that sets the tone and an assurance of interesting chapters within the cop-gangster saga.

For starters, Vikam Vedha takes its basic premise from the mythological tale of Baital Pachisi aka Vikram-Betaal. Pushkar-Gayathri have picked up a gruelling premise and presented an interesting, tangled take on the same in the form of this cop-gangster face-off. The narrative has quite a few metaphoric scenes, one such scene where Vedha responds to a boy saying that he is playing ‘chor-police’ instead when asked to fly kite makes for a riveting watch.

There have been quite a few gangster films in Hindi cinema, but this stands tall amongst them. It has all the ingredients for a compelling gangster film packed with fierce action, brutality and more but the overall narrative is infused with dark humour, metaphoric dialogues and a very gripping and labyrinthine storytelling within the screenplay.

Vikram (Saif Ali Khan), an honest cop heads a special team / unit created in the police force to apprehend the dreaded gangster Vedha (Hrithik Roshan), for whom people are ready to lay their lives. Even as Vikram and the team is preparing to nab Vedha, he surprises everyone as he walks in and surrenders. While Vikram interrogates Vedha, he narrates him a tale. From here on begins the cat and mouse chase with absorbing chapters and a complex web of stories unfold, one at a time. Interestingly there is a dialogue on the cat and mouse story too, when Vedha is told, why the mouse has stepped willingly in the trap to which his response is remarkable. There is also Radhika Apte who plays Priya, Vikram’s wife and a lawyer whose client happens to be Vedha the gangster! One would say that Priya’s dialogue would reflect Radhika Apte’s character when she tells Vikram, “Toh main courier ka kaam kar rahi hoon tum dono ke liye (So, I am the courier guy for the two of you).

Saif Ali Khan as Vikram looks cool in this civilian dress clad ‘honest’ police officer avatar. He looks more comfortable in the humourous scenes than the action ones. Vikram looks cool but is outsmarted by the witty, story telling Vedha played by Hrithik Roshan. This film could set an alternative persona for Hrithik with his dark yet humane gangster character. Though Hrithik succeeds in playing a smart gangster and impresses in most action and dramatic scenes but for a few shots where his smile downplays the overall impact of the scene. As for Radhika Apte, she gets limited scope in the setup but suits the character.

The rest of the pivotal characters played by Rohit Saraf as Shatak (Vedha’s brother), Yogita Bihani as Chanda (Shatak’s love interest), Sharib Hashmi as Babloo (yet another gangater), Satyadeep Mishra as Abbas (Vikram’s colleague and friend) play their roles to satisfaction. Sharib Hashmi has limited screen time but leaves an impact and a brings around a twist in the tale.

The background score (by Sam C S) plays an important element in the narrative with its signature / theme music making all the difference and a major takeaway. It stays with you for long. The ‘Alcoholia’ song is composed by Vishal–Shekhar, with lyrics written by Manoj Muntashir. The background score is composed by Sam C S, who composed music for the original. There are two songs – ‘Alcoholia’ is sung by Vishal–Shekhar, Snigdhajit Bhowmik, Ananya Chakraborty on Vishal-Shekhar’s music and ‘Bande’ is sung by Sivam on music by Sam C S.

Viram Vedha sets a benchmark in creating a unique and compelling gangster story that sets itself apart, and probably challenges filmmakers. It also hints them where to look for interesting stories. The Indian mythology is packed with interesting tales, it only needs a storyteller with a vision to pick up one and present with their own take. Not that it is not done, but the treasure chest is vast and seeks attention.

Overall, though a remake, Pushkar-Gayathri’s Vikram Vedha showcases the helmers’ vision and focus, that a film can be successfully remade in any language or for an audience of varied sensibilities can still be told with the premise and outcome without deviating and keeping the narrative tight.

Adding an extra brownie for the impressive start with the mythological tale of Baital Pachisi aka Vikram-Betaal to set the mood

Movie: Vikram Vedha
Director: Pushkar-Gayathri
Cast: Saif Ali Khan, Hrithik Roshan, Radhika Apte, Rohit Saraf, Yogita Bihani, Sharib Hashmi, Satyadeep Mishra
Duration: 156 Mins

SUMMARY

Pushkar-Gayathri’s Vikram Vedha showcases that a film can be made in any language or for any audience, can be told with the premise & outcome without deviating and keeping the narrative tight.
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Kriti Sanon

Sidharth Shukla

Pooja Hegde

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Pushkar-Gayathri’s Vikram Vedha showcases that a film can be made in any language or for any audience, can be told with the premise & outcome without deviating and keeping the narrative tight.Movie Review | Vikram Vedha: A refreshing cop-gangster saga!