Film: Vikram Vedha
Directors: Pushkar, Gayathri
Cast: Ranganathan Madhavan, Vijay Sethupathi, Kathir, Shraddha Srinath, Varalakshmi Sarathkumar, Prem and others
Music: Sam C S
Cinematography: P S Vinod
Directors Pushkar and Gayathri, knowingly or unknowingly, seem to have raised the bar in Tamil cinema with their latest film, Vikram Vedha.
Both directors and dialogue writer Manikandan need to be congratulated for the manner in which they have chosen to present this classy action film that has deep, intense and meaningful dialogues that make viewers rack their brains for possible answers to questions, whose existence, viewers, until now, rarely bothered to even acknowledge.
The entire cop versus gangster flick is presented on the lines of the mythological Vikram and Vedhalam stories, something no film director has so far tried to do, not just in Tamil but Indian cinema.
For those unfamiliar with the basic plot of the Vikram and Vedhalam story, King Vikram, in a bid to save his kingdom from ruin, goes in search of the Vedhalam (an evil spirit) that has brought upon disease and disaster on his people. He must destroy it for the sake of his people. But everytime, the King braves all odds and manages to capture the Vedhalam, it chooses to narrate a story, at the end of which, it poses a tricky question pertaining to morals, ethics, laws and duties. This format has been used efficiently to narrate a gripping conflict between a gangster and an encounter specialist in Vikram Vedha.
The film’s story is about a special police team that is used to take out notorious gangsters and criminals. This team, which is led by Encounter Specialist Vikram (Madhavan), has its task cut out. Their target is Vedha (Vijay Sethupathi) a notorious gangster, who is known not only for his notorious ways but also for his exceptional intelligence. In a bid to get to him, they take out a considerable number of his gangsters in an encounter. And there begins a game – a deadly one – that is played between two individuals who are not only highly skilled at what they do, but who are also conscientious in their own way.
Both have a strong moral compass and take decisions dispassionately, judging the sequence of events carefully and deciding their next course of action based on the thorough examination of evidences.
Just like how in the Vikram Vedhalam series, there are many stories, the film has three chunks. One is titled Thiruda Thiruda, the next is Thiruda Thirudi and the third is Thirudan Police. All three chunks are part of the same story but talk about developments happening in the lives of various characters associated with both these individuals. More importantly, these developments are connected with the main story in some way or the other. Invariably, at the end of each chunk Vikram, who is looking to kill Vedha, ends up meeting him. And each time, Vedha, after narrating developments in the form of a story, poses a difficult question to Vikram, asking him what he would have done, had he been in his shoes and why?
Just explaining the pattern in which this cop versus gangster flick has been made is so difficult that one can only imagine the amount of effort that would have gone into penning the screenplay and dialogues for such a craftily made, intense intelligent action thriller.
The film comes to life because of some powerful performances by some of the most gifted actors. First in line is Vijay Sethupathi, who, nonchalantly turns into Vedha for the film. He is so much at ease playing this character that one instantly forgets all other characters that he has played so far on screen. The performance is just brilliant.
He is matched move for move, scene for scene by Madhavan as Vikram. Both complement each other and yet, also compete with one another. It is a delight to watch them have conversations, each one having their own unique style of delivering dialogues.
Kathir, who has delivered fantastic performances in Kirumi and Madhayaanai Kootam, proves yet again that he has immense potential and that directors haven’t been using him to his fullest potential.Pushkar and Gayathri, though, have given him a small but significant character in this film and Kathir plays the role of Pulli, the younger brother of Vedha, to perfection.
Shraddha Srinath handles the character of Priya, a confident lawyer by profession but a caring wife by heart, deftly and delicately. She handles the transformation from being a lawyer who will not flinch from protecting her client’s interests to turning into a concerned, caring wife, within seconds beautifully.
P S Vinod’s camerawork speaks volumes of his understanding of lights and frames. In fact, one sequence that shows Vijay Sethupathi making his getaway through a series of apartments even as the cops search for him in the lower floors has been beautifully planned and shot. I could go on and on but that would only spoil the fun for audiences. Vikram Vedha is a film that needs to be watched, not told about!