Release: July 2017.
Starring: R. Madhavan, Vijay Sethupathi, Varalaxmi Sarathkumar, Shradha Srinath, Kathie.
Directed By: Pushkar-Gayathri.
Written By: Pushkar-Gayathri.
Music By: Sam C.S.
Genre: Thriller, Action.
Another gem from the new wave of film-makers who back themselves with a story, rather than rely on over dramatization and heroism…
There have been quite a few movies that have a story arc with two protagonists, while even fewer that have remained in our memory. Although most of them would begin with a protagonist and antagonist, more often than not, the characters switch roles thereby offering a twist ending. Some movies end up questioning the roles itself. Movies like Righteous Kill, Thalapathi, Nerukku Ner fall into either of these two categories, but Vikram Vedha creates a new category in itself by ensuring that the characters remain as they are while the twist that we eagerly wait for is delivered in a gasping way.
Vikram Vedha, similar to the eponymous Vikram Bethal, does proceed on our expectations of a ghost haunting the insightful Vikram posing questions that often leave you in crossroads usually questioning the morals of life. Following a non-linear screenplay, the stories open up to the focal point of the plot, perfectly weaving a gripping story that always gets the audience to guess only to leave them questioning
The find of the decade, Vijay Sethupathi, keeps growing with every film showcasing both his acting prowess’s as well as his script selection. I’m not sure if Vijay’s talents complement the scripts or vice versa, one thing is for sure, we are definitely in for a treat in all of his movies. Now, how can we forget the evergreen and chocolate boy Maddy, who although plays second fiddle, entices us with his charm. Madhavan’s acting talents were never in question, be it playing second fiddle in Vikram Vedha or even third fiddle as with the case in ‘3 Idiots‘, his casual acting ensures that the focus remains true to the characters rather than on Madhavan. A quality he carries throughout the movie overshadowing his glamour.
“Vedha: Do you think the snake around Lord Shiva’s neck is for the safety of Lord Shiva or for its own safety?”
The director duo of Pushkar-Gayathri has already proved their mettle as the new wave of Tamil Cinema with their Avant Garde movies relying heavily on the scripts teasing the brain rather than the senseless hero worshiping which defy all the physical laws known to man. With Vikram Vedha, they not only position themselves as great filmmakers, they establish themselves as the leaders in experimental cinema, gradually erasing the fine line between parallel and commercial cinema.
The most interesting aspect of the films lies in the attention to each and every character. Not only do the leading men receive attention throughout the movie, but so does the leading ladies and the supporting cast. Both Shraddha Srinath and Varalaxmi Sarathkumar, excel with the little screen space they are given, complimenting the story by forming the pillar and fulcrum of the movie. Although Vivek Prasanna plays a
supporting role, he outclasses everyone in his scenes throughout the movie, while Kathir’s resume would definitely highlight his role here in BOLD LETTERS.
The technical aspects of the movie deserve equal, if not more credit, in comparison to the on-screen aspects, yet the credits should also be shared with the directors, who meticulously chose them. The music by Sam C.S. wraps around the movie perfectly while the cinematography and editing by P. S. Vinod and Richard Kevin, respectively, are nothing short of a feast to the eyes.
“Vikram: Looking into a man’s eyes, you should be able to say he is a criminal or innocent.”
At the risk of sounding repetitive, I’d like to mention again that the real hero of the movie is the story. So neatly placed are the subplots and the twist in the movie, it makes us wonder how could we have missed something laid out right in front of us. Although we tend to guess what could happen, we are always in for a shock as the story meanders away taking us with it.
In the end, Vikram Vedha would go down memory lane as one of the classics for the historians, while the aspiring movie makers would look up to the movie in general and Pushkar-Gayathri, in particular, to learn not just about how but to know about the why of movie making.
Audience and Critics POV:
1. Exceptional story and screenplay.
2. An impeccable casting of not just the leads but the supporting characters as well.
3. Beautiful acting talents showcased by the entire cast.