Vikram Vedha Movie Review: VIKRAM VEDHA is a brilliant massy fare that works.


Vikram Vedha Review {4.0/5} & Review Rating

VIKRAM VEDHA is the story of a cop trying to hunt down a dreaded criminal. Vedha (Hrithik Roshan) is a gangster based in Lucknow who has committed 16 murders till date. He has become so notorious that the Uttar Pradesh police has created a Special Task Force (STF) to finish him and his gang. Headed by Vikram (Saif Ali Khan), the force gets a tip that Vedha’s gang members are hiding in a faraway abandoned structure. Vikram, his best friend Abbas (Satyadeep Mishra) and others of the STF reach the place with the intention of killing them. As planned, the STF eliminates everyone present, even though one of them was ready to surrender. This gangster, Muni (Amarjeet Singh), even offers a bribe in exchange for his life. Vikram, however, is an honest cop and he kills him. While checking the crime scene, the cops realize that one guy who was killed had no weapon in his possession and was presumably innocent. Realizing that this can put them into trouble, Vikram tells his colleagues to plant a weapon in his hand and make it seem like he fired at the cops, due to which the police had to also open fire. Vedha wasn’t present at this place and the hunt to find him continues. One day, the cops get a tip about his whereabouts. As they prepare to leave the police station to kill Vedha, they get the shock of their lives. Vedha coolly walks into the police station and surrenders! The STF members interrogate him one by one but he doesn’t open his mouth. Finally, when Vikram sits opposite him, Vedha asks him to hear his story. He takes him back to 13 years when he used to work for a Kanpur-based criminal, Parshuram (Govind Pandey) and how he won his trust. He also tells him about his brother Shatak (Rohit Saraf), his childhood friend Chanda (Yogita Bihani) and what made him commit his first murder. He also puts Vikram in a dilemma as Vedha’s story changes his perception of good and evil. Unfortunately for Vikram, before he could hear more stories from Vedha, the latter secures a bail. And the lawyer who gets it done is none other than Priya (Radhika Apte), who is also Vikram’s wife. What happens next forms the rest of the story.

Pushkar–Gayatri’s story is fairly simple but has been written in a back-and-forth manner that makes it worthwhile. Pushkar–Gayathri’s screenplay (Hindi adaptation by B A Fida) is entertaining and also makes you ponder. One of the biggest strengths of writing is that it surprises at regular intervals. It’s intelligent and the way every aspect and plot point is neatly linked in the climax is seen to be believed. The romantic portions of Vikram and Priya, however, could have been written better. Manoj Muntashir and B A Fida’s dialogues pack a punch. This is important for a film like this where dialogues play a crucial part.

Pushkar–Gayatri’s direction is marvellous and deserves distinction marks. They had also directed the original Tamil 2017 film of the same name and in terms of plot, there has been no change. However, in certain places, they have made some tweaks and it’ll leave even those who have seen the original astonished. Talking about their other achievements, they have effortlessly set the story in Lucknow and the characters, all of them grey, are very well fleshed out. And unlike other Tamil or Telugu remakes, this one is not a typical masala fare. It has action but it also relies a lot on the dialoguebaazi. And even the latter gives you your money’s worth.

On the flipside, at 159 minutes, VIKRAM VEDHA is a lengthy affair. In fact, it’s longer than the original film too. After Saif Ali Khan’s powerful entry, the interest dips. The entry of Hrithik Roshan happens after 20 minutes and till then, one tends to get restless. Even in the second half, there are scenes where the film tends to slow down a bit. The slapping scene between Shatak and Chanda could have been better executed. Lastly, the writers skip certain developments in the narrative. Of course, the intention was to keep the focus on the principal plot. Yet, one wishes it was taken care of. For example, in the pre-interval scene, Vedha is trying to run from the cops and he comes across a girl learning karate. The way she smiles at him and even helps him, shows he was a messiah for the residents. But why and how that happened is never shown. For a film where everything is there for a reason, this aspect doesn’t add up. Thankfully, there are minor shortcomings that don’t affect the narrative much.

VIKRAM VEDHA starts with a nice animation montage, explaining the story of Vikram and Betal. Vikram’s entry is heroic and the encounter sequence sets the tempo. The entry of Vedha, however, is terrific and not just single-screen cinemas but even multiplexes would thunder with whistles, claps and hooting at this point. All scenes of Vikram and Vedha together from here on are superb. The Kanpur sequence is surprising as the makers have changed the plot point and it’s too good. The use of the song ‘Jeena Isi Ka Naam Hai’ is witty. Abbas’ encounter and the scene where Vikram follows Priya are gripping sequences. The interval fight is decent but the intermission point has more of a massy appeal. Post-interval, the interest continues as Vedha further talks about his life. The scene where Vikram gets into an action mode while trying to hunt the informer and the sequence thereafter is terrific. The climax is the best part of the film.

Vikram Vedha Official Trailer | Hrithik Roshan, Saif Ali Khan, Pushkar & Gayatri

VIKRAM VEDHA rests on the strong shoulders of Hrithik Roshan and Saif Ali Khan. Hrithik Roshan gets into the skin of the character and delivers one of his most accomplished performances. He carries the swag and the attitude with utmost ease and takes the film to another level. It’s also amazing how one can’t compare his work with that of Vijay Sethupathi in the original film. He portrays the character rather differently, and fans of the original will have no reason to complain. Saif Ali Khan, too, puts his best foot forward. He also has his share of massy dialogues and sequences and his strong persona works perfectly for the character. What’s also praiseworthy is that at not a single juncture are the two actors trying to dominate each other. They are simply going with the character and the result is magical. Radhika Apte has a supporting part but delivers a fabulous performance. Sharib Hashmi (Babloo), as expected, gives a memorable performance. Rohit Saraf has a late entry but leaves a mark. Yogita Bihani’s performance is sincere. Ishan Tripathi (young Shatak) and Drashti Bhanushali (young Chanda) also do well. Satyadeep Mishra is dependable. Manuj Sharma (Deepak; the newbie in Vikram’s team) is fine. Govind Pandey, Amarjeet Singh and others are decent.

The music gels well with the narrative. ‘Alcoholia’ is the best song of the lot and Ganesh Hegde’s choreography enhances the fun. ‘Bande’ is the theme song and will keep lingering in one’s mind even after coming out of the theatre. ‘O Saahiba’ and ‘Yaara’ are forgettable. Sam C S’s background score is the third hero of the film after Hrithik Roshan and Saif Ali Khan! At several point, it’s the BGM that ups the mass element.

P S Vinod’s cinematography is splendid. The action and confrontation scenes are shot neatly and watch out for his camerawork in the ‘Alcoholia’ song. Parvez Shaikh’s action is raw and fantastic. Darshan Jalan and Neelanchar Kumar Ghosh’s costumes are realistic and yet stylish. Durga Prasad Mahapatra’s production design is authentic. Anuj Deshpande’s VFX is appropriate. Richard Kevin A’s editing is fair but could have been tighter in some places.

On the whole, VIKRAM VEDHA is a brilliant massy fare that works due to the strong writing, unpredictable moments, Hrithik Roshan and Saif Ali Khan’s outstanding performances and the electrifying background score. At the box office, it’s sure to have a fantastic weekend due to the positive word of mouth and will successfully run in cinemas till Diwali. The mid-week Dussehra holiday will also aid its first week collections. Recommended!



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