Vikram Vedha Review – A non-judgemental cult classic
Vikram Vedha is an intelligent cop vs gangster story mounted on very familiar Vikramadityan – Vedhalam narration structure. This movie can be superficially framed as right vs. wrong, black vs. white, good vs. evil, cat vs. mouse story and numerous other polarizing fables. However, the success of the director is largely attributed to taking up these polarizing sides and blurring or erasing the line in between. The director will make the lead character and the audience wonder how do you judge or answer the stereotypical morality questions, when the line itself is transient.
Script and Direction
Vikram-Vedha is Pushkar-Gayathri’s 3rd movie after the highly quirky Oram Po and Va-Quarter Cutting. In the previous outings, the quirkiness did not translate to an engaging watch during the entire run-time, despite occasional sparks of brilliance. The directors have shown their skills in making dark comedy movies with good technical values. The biggest improvement in Vikram-Vedha is in the consistency and confidence in scripting, screenplay, characterization and dialogues department. In that sense, Vikram Vedha can be called as the coming of age movie for the director duos.
Vikram Vedha has the Guy Ritchie/Tarantino style of making adapted well to Vada Chennai settings. There is not even a single unnecessary scene, dialogue or shot. Every frame is there for a reason. In order to get the pay-off, it is important for the audience to trust the makers and resist from getting getting digitally distracted while watching the movie. Towards the end, every thread and loose end will be neatly tied to perfection.
The characterization details are well thought-through. The intelligence in Vedha’s character (Vijay Sethupathy) shows up only when there is a scene with Vikram’s (Madhavan). Other times, Vedha doesn’t exude the same intelligence and depth in interaction and activities. Barring that, Pushkar-Gayathri should be lauded for their detailing and extra care taken in the writing department.
Madhavan - Vijay Sethupathy
Madhavan and Vijay Sethupathy are clearly the 2 pillars in the movie. Their chemistry is entertaining and treat to watch. Their heroism comes through in their body language and acting. Vijay Sethupathy takes it up a notch higher with his dialogue delivery and timing. It is interesting to watch how both these actors are very diverse in so many different ways and yet so similar. Madhavan has done only 2 movies during the last 3 years. During the same time, Vijay Sethupathy has completed around 9 movies with very high success rate. Madhavan is very methodical and systematic while Vijay Sethupathy is natural and spontaneous. Yet, the end impact in every scene when they come together is so layered and explosive.
The director(s) succeed when every cast and character stands out after the end-title rolls. In Vikram-Vedha, every small and important character makes a strong impression. Kathir, Varalakshmi, Shraddha and numerous other characters as cops and gangster have all done their parts well.
Music and Technicalities
Sam’s background track and sound editing are highlights of the movie. The background theme track when Vedha (Vijay Sethupathy) shows up on screen is "mass". This will be a break-through movie for Sam CS. "Yaanji" sung by Anirudh will stay on the charts.
Another technician who plays a pivotal role in amplifying the directors vision is PS Vinod through his cinematography. Vinod’s shot making, lighting and compositions take the movie to international standards. If you are reminded of Aaranya Kaandam’s style while watching, it is because Vinod was also behind the lens in the cult-classic.
The art direction deserves kudos for careful selection of properties blending into North Madras natural settings. The color choices are prominently red and green tones working synchronously with costume design. The editor must have had a tough job. The narration requires the editor not to cut too quick to heighten the pace required of a gangster movie. At the same time, the shot cannot stay on screen for even a tad longer than necessary for the audience to process the layers and able to think. The editor Richard Kevin has done an exceptional job in maintaining this fine balance.
The monologue about crossing the thin line that Ajith says in Yennai Arindhaal is more fitting in Vikram-Vedha. Vikram Vedha will appeal to the same senses that were triggered by Aaranya Kaandam. Undoubtedly, Vikram Vedha will be rated as one of the very best of 2017. Don't miss.
Rating: 3.75 out of 5