‘Vikram Vedha’: Cast & Crew
Director: Gayatri, Pushkar
Cast: Hrithik Roshan, Saif Ali Khan, Radhika Apte, Rohit Saraf, Yogita Bihani, Sharib Hashmi, Satyadeep Mishra
Available In: Theatres
Duration: 2 Hour 36 Minutes
‘Vikram Vedha’: Story
Vikram (Saif Ali Khan) is an honest police inspector, who seeks to apprehend Vedha (Hrithik Roshan), a dreaded gangster. When Vedha surrenders, Vikram's perception of good and evil begins to change when Vedha narrates three stories to him. There is a clear line between good and bad but what happens when one has to choose between bad and worse? The question eats up Vikram as Vedha keeps showing him the reality of what he thought was good, but actually wasn’t. Will Vikram be able to find out the worse amidst the bad? Will Vedha be able to turn himself good? Will the two end up becoming friends? Or will one kill the other in the pursuit of the truth? Well, for all that you’ll have to watch the movie.
‘Vikram Vedha’: Performances
Hrithik Roshan walks away with the lion’s share of the praises. He is menacingly crazy yet there is an instant likeability about him. After ‘Super 30’, Hrithik Roshan is back to grunge and rustic look and feel and he nails the performance to the core. Slightly more effort into getting the dialect to perfection would have made the character even better. His performance reminds you of the classic villains of Bollywood but you wouldn’t want to hate him at any instance. He is like Shahid Kapoor’s ‘Kabir Singh’ – you know he is bad, but you sort of start loving the addiction after the first few minutes.
If Hrithik Roshan is Muhammad Ali in his performance, Saif Ali Khan is no less than Mike Tyson. He comes out all guns blazing in a performance that will remind you a little bit of his cop act in ‘Sacred Games’. He brings out a shade that you rarely get to see in Saif Ali Khan – he is tough and there is no funny business going around. He means business and his eyes do the talking. The way he has tried to play a cop but in a rowdy villainish way, makes you want to see him solve more and more cases, and do more and more of those kickass encounters.
Radhika Apte sadly gets sandwiched between the tornado and the volcano – Hrithik Roshan and Saif Ali Khan. While she comes up with a decent performance, but you’ve seen Radhika Apte do a lot more and play a lot more with her characters in other films and shows. That impromptu zest for life, which she always brings to all her characters, is slightly gone missing in this one – probably because of the lesser screen time.
The other supporting cast has done their parts decently and there is barely anyone who stands out in the crowd.
‘Vikram Vedha’: Script, Direction & Technical Aspects
Pushkar-Gayatri, who directed the original, didn’t try to ape their own Tamil original. Rather they paid proper homage to the brilliant story that they had written and stayed true to it. They’ve changed the set-up from south India to north India and have brought in the local flavour to the characters that they’ve written. However, in the process, they’ve slightly gone overboard with the time as they seem much longer than their own Tamil original.
Benazir Ali Fida’s Hindi adaptation of the script with some superb one-liners by Manoj Muntashir makes the writing really strong support for the original writers Pushkar-Gayatri. It actually helps accentuate the storyline and blurs the lines between good and bad even further.
The best part about the film is PS Vinod’s cinematography. The way he has shown the lanes and bylanes of Lucknow and Kanpur you’ll simply fall in love with the Awadhi architecture.
The soft point of the movie is the music by Vishal-Shekhar and the choreography of the songs. Firstly, in such a taut thriller you’re not expecting songs, which absolutely destroys the flow of the story. Secondly, Hrithik Roshan is such a great dancer, and yet somehow the choreography has managed to make him look below average as a dancer.
The original background score by Sam C.S., which has been rejigged and used again is fantastic. It’s the backbone of the story and ensures you get the necessary chills and thrills at every given point. Who could have thought of bringing guitars and drums for the fight sequences? Their usage for the punches and the kicks simply gels so well.
The other thing which obviously didn’t work was the editing by Richard Kevin. The film looks stretched much more than the Tamil version. With a bit of snip in the longish slow-motion shots and a few songs edited out, this could have been as crisp as the original Tamil version.
‘Vikram Vedha’: Can Kids Watch It?
In a time when Bollywood films are getting defeated left, right and centre by southern masala potboiler films, ‘Vikram Vedha’ comes as a breath of fresh air taking the aroma from its Tamil original but ensuring that it has all the ingredients for being a mass masala entertainer for everyone across the country. Saif Ali Khan-Hrithik Roshan bring a different fragrance from what R Madhavan-Vijay Sethupathi brought in the Tamil original. This difference is what makes this film even more likeable. They’ve not tried to ape, but stayed true to the original and given the entertainment quotient the highest priority. It may have a few shortcomings with its length and music-choreography, but otherwise, it’s a solid film. This is a definite Must Watch. I am going with 3.5 stars.