Vikram Vedha movie review: Madhavan, Vijay Sethupathi's film is smart as well as entertaining
Vikram Vedha is a triumph of smart writing, superb characterisation and terrific performances by the lead actors Madhavan and Vijay Sethupathi who make it crackle. The husband and wife director duo Pushkar and Gayathri have made quirky comedies previously, like Oram Po and Va-Quarter Cutting. Now changing tracks, their latest is a Tarantino-esque thriller explores the line between good and evil.
In a way Vikram Vedha works because the audience is unsure whom to root for, the encounter cop Vikram, who has killed 18 people or Vedha, the gangster who has body count of 14. There are plenty twists and turns in the narrative and you can’t take any character for granted, as nobody is either black or white.
The climax is where the jigsaw puzzle falls into place and is made up of clever writing and perfect dialogues.
The directors thread is based loosely on the characters Vikram and Betaal from the popular folklore, and they have given it a very contemporary twist.
Vikram (Madhavan) is an ace encounter cop married to a lawyer (Shraddha Srinath). He and his devoted team of cops including his close buddy Simon (Prem) are planning to eliminate Vedha (Vijay Sethupathi) a dreaded don. But somewhere along the way, things go horribly wrong.
The casting coup of bringing two diverse actors — a methodical performer Madhavan as Vikram, and Vijay Sethupathi as Vedha, a complete natural with his laidback style — is what makes this gritty thriller tick. Both the characters ooze confidence, and they have terrific onscreen chemistry.
Vijay Sethupathi, who is introduced 30 minutes into the film, steals the show as he coolly walks in to the police headquarters as Madhavan is getting his team ready to eliminate him. The climax belongs to Madhavan, you just can’t take your eyes off him.
The supporting cast of cops and thugs like Harish Peradi, Kathir and others, are apt for their roles. Despite an insignificant role, Varalakshmi scores and lends the film some warmth.
Technically the film is very sound; PS Vinod’s camera and his lighting creates the tension and mood, along with great music and background score by Sam CS. On the downside, the film could have been crisper, and the story never explains why the cop is obsessed with the gangster and why he always gives him a patient hearing?
On the whole, Vikram Vedha is well made film that’s intelligent and at the same time entertaining.