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Vikram Vedha – It’s a Vijay Sethupathi Show All the Way

Anon July 22, 2017
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Oram Po (2007) was a path breaking film in Kollywood for many reasons and a launchpad for Arya and John Vijay at the time, but it failed to bring mainstream attention to the director duo of Pushkar & Gayathri (also an adorable couple off screen). However, with their third venture, Vikram Vedha, Pushkar & Gayathri have clearly pushed into the big leagues and created what is arguably a cult movie for our generation.
Vikram Vedha’s story is nothing new to audiences who have grown up watching cat & mouse thrillers like Kurudhi Poonal – it is the treatment and execution that makes this movie stand apart. The creative use of the Vikramadityan and Vedhalam framework to pose questions of morality throughout the movie with the two main characters being the representation of good and evil is very refreshing to watch! There are no black and white answers and easy solutions in this story and one walks out of the movie wondering what choices we would have made in similar situations.
The casting choices for Vikram Vedha generated a lot of buzz during the pre-production phase, but a brooding Madhavan as the ACP Vikram and a grey-haired Vijay Sethupathi as the ageing gangster Vedha have turned in top-notch performances. The acting chops of both actors have been put to the test but Vijay Sethupathi easily takes the cake with his emotional range and casual screen presence – be it eating parotta with mutton or shooting his enemies point blank. Madhavan’s scope is limited due to his unique character arc, but he still manages to effortlessly portray a calm, calculated yet at times arrogant and reckless cop. The subtlety of his performance speaks volumes about his journey as an actor from the Alaipayuthey chocolate boy days. The supporting cast has also done a fantastic job of holding the film together and not a single character feels out of place or unnecessary. Prem as Vikram’s best friend Simon and Kathir as Vedha’s younger brother Pulli are especially noteworthy and have made the best use of their limited screen time to deliver their crucial plot functions.

The technical aspects of the movie have been crafted with a brilliant eye for detail that can only be really appreciated in the theater. Be it the gunshot sounds or fight sequences filmed in the rain, the sound department has excelled in immersing the viewer into the action through sound design. Camerawork adds to the ambience of the movie right from the start as we see a low angle introductory shot of Vedha’s legs as he walks into the police station followed by a dizzying interrogation scene where the trolley brings us around a room as different cops try to get Vedha to talk. The background score and music is a big bonus for the film, but if one had to find fault, it would have to be with the timing of Tasakku Tasakku that jars against the otherwise smooth flow. Yenji and Karuppu Vellai are a good listen and serve as good fillers to quickly summarize less important parts of the story.

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