“Vikram Vedha”… Pushkar-Gayatri make their massiest movie yet, and the results are… interesting.

Posted on July 21, 2017

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Spoilers ahead…

Read the full review on Film Companion, here: http://www.filmcompanion.in/article/vikram-vedha-movie-review

The latter half of the title of Pushkar-Gayatri’s Vikram Vedha belongs to the gangster played by Vijay Sethupathi. Even before we set eyes on him – and it’s a while into the movie before he swaggers in – he’s something of a legend. Cops speak in awe of the time he leapt from the first floor of a building, knife in hand, and sliced through a man’s head. And when news gets around that he has surfaced, it feels like Satan himself has emerged from his underground lair.

An ordinary masala movie would pit a god against this demon – and indeed, the first half of the title (R Madhavan) does come across like the scourge of evil, a saviour. He’s an encounter cop, but he’s able to sleep guiltlessly because he’s convinced the men he’s pumping bullets into are bad men who deserve to die. But slowly, the paint starts peeling away. Rather, the colour of his tees undergo a change. During the first meeting of Vikram and Vedha, the former is in white, the latter in black. By their last meeting, Vikram is in grey. He knows now that it isn’t a clear-cut line between good and evil.

The notion that cops and gangsters are but two sides of the same coin isn’t new: Michael Mann’s Heat is a brilliant exploration of how a cop who thinks he is doing good may be more messed up than the gangster. But Pushkar-Gayatri have decided to tell their story through the prism of the Vikram/Vetaal folklore – hence the title. The film opens with an animated stretch with the king Vikram high up in his castle, and soon, in pursuit of the vampire Vetaal, he plunges deep into a lake, a metaphorical hell. The creature latches onto his back and begins to narrate stories that are the old-world answer to a grey T-shirt: there’s a moral conundrum at the end.

Continued at the link above.

Copyright ©2017 Film Companion.

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Posted in: Cinema: Tamil