When Bollywood does entertainment and action right, the audience is bound to love it. And that’s what you get in Vikram Vedha. An all-out Bollywood masala film, without the unnecessary but far too common elements of sexism and misogyny, Vikram Vedha is an absolute delight to watch. Directed by Pushkar and Gayatri, Vikram Vedha stars Hrithik Roshan, Saif Ali Khan, Radhika Apte, Rohit Saraf, and Yogita Bihani. A remake of the 2017 Tamil film, the same directors deliver an impactful Bollywood version set in Uttar Pradesh.
Good versus evil…with several twists
SSP Vikram (Saif Ali Khan) leads a special task force instructed to apprehend Vedha, an intelligent, violent criminal in Lucknow who has always escaped the law and his enemies. After an operation in which a particular killing is staged as an encounter, Vedha emerges from the dark depths of his world and starts weaving an intricate tale for Vikram. He entangles the cop in what seems like a web of deception but is actually leading Vikram to a horrifying truth. Explosive, beautifully shot action sequences and the chemistry between the two lead actors make Vikram Vedha an electrifying film.
Based on the Vikram Betaal legend, Vikram Vedha features everything that makes for a good Bollywood mass entertainer. The action is over the top but in a good way. It draws you in with the well-timed slo-mo shots and powerful background score. The film doesn’t paint the cop-criminal chase in black and white. The cops aren’t always good and the criminals aren’t always in the wrong. Vikram Vedha manages to bring out this greyness in a non-preachy manner. It entertains and doesn’t try to be an annoying lesson in morality.
Hrithik Roshan’s career-best? We think so
Hrithik Roshan steals the show as soon as he enters the film. Whether he’s alone on screen or bantering with his nemesis, Roshan as Vedha is an act to remember. The actor delivers an outstanding performance here and is chilling as an elusive villain who is difficult to hate. Roshan’s expressiveness, even when he’s in the background of an action-packed sequence, compels you to watch him. Of course, the natural visual appeal of Hrithik Roshan doesn’t hurt. At all. The man looks gorgeous even when he’s getting beaten up. Sheer goosebumps!
Saif Ali Khan is intense as Vikram, a cop who firmly believes that any wrongs done against criminals are right, even killing unarmed suspects in encounters. Unfortunately for Khan, he is up against an actor who doesn’t like sharing the limelight. It was always going to be difficult to hold one’s own against Hrithik Roshan’s stellar performance but Saif Ali Khan has some good moments as Vikram. He also has some bad moments which make us miss the Saif Ali Khan of Omkara.
Radhika Apte plays the role of Priya, caught between both Vikram and Vedha as one’s wife and the other’s lawyer. While she doesn’t have much screen time, Apte does leave an impression as Priya. It’s refreshing to see a female actor with something to do in a Bollywood action film, apart from being the bad guy’s entertainment or the good guy’s weakness.
Rohit Saraf and Yogita Bihani are largely forgettable but they deserve full points for their respective attempts. Saraf plays an important role as Vedha’s brother and Bihani’s character is the catalyst of a life-changing moment for Vedha. Despite these crucial roles, the actors here don’t feel irreplaceable. Minus points to the makeup artists for Saraf’s shabby brown face!
If you’re looking for a thrilling entertainer that won’t insult your intelligence, watch Vikram Vedha this weekend. The film is now running in theatres across the country.
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