Based on the famous “Betaal Pachisi” Indian folklore tales, the latest Hindi movie Vikram Vedha scores brownie points for its stellar performances by Hrithik Roshan and Saif Ali Khan. And yet, somewhat failing to live up to the audience’s expectations, this one has been showing dropping, downward trends at the Box office. A loose-ended screenplay and lack of a musical respite or comic relief are some of the reasons why I feel it has failed to live up to expectations too.
His hope was cold. Poisonous. Eclipsing. And he fed it anyway, the way someone feeds something out of habit simply because there is nothing else in their life worth growing.
Yes, that is exactly what I felt when I first saw Hrithik in the phenomenal, groundbreaking sort of a role titled Vedha in last week’s latest Bollywood Hindi release Vikram Vedha. The snarl, the messy hairdo, the lop-sided ferocious grin, the dark, brooding intensity in the eyes, oh man, this guy is surely the best in the field for a reason. Ok, I know I am getting my fangirl moment done here again huh but what to do ya, this Greek God is all thing mush for me ya! Similar said for the other Greek God aka apna Saif Ali Khan!
Ok, so this week as I had no chance of being able to catch up on the festivities and the Garba-dandiya escapades much, owing to my busy schedules, I thought of catching up on the most hyped movie of the season aka Vikram Vedha.
The cast and story
A neo-noir action thriller, this Bollywood flick which is written and directed by the duo of Pushkar-Gayathri and based on their 2017 Tamil film of the same name, has taken its base inspiration from the Indian folktale Baital Pachisi. Starring Hrithik Roshan, and Saif Ali Khan in the titular roles it also stars Radhika Apte, and Rohit Saraf alongwith Yogita Bihani in supporting roles. The plot revolves around an honest cop Vikram who sets out to track down and kill a dreaded gangster named Vedha. Trouble and confusion ensue when Vedha himself comes and surrenders at the police station whence onwards commences a classic scenario of what I fondly call as the “Betaal Pachisi” retellings, done in the infamous Indian folklore style albeit giving a Bollywood masala twist to the tale.
Well, TBH Hrithik is at his usual, splendid best. Savage, brutal and hate worthy say hi to a villain who is black, white and grey too, at the same time. Yes, I simply loved to hate him and how! That is the thing about one of India’s finest actors. He is so effortless in all his roles and yet you cannot help but be smitten each and every time Vedha appears on the screen. Loved that background score(sigh, was simply wolf whistling away ya!) Saif too, was amazing as the honest guy Vikram, portraying the underbelly of the true realities of our government organizational bodies. Radhika Apte had a small yet noteworthy performance and she too was at her usual best.
So, what went wrong?
Well, for starters, personally, if you ask me I think there were a number of reasons why in spite of being such a stellar plot and cast the movie seems to have not lived up to the expectations. Some reasons which I found out have been enlisted below:
- No musical respite: Remember, how WAR in spite of being an action flick has some respite and relief in the form of a couple of brilliant dance numbers such as Ghungroo and Jai Jai Shivshankar. I know you guys are gonna be like arey, we didn’t need even those. But hey, many times music acts as a good breakthrough, cutting away the intensity of the story for a bit, and giving a little respite to the pace. With the exception of “Alcoholia”(this one was amazingggg!), there is no other hummable track or song to break the monotony and the heaviness of the movie. Result? Gets a bit overwhelming after a point.
- No comic relief too: Yes, extremely important missing element, I’d say. Comedy is again a very important breakthrough element, which was sorely absent in this one. Thoda nonsense toh banta hai, in this no-nonsense flick yaaron! With a stellar duo like Hrithik and Saif at work, surely the directors could have tried and created some small moments giving a little comic relief herein. I know you will like intense movies that do not have a scope of comedy but hey a little bit of tweaking here and there is allowed right especially since it is Bollywood ya!
- A somewhat lax screenplay: Yes, my biggest objection with this one. Expecting the audiences to co-relate A to B and Y to Z is not done, peeps. If the plot calls for and demands it, still you cannot keep the loose ends untied and expect the audiences to figure out things for themselves. A much crisp editing and a tightened screenplay could have saved the day in a much better manner I feel.
- The battle between the good and the evil, somewhat fizzling out in the end? : Yes, again a personal observation, I strongly feel the complete story and characters felt a bit cheated too, towards the end. Whilst the climax is superb (no spoilers, ahem), there is still an uncanny incomplete feeling I felt at the end. I know sometimes endings are metaphoric but again, as I said, it’s a personal thing.
- A less colourful/dark kind of setup and backdrop: Hmm, this one is noteworthy. Agree, Pushkar and Gayatri wanted to create their own style of a contemporary universe with dark detailing and backdrops still a bit of colour and style along with some life wouldn’t hurt surely, right? Also, as an afterthought why not tie up all the smaller stories in a much clearer manner instead of keeping it ambiguous and somewhat half-informed when putting forth the bigger idea in the end?
Well, all said and done, this is surely a brilliant movie, a true “Ram Lila” of sorts showing the true victory of Good over Evil. And yet, I cannot help but feel a bit dissatisfied with what has been delivered to me in spite of the most amazing stellar cast, plot and characters. I Hope, the makers note these irregularities and make an even more brilliant piece of cinema, next time around.
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Adios Amigos and by the way
Hum ek kahaani aur sunayenge. Jald hi. Dhyaan se suniyega…
Stay tuned my lovelies!