Vikram Vedha is a freestyle adaptation of the famous tales of Vikram and Betal. You know the story. We have all grown up with these characters. But how you present the same story is the question. We’ve had filmmakers who have tried several forms of storytelling. But re-telling a story with the same effect is perhaps the reason why Vikram Vedha stands out. Pushkar-Gayatri’s version of Vikram Vedha is one such smartly-written thriller, which has a texture, well-developed character arcs and filmmaking gimmickry.
In one scene, realising how difficult it is to shake Vikram off his conviction, he says, Vikram sir. Vikram sir! VIKRAM SIR! Vedha needs to call Vikram thrice even though the latter’s standing face-to-face. It’s a plea, and a demand, at once, to closely watch, to listen. A fleeting visual of Seven’s Kevin Spacey surrendering, and shouting, Detective!, flashed in my head. And quite interestingly, the introductory scene of Vedha is of a wilful surrender too.
On the whole, these minor missteps aside, it’s a delicious film that respects your intelligence, and there aren’t a whole lot of those. Right at the beginning, for instance, Vikram is established as a policeman who shows great attention to detail. The devil is in the details, he even says.
In an opening scene, he is shown figuring out what the dominant hand of a person is, based on which wrist the watch is tied on. Towards the end, this left-hand right-hand conundrum comes back to play a big part in the climactic resolution. It’s a beautiful echo of the opening portion, and such writing is a big reason why Vikram Vedha is among the better Tamil films made this year.