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Vikram Vedha: Saif-Hrithik In A Gripping Battle To Finish



Vikram Vedha 

Vikram  Vedha

Starring  Saif Ali Khan, Hrithik Roshan, Radhika  Apte, Rohit Saraf

Directed  by Pushkar-Gayathri

Rating: ****

 Whether you have  seen  the original  Vikram Vedha in Tamil or not, the  Hindi avatar  of  the  tense taut tactile  slowburner is  a killer of a film. There are unexpected  twists and turns right to the end. And I do mean  till the very end. Writers-directors Pushkar-Gayathri milk the  cop-gangster  thriller’s conflict to  the last drop of  sweat and  blood, imbuing the action with an exceptional sense  of urgency.

The  first twenty minutes of this lengthy cat-and-mouse  chase drama is devoted to meticulously setting up the  conflict. The pieces go up  one by  one to  enforce the edifice.We see Saif Ali Khan as an encounter cop  and  his team which  is  introduced to us with care and  attention. Why so much attention, we  only get to know later, much later.

Never short of surprises, never short of breath even at the breakneck speed at which the narrative  moves, there is  a sense of stealthy progression  in the characterizations as  the plot takes the characters  from one life-changing conflict to another.

Except  for one  female  newcomer ,the supporting cast is bang-on. Satyadeep Mishra as  Saif’s cop partner Abbas  leaves a lasting impression, not  only because  of the  actor but for the way his  role is written.These  characters  have a shelf life beyond the immediate.

The storytelling  moves back and forth from one  level of  crime and punishment  to another , bring with each episode  a new layer  of relevance  to the drama. The  editing mode ensures that time  is validated as  a cruel  master of  destiny. Lucknow has been  shot by cinematographer  P S Vinod  like  never before. The  variety of  food  and internecine   feud  are fuelled by an arresting diversity  of  rugged  scenes .

There is a constant  flow of unforeseeable  energy in  the plot which per se, is nothing new.It is the whimsical   manner in which the  familiar situations  involving the  hero and the anti-hero come together  that  makes the clash a  feast  of  fury.

Both the lead actors are in their element.While  Hrithik unleashes an unbridled  brio and tends to go  over-the-top(especially  in  that totally  uncalled-for song Alcoholia)  Saif is more controlled and  prone to  brooding silences  that  this boisterous noisy   film badly  needs.

As  for who is  better between the two, their  combined  avidity  is what  gives Vikram Vedha its  raw heartstopping energy.

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