That moment when Pushkar and Gayathri were struck with the idea to shape their new film in the mold of the fables of Vikramaditya and Vetal must have been epiphanic, for any filmmaker in the country who grew up listening to the magical tales. We don't know if the director couple chose to fit their gangster story into the fable mode at a later stage. In any case, the outcome is a work of sheer brilliance by two filmmakers, who know the perfect blend of style and substance when it comes to pop culture.
Skin it deep, you have a typical gangster drama, which has its balanced share of action, revenge, and romance. Yet what makes Vikram Vedha special is its treatment, performance and the perfect weaving in of a philosophical subtext, which you seldom come across in popular cinema.
Vikram (R. Madhavan) is an encounter specialist cop, and a sincere one to be specific. Then we have Vedha (Vijay Sethupathi), a notorious gangster. In other words, we have the hunter and the prey, ready with their convictions of duty, responsibility, and ethics.
In the course of action that follows, such convictions are put to test, each time with a question that ends the tales of Vedha, the modern day Vetal. The complex, yet neatly and tightly woven narrative comes to a close with an open ending that would surely leave you in a quandary for at least a few moments.
Just like their characters, Madhavan and Sethupathi compete with and complement each other when it comes to performance. Their penchant for subtlety explores the gray area of the characters who were presented as the personifications of the good and the bad in the beginning.
Varalaxmi, Hareesh Peradi, and Shraddha Srinath offer a realistic portrayal of their characters. The script, by the directors themselves, is well-nigh perfect with its neat handling of the various settings and characters with moderate emotions.
This is one of those few films whose BGM thrills you so much that it reverberates in your ears even after the show ends.
If you are in search of a movie that makes sense even as it keeps you thoroughly entertained, go grab your ticket for V-V.