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      Vikram Vedha Movie Review: Hrithik Roshan-Saif Ali Khan's Engaging 'Kahaani' Has All The Magic In Its Greys

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      Rating:
      3.5/5
      Star Cast: Hrithik Roshan, Saif Ali Khan, Radhika Apte, Sharib Hashmi, Satyadeep Misra
      Director: Pushkar

      "Ek kahaani sunaye Sir? Sabr aur dhayaan dono se sunayegaa. Iss baar sirf maza hi nahin, tajub bhi hoga," a scruffy Vedha (Hrithik Roshan) tells Vikram (Saif Ali Khan) after a major revelation.

      Director-duo Pushkar-Gayatri through the prism of the popular Indian folklore 'Vikram Aur Betaal,' keep all things fun despite dropping very few surprises in their latest outing which is an official Hindi remake of R Madhavan-Vijay Sethupathi's 2017 Tamil neo-noir of the same name.

      What's Yay: Performances, Execution, Cinematography

      What's Nay: A few slip-ups from the Tamil original have made their way into the Hindi remake.

      Story

      Story

      The film opens up with animated stretch featuring a story about the mighty King Vikram and the stubborn ghost Betaal.

      We soon see an encounter cop Vikram (Saif Ali Khan) busting a criminal ring in a rather questionable manner in an abandoned warehouse. The man sees and thinks in black and white. "Pata hain hum har encounter ke baad hum chain ki neend kyun sote hain? Kyunki hum jaante hain ki humne kisi begunaah ko nahin maara," the upright police officer tells his colleague.

      Until one fine day, the dreaded gangster Vedha (Hrithik Roshan) who has kept Vikram and his team on their feet, walks into the police station in broad daylight and surrenders himself. Vikram is convinced that there's more to this than meets the eye. On the other hand, Vedha is eager to narrate a bunch of stories that will change the cop's notions of morality and ethics.

      Direction

      Direction

      With the roots of the story based in the popular folklore 'Vikram Aur Betaal,' director-duo Pushkar-Gayatri remain faithful to the original Tamil blockbuster in terms of execution when it comes to Hrithik-Saif's film. Barring the milieu, most of the scenes are almost replica of the R Madhavan-Vijay Sethupathi starrer. Having said that, it's fortunate that the makers refrain from adding any gimmick twists in the climax unlike a handful of south remakes in recent times.

      Meanwhile, a closer look at Vikram Vedha's world shows that Pushkar-Gayatri have a keen eye for detailing. For example, the colour of Vikram's polo-neck T-shirts undergoes a change as the line between black and white gets blurred. In the initial sequences in the film, Vikram is in white while Vedha is dressed in black. By the end of the film, the former is seen wearing grey tees.

      In one of the shots in the film, Vedha, who is seated behind Vikram in the jeep, literally appears to be on the cop's back. Another scene which has Vedha almost choking Vikram in the forest, evokes a similar feeling. On the flipside, Pushkar-Gayatri should have made the screenplay a little more tight to smooth the creases.

      Performances

      Performances

      If Vijay Sethupathi's Vedha was a mix of swag and roguish charm, Hrithik Roshan defines flamboyance in his interpretation of this antagonist. With follow shots and a buildup music, Pushkar-Gayatri give him a bombastic entry into the narrative. Throughout the film, he makes sure that your eyes are on him as he delivers crowd-pleasing dialogues and swoops down buildings.

      Having said that, there's one particular scene that leaves you with mixed feelings. It features a slow-mo action scene where Hrithik's character Vedha takes on a gang of rogues while listening to a Raj Kapoor song. The playful movement of the camera captures the actor's deliciously handsome looks as he walks towards it with his hair swaying in the air. For those few moments, it feels like Hrithik Roshan, the star has overpowered Vedha the character.

      While your heart leaps with joy to see the actor's dripping hotness, it isn't a good sign for his reel avatar.

      Saif Ali Khan as the no-nonsense cop whose understanding of the world is just black and white, hits it right from his introduction scene. Be it as a gun-wielding cop who won't blink an eye while pumping bullets or as someone who is slowly clouded by doubt, the actor essays both the shades quite well. The scenes featuring Vikram and Vedha's wordplay and the action-packed climax are fireworks on screen.

      In one of the scenes in Vikram Vedha, Radhika Apte's character Priya calls herself a courier between the two pivotal characters. That dialogue aptly sums up her role in the film.

      Sharib Hashmi delivers an impressive performance as Babloo. Rohit Suresh Saraf does a neat job when it comes to his role. Yogita Bihani as Chanda fares good.

      Technical Aspects

      Technical Aspects

      One of the major heroes of Vikram Vedha is PS Vinod's sleek cinematography. There's a lot of light and shadow play which lends an interesting layer to Pushkar-Gayatri's storytelling. The action-sequences are well-choreographed. Richard Kevin A's editing receives a thumbs up.

      Music

      Music

      Though it's a treat to watch Hrithik Roshan put on his dancing shoes for 'Alcoholia', the song ends up just as an accessory to the narrative. 'Bande' might not work as a standalone song but its visuals are high on testosterone.

      Verdict

      Verdict

      "Saara khel aankh aur kaan ka hain," quips a character in this Hrithik Roshan-Saif Ali Khan starrer. With the leading men's combustible chemistry, PS Vinod's interesting frames and the thumping background score, Vikram Vedha turns out to be an engaging battle of wits about might, morals and swagger.

      We give 3.5 stars out of 5 to Hrithik Roshan-Saif Ali Khan's Vikram Vedha.

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