Vikram Vedha gives the audience a hint early on about the shape of things to come when the statutory warnings starts rolling with Madhavan delivering in English and Vijay Sethupathi in Tamil.The slick trailer had spiked expectations but these are times when you can’t but help feel that some movies should’ve been released just as trailers, once you were done watching the movie in full.So it was with apprehensions that i sat down to watch the film because it had two great actors in roles tailor made for them and i most certainly did not want their collaboration to fail for any reason whatsoever.
The first few minutes of the movie looked like an extended tribute to the Gautam Menon “police story episodes” that we’ve all come to love replete with sophisticated police officers who were as much at ease gunning down bad guys as they were at sitting down with their families for a quiet dinner. The only thing missing was the voice over narration.The senior cop on crutches was a direct reference to GVMs cameo in Kakka Kakka if I’ve not got it all wrong.Madhavan’s cop character had shades of grey which are entirely absent in GVM’s leading men though the sense of purpose and clear conscience were evident.Shraddha Srinath who made quite an impression in U-Turn makes the turn here as the equally sophisticated leading lady to Madhavan’s cop, again reminiscent of GVM movies.Well the comparisons end there, thankfully i admit.I had had enough of self righteous cops who had a tendency to break into a soliloquies at the drop of a hat too.
Madhavan more than just holds himself well early on but Vijay Sethupathy soon swaggers on to the screen and gives him tough competition in a role that he almost sleepwalks through.Its nothing less than a casting coup to pit these stellar performers in roles that not just compliment their on screen personas but their images in popular culture as well.The director-writer duo have managed to engage the viewers successfully with a plot that has little or no loose ends and some smart and real witty dialogues too but its Madhavan and Vijay Sethupathy who carries the film on their able shoulders for its entire running time.The film even doesn’t stop from mocking itself either when it unwittingly slips into cliches, most evident when Vijay Sethupathy’s character asks if abandoned industrial complexes were built for people like his and Madhavan’s characters to stage showdowns, almost echoing the viewers thoughts.
AaranyaKandam is the only other gangster movie from Tamil film industry that i can think of, which could pose any serious competition to this movie when it comes to content and execution.The film plays out like a gansgter drama and a whodunnit in the same breath and is your money’s worth just for the performances delivered by the lead actors.A cult classic in the making if you ask me, though i wonder if the makers chose to play safe by swapping mutton curry for beef fry, given the times we live in or then again it could be the Malayali in me who just can’t accept the fact that porotta was paired with anything other than beef.