Vikram Vedha (2022): When Good Takes On Evil

Hell was full, so I came back. And this time for revenge! Starring the charismatic duo Saif Ali Khan and Hrithik Roshan, Bollywood brings you a one-of-a-kind neo-noir action thriller titled “Vikram Vedha”. Written and directed by the director couple PushkarGayathri and co-produced by S. Shahshikanth, Charavarthy Ramachandra, and Bhushan Kumar; Vikram Vedha hits the big screens worldwide on September 30, 2022.

Starring Saif Ali Khan (Left) and Hrithik Roshan (Right)

Vikram Vedha is the official Hindi remake of the film director couple Pushkar-Gayathri’s Tamil-language neo-noir action-thriller by the same name. The original Tamil film starred R. Madhavan as police inspector Vikram and Vijay Sethupathi as gangster Vedha. This Bollywood remake stars veteran actor Saif Ali Khan as Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Vikram and the “Greek God of Bollywood” Hrithik Roshan as gangster Vedha.

The original 2017 movie starring R. Madhavan and Vijay Sethupathi

Vikram Vedha (2022): The Origin

The story is based on the legendary Indian folklore “Vikram and Betaal”. King Vikram was asked by a hermit to bring a hanging ghost named Betaal from an ancient tree. Betaal used to hang upside down from that tree. When king Vikram brought Betaal down from the tree and carried him on his back to the hermit, Betaal tried to entertain him by telling him stories. But he gave king Vikram a condition. If he uttered a single word while he would narrate the story, then he would again fly back to that same tree. Then once again king Vikram will have to take the trouble of bringing him down from the tree and start his journey afresh by carrying him over his shoulder.

Vikram Vedha (2022): Story Outline

Featuring Saif Ali Khan as Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Vikram

It’s a fight between good and evil. SSP Vikram is a no-nonsense police officer. His friend and colleague, SSP Abbas (Satyadeep Mishra), is on an encounter mission to track down the dreaded gangster and murderer Vedha. However, the team’s encounter attempt failed, and they managed to kill only a few of Vedha’s henchmen. As the police unit was planning another encounter, Vedha entered the police station and voluntarily surrendered. As SSP Vikram interrogated him, he offered to tell Vikram a story, throwing his life into disarray. Vikram’s wife Priya (Radhika Apte), who is a criminal lawyer, was direly against her husband and bailed out Vedha.

The failed encounter which SSP Abbas had conducted, in that he and his team had killed an unarmed criminal and framed him to be Vedha to avoid any further inquiry. That dead criminal was none other than Vedha’s own brother Shatak (Rohit Saraf). So Vedha sought revenge! Meanwhile, SSP Abbas was found dead.

Featuring Hrithik Roshan as gangster Vedha

As Vedha resumes his vengeance quest, Vikram is on a mission to track down the murderer of Abbas. Throughout the mission, Vikram and Vedha occasionally stumble upon each other and Vedha narrates stories that helped Vikram in his investigation. Tiffs between Vikram and Vedha continued and Vedha at one point attacked and subdued Vikram, telling him to investigate his brother Shatak’s murder too.

And finally, who do you think the actual villain of the story should turn out to be? It’s none other than the Inspector General of Police (played by Sudhanva Deshpande) and his entire police unit! The police unit had been bribed by a drug dealer named Babloo (Sharib Hashmi) who was behind Vedha’s brother Shatak’s murder and SSP Abbas’ murder as well. SSP Abbas was in fact bribed by Babloo, and he had killed his own policemen upon being ordered to do so. However, Babloo was killed by Vedha and Vikram finally found out that it was his boss, the IG, and his entire corrupt unit who had killed Shatak and his girlfriend Chanda (Yogita Bihani) deliberately. Not only that, the IG and his corrupt police unit had murdered the guilt-ridden Abbas as well while he was trying to save Chanda.

When Vikram came to know who the real culprits were, the IG and his police unit prepared to kill him. But at the end moment, Vedha appeared to save him. A tremendous gunfight endured, and Vikram disabled the entire police unit before killing the IG.

Following this, Vikram thanked Vedha for saving his life but at the same time also asked him whether he should kill him or not as Vedha happened to be a dreaded criminal himself.  The climax shows a standoff between Vikram and Vedha. Who will come out as the victor? You decide!

Vikram Vedha (2022) Official Trailer:

The Good:

The Ultimate Violence!

The screenplay of Vikram Vedha has been written by the writer and director couple Pushkar-Gayathri. The unique raw action-based screenplay of Vikram Vedha is filled with chilling thrills along with an essence of neo-noir novelty. As the mysterious drama unfolds, you will feel the excitement rise. The fun fact is that the entire plot has different layers associated with Vedha’s storytelling which makes it direly intriguing. The high dramatic essence and the uniqueness in the sequences throughout the screenplay are bound to get the audiences thrilled with every passing moment.

This is an out-and-out action-thriller. The screenplay of Vikram Vedha is filled with intense raw action and is a feast for action lovers. Scenes covering extreme gun violence, hand-to-hand combats, ferocious gang wars, neck and skull breaking, and people flying through the air after receiving violent punches; plague the screenplay throughout. I don’t know whether you would personally take this as good or bad, but for an action enthusiast like me, these are something that rock the show! This film indeed has fantastic action choreography.

The first 20 minutes of the screenplay are a bit slow and may get you bored. But as that duration passes by, the drama picks up so intensely that the audiences may not have even the time to think about what’s going to happen next?! The thrill flow in this movie is ultra fast-paced. The climax is super interesting and involves a twist in the tale. You will be shocked to find that the top-ranking Inspector General of Police and his entire police unit are the actual villains in this movie. Vedha is a gangster and a cold-blooded murderer. He for sure is a villain. But from this movie’s point of view, he saves Vikram from the corrupt police unit who were getting ready to murder him in broad daylight. So here, he gains the image of a “so-called” hero at the end.

The Dynamic Duo: Saif Ali Khan And Hrithik Roshan

Rohit Saraf as Vedha’s brother Shatak in Vikram Vedha (2022)

The duo, Saif Ali Khan and Hrithik Roshan, gave rock-solid performances. Saif Ali Khan’s style coupled with Hrithik’s machismo fired up their performances even more. In fact, this is what I address as performance redefined!

Saif Ali Khan as the duty-bound SSP Vikram is one of the pillars of this film. Another one is Hrithik Roshan whose unkempt look and charisma added to his mesmerizing performance as gangster Vedha. Hrithik’s character of Vedha is ruthless, menacing, and at the same time extremely emotional. You need to see Hrithik’s dance moves in the song “Alcoholia”. The craze in his moves is simply outstanding!

Supporting actors Rohit Saraf as Vedha’s brother Shatak, Satyadeep Mishra as SSP Abbas, and Sharib Hashmi as drug dealer Babloo gave stand-up performances. They literally lived up to their characters. The female cast included Radhika Apte as Vikram’s wife and criminal lawyer, Priya. Her character was interesting. In spite of being Vikram’s wife, she stood up against her husband, gave her job the first priority, and defended Vedha! She was bent on saving the dreaded criminal from Vikram’s clutches and at one point she even refused to let Vikram know about his hideout. Yogita Bihani as Shatak’s girlfriend Chanda appeared convincing in her role.

Radhika Apte as Vikram’s wife and criminal lawyer, Priya in Vikram Vedha (2022)

Thrilling Dialogues

For sure, an ultimate action blockbuster with intimidating dialogues! Allow me to narrate a few dialogues from this movie in Hindi and translate them to English for you.

Vikram’s dialogue; “Pata Hain Hum Har Encounter Ke Baad Bhi Chain Ki Neend Kyu Soote Hain? Kyuki Hum Jaante Hain Ki Humne Kisi Begunah Ko Nahi Maara” which means, “You know why we police officers sleep peacefully after every encounter? Because we know that we haven’t killed any innocent!”

Vedha’s dialogue; “Aksar Sach Sahi Aur Jhoot Galat Hota Hain. Par Iss Kahani Main Sach Aur Jhoot Dono Galat Hain” which means, “Usually the truth is right and the lie is wrong. But in this story, the truth and lie, both are wrong!”

Majestic Cinematography

Cinematographer P.S. Vinod has done marvelous work in Vikram Vedha with his top-notch camerawork. The action sequences in the film have been captured precisely keeping the minutest details in mind.

Oh yes, the visuals and backgrounds of this film are unique. This retro shadowy cinematic essence which amplifies the sinister plot is what I have seen after a very long time in Bollywood movies.

The Background Music

Just listen to it! This uniquely intimidating background music is one of the foundations of this neo-noir action blockbuster.

Extraordinary Job By Pushkar-Gayathri

PushkarGayathri’s direction of Vikram Vedha is impressive. Their narrative style and their way of presenting the scenes throughout the film are outstanding. Of course, the precision and high-quality editing performed by Richard Kevin A. also has a significant role in captivating the audiences throughout the entire runtime.

A still from Vikram Vedha (2022)

Vikram Vedha (2022): Saif Ali Khan And Hrithik Roshan Behind The Scenes

The Bad:

What Was The Need For A Remake?

I didn’t quite understand; when Pushkar-Gayathri had already made a Tamil-language film titled Vikram Vedha in 2017, what was the requirement of making a Hindi-language Bollywood film by the same name and story in 2022, and that too which involved a massive INR 175 Crore budget?!

If anybody doesn’t understand the Tamil language, they could have very well chosen to watch the Hindi-dubbed version of the 2017 R. Madhavan and Vijay Sethupathi-starrer. Then what was the need to spend such a huge amount for a remake?

Perhaps the director couple wanted to make a Bollywood debut with this film. That’s why they might have wanted to associate themselves with producer Bhushan Kumar to develop the same movie with Bollywood casting. And I must say that their efforts have been fruitful. This Hindi remake has turned out to be a mega blockbuster!

Not Suitable For Women And Children

Vikram Vedha is a movie for real men! By “men” I mean hard-hearted ones, probably like me! No offense against Indian women and children. But this extreme violence may not suit them. Vikram Vedha has a hugely male-dominated script, and the intense raw violence may be enough to give it an A rating!

The Verdict:

I must tell you that there has been a lot of dilemma with regard to the casting for this film. As R. Madhavan was shooting for “Rocketry: The Nambi Effect”, the filmmakers were unable to approach him for persuading him to reprise his role of Vikram from the original 2017 Tamil movie. So they thought of approaching Saif Ali Khan for the role of SSP Vikram. In 2019, it was confirmed that Saif would be playing Vikram and superstar Aamir Khan would be cast as Vedha opposite him in this Bollywood remake.

But after production delays happened due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Aamir left this project and was replaced by Hrithik Roshan as Vedha. The character of Vedha is from the city of Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh, India. So Hrithik had to deliver dialogues throughout this movie in an Awadhi accent. After Hrithik’s selection, the supporting cast was selected. The filming had begun in February 2021 when Aamir Khan was in the cast. However, as Aamir left in June 2021, the filmmaking had to be restarted all over again, now with Hrithik replacing him.

You will be astonished to learn that filmmaking was started in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The sets in Abu Dhabi were created and made to resemble the locations that are in the city of Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh, India! And this was done solely because of Hrithik Roshan as he refused to shoot in the shabby and overpopulated areas of Lucknow on account of COVID health concerns. The shooting in Abu Dhabi resulted in the escalation of the budget of this film. However, the second filming schedule was conducted in Lucknow itself in December 2021.

The “Alcoholia” Song Featuring Hrithik Roshan

I must say that Vikram Vedha has been filmed brilliantly, and is sure to gain mass appeal. Unpredictable moments throughout this film coupled with outstanding performances and an electrifying background score make it a complete cinematic feast. The narrative build-up is so strong and engaging that I bet you won’t be able to leave your seats. You will have yourselves glued till the very end. The film’s classy setting and strong character development play major roles in amplifying its essence.

A still from Vikram Vedha (2022)

Overall, a 2-hour and 30-minute complete spicy entertainer loaded with high-octane action, power-packed drama, and thought-provoking sequences; that’s what Vikram Vedha is! This Hindi-language risk-free remake retains the swag of the original 2017 Tamil movie with minor changes made at certain points to attract the curiosity of North Indian audiences. If you would like to experience Vikram takes on Betaal in the modern scenario, then hop in for Vikram Vedha running at your nearest theaters!


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  • Acting - 9.8/10
  • Cinematography/Visual Effects - 9.5/10
  • Plot/Screenplay - 9/10
  • Setting/Theme - 9.5/10
  • Watchability - 9/10
  • Rewatchability - 8/10
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About Subhadeep Kumar Ganguli

Meta film critic. Never make the same mistake twice. Make it three or four times just to be sure 😉

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