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Vikram Vedha review: Saif Ali Khan's tough cop and Hrithik Roshan's smooth criminal redefine morality in a massy entertainer

Saif Ali Khan and Hrithik Roshan's clash of testosterones will keep you hooked, thanks to the smart storytelling by Pushkar and Gayatri.

Vikram Vedha review: Saif Ali Khan's tough cop and Hrithik Roshan's smooth criminal redefine morality in a massy entertainer
Saif Ali Khan and Hrithik Roshan in Vikram Vedha

Last Updated: 09.08 AM, Sep 30, 2022


In the action-thriller Vikram Vedha, tough cop Vikram (Saif Ali Khan) squares off against feared thug Vedha (Hrithik Roshan). The movie emphasises that "what you pick between good and evil defines you."


Pushkar and Gayatri just impressed everyone with their take on Baital Pachisi (Vikram-Betaal) back in 2017 on the big screen. The nearly perfect film, Vikram Vedha, had all the elements to make it one of the most entertaining Tamil films of that year. Thus, the challenge has been taken to the next level with the film being remade for larger audiences in Hindi.

I watched the original version when it came out and it just blew my mind off instantly. If you think you will not be able to watch it with a fresh mind, Pushkar and Gayatri make sure that's not the case. Set against the backdrop of Kanpur and Lucknow, Vikram Vedha takes the story to the heartland of India and narrates it with a new approach, keeping the premise intact.


The film redefines the masala entertainer but makes sure it's not a no-brainer flick. The smart writing by the duo will keep you hooked on the screen for nearly three hours. Yes, the Hindi version is nearly 20 minutes longer than the original film.

But it's definitely given that Puskar and Gayatri have taken on the onus to impress the North Indian belt as most of the actors in the film speak in Awadhi and try to get that accent quite properly. What we hear is from Hrithik Roshan, who is seen as Vedha in the film. But we will come to the actor later, as he also makes an entry nearly half an hour into the film.

Let's dive into the linear format as the film approaches. Vikram Vedha paints a comprehensive picture of corruption from the beginning. We see how cops, after "encountering" them, cook up a story so that they are not taken under investigation. No matter how feared and notorious these mobsters are, it's human rights. However, cops are always right and criminals are always wrong. This is the mindset that's approached by Saif Ali Khan's character Vikram in the film, who believes people are either good or bad. He refuses to believe that the grey area doesn't exist.

Thus, comes Hrithik Roshan, who enters his life like a smooth criminal and mixes black and white to bring a new vision to the life of Saif's character.

The film establishes a pace that will require patience the moment Vedha enters the life form, as the film not only takes cues from Baital Pachisi in the premise but also in the storytelling. Vedha keeps on asking Vikram, "Ek kahaani sunaye, Sir?" Then he poses a question to him, which seems like Sophie's choice, but a sane mind would know how to make those decisions.

Although the storytelling keeps you on your toes, you are moved to the edge of your seat once the story ends with a cliffhanger. The moment Vedha asks if he can narrate a story, it makes the film more interesting as it just negates the western storytelling of protagonist vs antagonist.

In every approach, we see how a thug is humanised and for what reason. A cop can make a mistake in the line of duty. But the biggest mistake he makes is covering it up and believing that he only ever encounters criminals.

Pushkar and Gayatri's vision of looking at humans and giving them the benefit of the doubt is commendable. The storytelling even seems to be a piece for the camera as the viewers are also roped in to figure out what's right or wrong in this complicated world.

With Sam C. S.'s background score playing in this film too, the music also adds a perfect blend to the engrossing storytelling. The music, which plays throughout the film, shows how evil and sly Vedha's character is, but it also kind of makes you root for him too, given that he is the storyteller.

When it comes to performances, let's start with Saif as Vikram! Is there any role which the actor can't ace? He's just incredible in the cop role and takes on every nuance of what an honest cop should be. His way of looking at things, how cops are always right and criminals wrong, will make you believe that he is not entirely wrong. But yes, he's wrong, and that revelation is just mind-blowing.

We have seen Saif as cop Sartaj Singh in Sacred Games, so seeing him get into the skin of Vikram is no surprise, as this has fewer layers but equal intensity.

Let's come to Hrithik as Vedha! The actor has taken a newer route in his career while taking up this role. The actor doesn't carry the baggage of stepping into the shoes of Vijay Sethupathi, who played Vedha in the original version. Hrithik brings his own style. However, I do have one complaint! The actor is seen as a bronzed man, making us believe that he has been living a raw and rusty life. But his Awadhi accent doesn't stay consistent, and the effort to ace it is visible.

We cannot take away the fact that the way the actor shows emotions, be it as a maniac who has a hunger for power, as a sly storyteller, or a loving brother, is incredibly shown by him. The actor, who has been away from the screen for four years, Vikram Vedha, shows how much he has been missed.

In supporting roles, Satyadeep Misra and Sharib Hashmi do their parts well and bring good twists as catalysts to the story. On the other hand, Rohit Saraf, Hrithik's onscreen younger brother tries too hard to blend into this big and bad world. However, both the actors' camaraderie will remind you of HR's love for his brother in Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai.

Radhika Apte as lawyer Priya, who stands up against her husband Vikram for Vedha, is too interesting to watch. Although the actor has a limited screen presence, she does make it feel like it with her performance. 

The highlights of Vikram Vedha, apart from the incredible work by Pushkar and Gayatri, are the cinematography by PS Vinod. Every frame of the film is palatable and looks just pitch-perfect as it should be. Taking that to the next level is the fab background score by Sam CS, and it's also going to stay with the Hindi audience for a long time.

Making the music of the film far more interesting is the fab duo Vishal-Sheykhar. Both the songs, Alcoholia and Bande, keep up with the theme of the film, which is raw and rustic.

Vikram Vedha takes a leaf out of the book of morals, which is beautifully redefined with the storytelling of a cop versus a criminal. 


Even if you have watched the original version of Vikram Vedha and are a huge fan, Pushkar and Gayatri retell the story in such a way that it will make you feel like it is a newer film.


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