Directed by Pushkar-Gayatri
R. Madhavan as Vikram
Vijay Sethupathi as Vedha
Kathir as Pulli
Varalaxmi Sarathkumar as Chandra
Shraddha Srinath as Priya
Mohan's Measure ✳ ✳ ✳
Did anyone say Tarantino? Vikram Vedha once again takes us into Tamil Nadu's ongoing love affair with pulp noir by introducing us to Vikram, a tough cop who kills on sight but sleeps well at night because of the fact that he only kills the bad guys. From the moment he appears, we can almost smell the mix of sweat, drugs and alcohol. His romantic moments are no prize either, his educated wife being little more than a toy to his desires and reluctant participant to his self-styled tough guy ideology. I am reminded of Spenser for Hire without the chivalry or culinary skills.
But, Vikram's wife, Priya, can hold her own. Her obvious good looks make her flaunt her femininity, but she is certainly nothing less than a challenge to her husband's brutish ways. A no nonsense junior lawyer, she could care less for his career in her defense of his arch nemesis.
It is Mr. Sethupathi's brilliant portrayal of the legendary nemesis, Vedha, which carries this movie. His name is the Tamil pronunciation of Baital, the vampire whose moral stories to Raja Vikramaditya was very much a part of even this ABCD's childhood.
And he fills us and Vikram with stories, humorous stories, sad stories, violent stories. All are intended to teach Vikram something, namely, there is a very fine line between good and evil in this world, and indeed, a man has to watch his back.
All the makings of good film noir, and yet something doesn't feel right. It has taken me a sleepless night to figure it out, but here it is. Truly good film noir has something which no one, not even Vedha has, a certain touch of overarching disillusionment, an awareness of a Greater Morality which keeps pulling at the characters, asking them to at least wish the world were different. There is a nonchalant acceptance in all the characters in this movie that makes us feel they are liking things as they are, surrounded by the smell of guns, drugs, and death. Pulp noir lacking the pulp...forgive me for sticking to the classics.