There’s always that one person that makes you (or rather, me) fall completely in love with a movie. In Maanagaram, it was Sundeep Kishan. In Alaipayuthey, it was Madhavan. In Vikram Vedha, it’s Vijay Sethupathi.
Vijay Sethupathi’s introduction scene with an electrifying background score was probably the best scene in Vikram Vedha. When was the last time you cheered for the villain as he was unveiled on screen, instead of the hero? Cheers like that are usually reserved for the likes of Ajith, Vijay, or the Superstar himself.
Here’s why I think Vijay Sethupathi should be the villain in every movie ever:
He stole my attention, which was reserved for Madhavan
From the moment Vijay Sethupathi’s Vedha made his entrance, I knew this movie was going to take an expected turn. And it did.
I can’t remember a time when I got goosebumps watching the villain’s introduction – especially when the hero is Madhavan. You don’t get it, Madhavan is my one true love. But even when he was on screen, playing the fearless and righteous cop that is Vikram with his swept back hair and chiseled jawline, I found myself yearning for Vijay Sethupathi’s presence. “Where is Vedha? I want Vedha back on screen! I want to hear his stories!” His natural swag, wit and charm just drowned everything else.
He has us rooting for the bad guy
The modus operandi of the plot is based on the conceit of the age-old folklore, King Vikramadityan and the Vedhalam – hence Vikram and Vedha. The title of the movie itself is genius. The story of Vikram Vedha is very simple, or so the directors would have you believe.
Vikram, the righteous cop, is determined to track down his arch-nemesis, Vedha, a gangster-cum-druglord who keeps getting away (think Kaaka Kaaka). And of course, we take Vikram’s side at first – we want him to take down the bad guy and win. But before Vikram could go out and hunt him down, Vedha surrenders himself.
This is where it all gets interesting. Every time Vikram captures Vedha, Vedha convinces Vikram to let him tell a story. In any other movie, we would have just yelled at Vikram to shoot Vedha and get it done and over with it. But in this movie, you take Vedha’s side. You want Vikram to take a chill pill and listen to Vedha’s story, because we want to listen to the story too. Every story Vedha tells Vikram may seem like a simple story, but it has layers and codes that he wants Vikram to decipher.
He makes us question what we know about right and wrong
The movie starts off with a very clear juxtaposition of what is right and what is wrong. In fact, Vikram repeats it multiple times in the movie. “Of course I will do the right thing. I’m a police. Of course you are wrong, you’re a criminal,”
But as the plot starts to unfold, the line between what is right and wrong is blurred. The more we hear Vedha’s stories, the more conflicted we become – just as Vikram does. You start to wonder what would you have done if you were in Vedha’s place. You realise that sometimes, whether something is right or wrong really depends on where you’re standing.
Vikram Vedha: the best bromance in Tamil cinema
This is the moment where I say “Name me a more iconic duo – I’ll wait.” And I’ll probably wait forever, because you can’t name me a more iconic duo (and no, you can’t say Rajinikanth and Sarath Babu). As I said earlier, my favourite scene in the movie is Vedha’s introduction scene. My second favourite scene? When Vikram arrests Vedha and puts him in the backseat, and while Vikram is driving, he shares a cigarette with Vedha – who is in handcuffs. This is where I have to highly praise (or build a shrine) for the directors, husband and wife duo Pushkar-Gayathri.
The hero and villain share a bromance moment, and it gels perfectly well with the tone of the movie. Vikram is still a cop who is determined to kill Vedha on encounter. Vedha is still the drug lord who knows he’s going to die, but doesn’t see a reason why he can’t have a cigarette first. Also, deep down, Vedha knows things that Vikram doesn’t – and he knows his moment to break Vikram will come.
Despite their cat and mouse chase, despite scheming to get away from Vikram every time he gets caught, deep down inside, for some peculiar reason, Vedha cares for Vikram. And that brings me to my third favourite scene in the movie – when Vedha gifts Vikram a chain sprocket so he can fix his dad’s old bike and use it again. More goosebumps!
I’m not a big fan of the final twist in Vikram Vedha. But the entire screenplay was crafted so well, the chemistry between Madhavan and Vijay Sethupathi is off the charts – so much so that it outshines the romantic relationship Vikram and his wife. Plenty of case solving, pertinent and realistic fight scenes, and impeccable casting – kudos to Pushkar Gayathri.
Verdict: I’m going to start watching every single movie that has the name Vijay Sethupathi in it.