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Vedam : An exhilarating, vivacious drama!

June 4, 2010

There are films which almost vanish without a trace and there are films which impress you instantly. Apart from these two, there are films of another kind, which hit you so hard that you thank god for such an exhilarating experience. ‘Vedam’ falls in that third category of films. Directed by Radhakrishna Jagarlamudi, who had earlier made Gamyam, the film is the first multistarrer in ages which has Allu Arjun, Manchu Manoj, Anushka, Manoj Bajpai and Nagayya in lead roles. Deeksha Seth, Lekha Washington, Ravi Prakash and Seiya Gautham played other important roles in the film.

First things first, the film’s not a copy of ‘Om Shanti’ which had hit the screens earlier this year. The latter film was so terrible that I walked out in the middle of the film. The main culprit which ruined the day for ‘Om Shanti’ was its screenplay. Although both the films have the concept of 5 stories which are connected with each other in some way or the other, there’s a huge difference between how the films were narrated. While ‘Om Shanti’ heavily depends on ‘pure co-incidence’ and thereby less convincing, ‘Vedam’ depends on how well those five stories are entwined once they begin to crisscross each other. Now that I have made my point clear that Vedam is much better than Om Shanti in almost every aspect, I would also say that Vedam is one hell of a roller coaster ride.

Allu Arjun stars as Cable Raju and Manoj is Vivek Chakravarthy who has his own rock band. Anushka is Saroja, a prostitute in Amalapuram. Manoj Bajpai in Qureshi, a Muslim with a tragic past which forces him to leave the country and Nagayya stars as Ramulu, a weaver from Sircilla who would do anything to educate his grandson. Vivek, Saroja and Ramulu land in Hyderabad for some reasons and all their destinies intertwine on one tragic night, December 31. Why do they all land in Hyderabad and how do their paths crisscross each other, is something which you have to see on big screen and decide for yourself whether this film is one of its kind or just another wannabe film which covers itself under the shroud of ‘Different cinema with a big star cast’.

When the film began, I tried to understand the flow of Vedam and honestly, the abrupt hopping between stories was quite frustrating to sit through, atleast for a while. Multiple Stories especially those related to hyperlink cinema are quite difficult to understand if you aren’t used to this format. For example, in Amores Perros, there’s one focal point and the stories have their own space where they are consistently narrated before going to the next story. In that sense, Vedam takes its own sweet time in setting up the premise of the film. The jump cuts and the desperation to give equal footage and importance to all the five stories, makes it quite challenging to be on the same page as the film. However, it all begins to make sense once the story shifts to Hyderabad. The story effectively brings together all the characters at one point or the other and it’s a revelation. It’s quite refreshing to see that the film concentrates on the story rather than providing humongous space for actors and actresses to hog the limelight. Everyone, including the side actors, understands the limitations of their respective characterization and as a result of that they all dazzle. Probably this is the first time that none of the actors and actresses will go unnoticed. And that includes Deeksha Seth, Lekha Washington, Seiya Gautham, Ravi Prakash and others. Lets give a big round of applause to Krish for this achievement.

Among the five lead actors and actresses in the film, although Allu Arjun and Anushka have a long runtime, they don’t overshadow others like Manchu Manoj, Manoj Bajpai and Nagayya. It’s hard to point out at one actor who would stand out in the film because they have their space and depth in characterization. At one point of time, you begin to forget that you are watching some of your favourite stars on screen. The story sucks you into a world where money, humanity and madness reign supreme. It’s a pity that we get to see this quite rarely in Telugu movies of late and at the same time a reason to celebrate that there’s someone who’s brave enough to put the story forward rather than packaging scenes around a particular star. Krish and his entire team deserve two rounds of applause for this.

Of late, I have been trying to observe how the film has been shot, the camera angles used which would define the characters and the locales where the story is set. Gnanasekhar’s cinematography for this film is ‘ek dum jhakaas’! Whether the camera is mounted on Cable Raju’s bike or the dizzy effects while traversing through the bylanes of old city, Gnanasekhar makes sure that you become a part of the story. It’s a fine example of what great cinematography can do to a good story. Sravan has come up with a fabulous work as the editor of this film. While I don’t understand the technicalities of editing, all I can say is there wasn’t a single scene in the film which bored me. Keeravani’s background score is stunning. I had lost some amount of respect for this veteran after I found out he plagiarized the background score of ‘Chatrapathi’ from a video game. But with Vedam, he makes a strong comeback and I hope this time it’s his original work which does all the talking! Krish maybe just one film old, but with Vedam he has emerged as a fine filmmaker who can drive home his point convincingly. I did like his earlier film ‘Gamyam’ although I think it’s highly overrated. But Vedam is way better and far more engaging than his previous work. After a shaky start (read as abrupt jumps from story to story), Krish takes the reins in his hands and pulls the right strings to narrate the story.

There’s a scene in the film where Cable Raju is about to hand over huge amount of money to collect passes for a party. His hands begin to tremble and his mind blanks out. He’s completely lost and when’s about to exchange the money, his conscience pricks him. It’s one of the defining moments of the story which will definitely strike chord with you. It is scenes like this, carefully scripted and brought to life which make Vedam a pleasure to watch.There’s consistency in everything the film does after the five stories begin to criss cross each other and it’s the biggest strength of this film. It sets a tone and even though you predict how the events might turn out, Vedam hits you like a bullet, thanks to the outstanding performances and excellent cinematography especially in the climax. A rare film, which had me in tears. Two big thumbs up for Krish and his entire team of Vedam for giving us this gem of a movie. Putting all the labels like awesome, wonderful, path-breaking film aside, Vedam is like a ray of hope for all the wannabe writers that if you have the right story and screenplay then anything is possible, even in Telugu Cinema. And I sincerely hope that this “ray” turns into an eternal flame. The film has so many stars and starry qualities that it doesn’t require any stars (or rating) to represent how awesome the film is. Go watch it….NOW!

Yours Truly,

Hemanth

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24 Comments leave one →
  1. June 4, 2010 7:31 pm

    Cool.Liked the fact that you talked about the film’s positive attributes without giving away the story. Thats the best part of this review, apart from the recommendations 🙂 Will definitely watch it and will share my thoughts after I get to watch it. I need to get tickets boss. Not as lucky as you are 🙂

  2. Vasu permalink
    June 4, 2010 7:31 pm

    bhayya ….
    rating / 5
    ivvali ..ikkada kooda
    pls continue it

  3. June 4, 2010 7:44 pm

    All those brilliant review for Varudu I’ve read didn’t convinced me like yours 🙂
    Despite of fact I didn’t liked Gamayam even a bit, the only thing I think is great is Allari Naresh performance. I’ve always been a fan of “novel” type of movies, just to name few like Night on Earth or some other type like Blind Chance. Well, Vedam seems so far like a must-watch!

  4. June 4, 2010 9:15 pm

    Thanks for the review! It makes me want to watch Vedam very badly but I don’t think I can until the DVD comes out…………

  5. June 4, 2010 9:16 pm

    vedam is awesome, with respectful persons and powerful dialogues.
    Allu arjun dialogues like
    1. “Adrustam addam theruguthe…arati pandu thinna pannu iruguthundi” loved a lot this dialogue”
    2. “Perugu vaada lo perugu vtundhi kani pullihoralo pulli vunadhu kada”
    3. Prapanchamu lo ekkadina bike ki petrol kottisthanu ana friend ni namakudadhu”.

    hatss of to krish

  6. krishna permalink
    June 4, 2010 9:33 pm

    Movie Rating: 3/5

    Vedam is a mix of (Gamyam + Om Shanti)

    Gamyam is better than Vedam.

    Vedam is just below average.

    Cinematography & Background Score is amazing in Vedam.

    • babu permalink
      June 11, 2010 7:36 pm

      Gamyam is a worst remake of english movie ‘Motorcycle Diaries’. It’z a biopic of Che Quevera who slowly emerges as a leader. But, Sarvanand’s quest lead only to end in successing his love.

  7. Varma permalink
    June 5, 2010 12:00 am

    gonna watch the movie . . hopefully waiting for the release in chennai theaters. .

  8. June 5, 2010 2:33 am

    One of the best review i ever read… without revealing the story u did a good job dude… 🙂

  9. Rakesh permalink
    June 5, 2010 8:05 am

    Good on you that you did not try to rate the movie . Your review is superb without dishing out a single piece of story . This is how a review has to be ! ain’t it ? So all the review writers ( as if they really are ) please follow this to know how a review ought to be written . I know you wouldn’t. By the way thank you buddy for reviewing the movie so rightly.

  10. Vrinda Prasad permalink
    June 5, 2010 12:27 pm

    Great Review. With this movie TFI has found a true actor Bunny, a fabulous director, splendid cinematographer and great editor more over a movie to keep forever! Some stories leave you with no words to express..this is one of them! Bunny’s character though had a flavour of Galli Seenu in Gamyam.. Good write Hemanth!

  11. Pavan permalink
    June 7, 2010 12:36 pm

    Good review Hemanth. I agree with Krishna, it is an (above)average movie. I felt similarities between Vedam and Crash – the same way I felt between Gamyam and Motor cycle diaries. That apart, Characterization could have added more strength to the movie with a better script. Overall, Vedam is a good effort !!

    Cable Raju: The most believable character of all the characters. Arjun excelled in his role undoubtedly. His realization to take life as it comes is good

    Vivek Chakravarthy: Manoj made it believable because he is a good actor. However, the character looked lost in the movie with scanty-to-none energy, which is quintessentially required for a rockstar. His realization part of helping others is the only plus
    Saroja: She seemed to be a happy soul in the movie, couldn’t wrap my mind around a single strong reason why she wants to run away from her Employer 🙂 There is also a mention that she makes Rs.1000 a night, which is fantastic 🙂 She only wants to run and start her own company, but why become an entrepreneur when she is a happy employee? characterization took a beating for Saroja

    Nagayya: This guy fit the bill, and he is aptly supported by Saranya, but is this story not predictable? geesa peeta, we have seen such characters several times. No punch et all

    Rahimuddin Quereshi (Manoj Bajpai): He looked lost again. why is he so tentative in this movie? is it out of fear or bad characterization? what was the objective? this reminded me of that “black couple and the cop” in #crash – The sequence where his nephews are beaten up is not justified too 😦

    What is this sudden 26/11 climax? competing with ‘A Wednesday’?

    Why is Brahmanandam required in this movie? only to transfer the locket to that Eunuch? Instead of his fuzzy character, they could’ve shown him in good light and as a catalyst in encouraging Saroja to do some good work; and as a blessing, should’ve given the locket 🙂

    I really envy Krish for his luck. The support he has from film fraternity including script writing (Venkatesh Chakravarthy, who works for Ramanaidu Film School is the script consultant for this movie)

    Some Ducks have all the luck !!

    Cheers

    Pavan

    • yalkur permalink
      June 8, 2010 1:10 pm

      pavan, i like de way u rote abt characters, but gotta ask somthings jus may be im ignorant or i dono.. y is anushka (her character more precisely) required in de movie..not even a single scene justifies her being in de movie..except 4 de fact dat she could pull de frontbenchers… n i think posani, bramhi were also wasted..dey cud hav been made to involve in script.. n its hard to say dat dis movie not inspired by many oder movies..n at lass y is it titled vedam, not dat oder movie titles make sense, but dis is supposed 2 b a meaningful movie…i jus cudnt connect to de title after watching movie..

      • Pavan permalink
        June 8, 2010 4:48 pm

        Yalkur, precisely, these characters could have been better and worked as catalysts thru out the movie. I also fail to understand what is that common goal that united the five characters? I thought for climax, they were put in a situation !! It would have been gripping had they shown some build up through out the movie linking the climax. The whole climax theme just popped up on the screen from thin air with no relevance to any of the five characters…..Check out Nagesh Kukunoor’s Teen Dewarein, there is link between the four characters of that movie (Nagesh, Jackie Shroff, Juhi chawla, and Naseeruddin shah)

        I would’nt have bothered to analyze a movie so much for if it was a run of the mill telugu movie. Vedam is considered special, Hence I am analyzing….

        PS: I may be wrong in my reading of the movie (or) not hundred percent accurate !!

        • yalkur permalink
          June 15, 2010 9:38 pm

          yes dude..3 diwaren is one of its kind..i liked its screenplay…kukunoor was amazing how he ran de storys parallelly… n also climax was a bit artificial.. wat was de need for both heroes to jump along with the terrorist.. dey jus cud hav pushed him from the top of the building.. probabli it was made so as to create a sym’pathetic’ impression on heroes.. it was artificial tho… obviousli director cudnt relate de stories convincingly. he told in an interview dat de first storiline he had for de movy in his mind was dat of the old man n his grandson’s dream of going to skool..n den he rote rest of de stories n he knitted itt.. neva de less.. i wud appreciate director’s effort of trying to make different genre movies.. we had enuf of regular telugu cinema..

  12. June 7, 2010 2:21 pm

    Hemanth,

    Thanks for yet another reco. Having gotten a glimpse of the storyline, how is the title of the movie related to the plot?

    If I hadn’t read your review, I would have thought it is yet another run of the mill movie, seeing its posters.

  13. June 7, 2010 10:31 pm

    Thanks for the wonderful review. I am going to work on mine today.

    I have been thinking about this a lot because I really really really like Gamyam a lot. Maybe I went in watching it with no expectations because I didn’t read much about it. Or maybe when I watched it, I really didn’t know about the praise it has gotten (sometimes that happens when there’s “hype.”

    I am going to work on my Vedam review right now 🙂

  14. Srikanth permalink
    June 8, 2010 12:41 am

    This is one of the movie, where giving a rating would seriously make some sense. I liked the fights in the movie (I hardly notice it in other gult movies), especially the one after the interval, Immediately.

  15. kumar permalink
    June 9, 2010 6:15 am

    Hey Hemanth,

    I saw the review on greatandhra and realized that they cannot have written that review, and checked your page to see they have copied the whole review. Greatandhra copies all of their reviews from different websites, and the email linked to your name at the end of the review is for somebody else.

  16. prasanthi permalink
    June 14, 2010 6:54 pm

    Excellent review.will feed back my view on vedam after i watch it.

  17. June 22, 2010 3:08 am

    Here are my TWO cents on Vedam

    http://tumbu-vk.blogspot.com/2010/06/review-vedam.html

  18. Gotti permalink
    July 7, 2010 1:30 am

    I am really tired of seeing all this comparison with Crash. Crash is a brilliant watch in all terms with strong and unrelated characters. However they were tightly and beautifully stitched into the script which makes the movie gripping.

    Talking about Vedam…I really appreciate Krrish for taking characters from diverse walks of life and portray their perspectives and conditions.. however, the story missed cohesion.. It seemed to me like the characters were forced into the script.. the climax was funny!

  19. August 1, 2010 1:59 am

    I was not blown away from the film. It was OK. At least, the director tried a different genre.

    • Pranavi permalink
      August 4, 2010 4:18 pm

      All I can say is anyone who has a heart would have something valueable to take away from this film. This just goes to show, that no matter how much good there is right in front of them, society will still find something wrong with it. How could you possibly not be affected by the reality shown in the film? I am going to tell every telugu person i know to watch this film.

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