I rarely go to a Telugu movie and that’s with a good reason, as you all must be knowing. On this occasion however, I accepted Dad’s invitation simply because earlier in the day I’d come across a tweet from a certain IIIT-MIT case saying “Vedam is a (near) perfect movie”.
How many times have you seen “a good guy from a minority sect blamed and mistreated only to eventually put in a man of the match performance in helping combat the bad guys from his very own sect” in a movie? Far too many times than you’d like to, I assume. I myself have been seeing this in Indian movies since long before I even knew the difference between communism and communalism. The movie has 5 parallel story lines running and this is one of them.
Another track deals with the trials and tribulations of a debt ridden village duo seeking to get the child educated. Their one stop fix? Sell the kidney(aww, how fresh is that idea). This scenario too has been depicted so many times that it invokes laughter instead of sympathy. That’s not necessarily bad right? Indian movie-makers are pioneers when it comes to being unintentionally funny. To be honest, the director does manage to deal with all these tracks convincingly for a large part of the movie.
The ending is quite terrible though. I felt it was insulting to the Mumbai attack victims and everyone affected by it. In fact, I thought it was as tasteless as the AB comparison I made in the aftermath of that tragedy. Well, the writers had a duty to merge the five tracks together and to reconcile past enemies ala ‘Crash’. So I guess one can see what they were doing when they decided to needlessly bring in terrorism. The climax is, in a way, as bad as that of the last Indian movie I reviewed, namely ‘3 Idiots’.
Indian movies have a massive potential to be dark comedies(not that I see them tapping it any time soon). While watching the movie, I couldn’t help but wonder how funny it would be if the Coens decided to step in at that moment of time. Take for example when Allu Arjun leaves that stack of money lying on the floor in front of the door. If it was a Coens’ movie, the weeping old man would open the door on hearing the knock, he would then look from side to side (while still weeping), find no one around, and go back in cursing the neighborhood children. Allu Arjun would have left the scene by then and some completely random bum would’ve come in to the scene and made off with the cash. It wouldn’t serve the picture in any way but wouldn’t it be wicked?
Similarly, another scene of dark comedy would’ve been if the whole building blew up and everyone died in spite of the jumping out the window heroics. (How vain and wicked again?). One last dark humor moment I’d like to see create occurs outside the hotel when Allu Arjun’s walking back with the wad of cash after having an epiphany. In the earlier parts of the movie, it is shown how he lets himself be manipulated by a kiss. This time however, with the circumstances being more grave, something like a crotch grab would’ve done the trick and the couple would’ve happily splurged the cash on the passes to the party.
Coming to the cast, Allu Arjun has many good jokes to work with and also has the best scene of the movie. Best scene because…….. it is the darkest of the movie. In the scene, he steals money from the hapless old man even while realizing the consequences of his action. It is quite rare to see cruelness of this kind exhibited by a hero and it is, as a result, something to be treasured and cherished. The only downside to his casting is the mention of the name ‘Pawan Kalyan’ in the same breath as Shahrukh Khan and Sachin Tendulkar.
Lekha Washington is a babe. IMO, she need not even act to pull off such roles. Coming to Anushka, the thought of Mahesh Babu having to put up with her in his next movie makes me go ‘ewwwww’.
The songs and the lyrics are totally retch-worthy but who cares, right? Guest appearances include those of the Shiv Sainiks and the yesteryear squint-eye sensation.