It is Tuesday and it is Valentine’s day but before I get to the new release for the day, I decided to tick off one leftover from the weekend. With that I finished watching the new Kannada film Vedha which is streaming on Zee5 and thus opening my account for the year 2023 as far as Kannada films is concerned(even though this is a 2022 release).
Year 2022 had been a landmark year from the Kannada film industry with as many as 4 Blockbusters resulting in the most ROI of the year. Amidst those, KGF Chapter 2 and Kantara stood out, by being two very different yet iconic films of 2022. The thing to note here being that these were mass masala entertainers in their own rights but they worked beautifully due to the core emotion behind the violence having weightage. And so when I did look at the poster of Vedha, I thought that here is another mass entertainer which may just have potential to rise above the ashes. And with that I finished watching Vedha on Zee5. Is it worth your time, lets find out.
Story & Screenplay
Vedha is essentially a revenge drama that follows the story of a father-daughter duo who are on a killing spree. What is their motive? As they say, revenge is a dish best served cold. But here, it is fiery and gory in every sense of the word. The story doesn’t shy away from portraying graphic scenes and sequences which may make you slightly uncomfortable. Revenge dramas can quickly become pretty routine if you are painted with a generic coat of paint. And so the challenge lies in the fact that the screenplay has to be more layered, by keeping a few cards up their sleeve for a better impact. And thankfully, the screenplay here standing at about a 140 odd minutes does exactly that, thereby making the proceedings interesting.
The drama does oscillate between two timelines right from the beginning(well actually 3 if you include the first and last 5 minutes of the drama). Titled ‘Then’ and ‘Now’, the drama does introduce you to the father-daughter duo in the present timeline wherein they do bump off a cop at a local police station. A parallel track from the past does give an insight about who the protagonist is and the world around him which includes the presence of his wife. Instantly, you can put two and two together to guess that the conflict is revolved around the character of the wife. Having said that, the writers do well in teasing the audience with the mystery but always keeping it under wraps.
The proceedings are layered, engaging and engrossing with the killings acting as a guilty pleasure. Each of the victims are brutally killed off, with the makers not shying away from showing graphic scenes(partially blurred) of their murder. The events are interesting with a good mix of twists and turns which will make you curious about their motive. There are hints thrown in the drama, suggestive of what event may have transpired and that keeps you going. Another strong point being, the characterization of all the characters including the female leads, all of whom have a wonderful role that holds weightage. This was a breath of fresh air considering that women are used just as props in other mass masala entertainers. For this the writers need to be complimented.
If I did have one complaint here then it has got to do with the length of the drama. The events do tend to get slightly repetitive in the middle and perhaps that bit could have been edited out. But the events leading up to the final act are good when the actual incident plays out. And that did make for a heinous and hard-hitting crime and had be shell shocked. While I was anticipating a generic kill all kind of a climax, the twist in the tale did add a nice layer of intrigue right at the end. On playing the events back in my mind, made me realise that the hints were always there and the writers did not allow you to settle in with that thought. And the last messaging was relevant as well(although a little preachy). So overall, the screenplay here does spring a surprise and is hard-hitting and fiery.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are well written and they didn’t feel quite over the top which was a good thing. The music is good but the songs stall the flow of the drama. The BGM is good and elevates the drama at a few places. The cinematography capturing gore and blood is excellent. Director A Harsha has done an incredible job here is providing a compelling tale of revenge and gore which is layered and keeps you engrossed throughout.
The performances are splendid here. Kuri Prathao and Lasya Nagraj have their moments to shine. Veena Ponappa as Inspector Rama is terrific and does a good job. Swetha Changappa as Paari is fiery and absolutely brilliant. Ganavi Laxman as Pushpa is almost a female counterpart of ‘Pushpa’, she ain’t a flower but fire. But what a brilliant performance in a very fierce role. Adithi Sagar as Kanaka is wonderfully restrained, holding back her emotions but erupting in some fabulous action sequences. Shivaraj Kumar as Vedha is outstanding and does an excellent job in emoting his anger along with a few lighter moments.
Vedha is a gory, fiery and hard-hitting revenge drama that does make for a good watch. Available on Zee5.