2022 Vikram, an honest officer with the Lucknow police, is on a mission to find and eliminate gangster Vedha. However, when Vedha surrenders himself to the police and starts narrating stories to Vikram, it blurs the lines between good and evil. Vedha questions Vikram’s righteousness while the latter believes he is fair and just. But is he? Vikram Vedha विक्रम वेधा
Vikram Vedha is a 2017 Indian Tamil-language neo-noir action thriller film written and directed by Pushkar–Gayathri and produced by S. Sashikanth under his banner YNOT Studios. The film stars R. Madhavan, Vijay Sethupathi, Shraddha Srinath, Kathir and Varalaxmi Sarathkumar while Prem, Achyuth Kumar, Hareesh Peradi and Vivek Prasanna play supporting roles. Inspired by the Indian folktale Baital Pachisi, the film tells the story of Vikram, a police inspector who sets out to track down and kill Vedha, a gangster. After Vedha voluntarily surrenders himself, he tells Vikram three stories which change his perceptions of good and evil.
In January 2015, Sashikanth revealed that he would be producing a film directed by the husband and wife duo, Pushkar and Gayathri. Following a year of development on the script throughout 2015, Madhavan and Sethupathi were selected to play the lead roles in February 2016. Principal photography began in November of the same year and was completed by January 2017. The film was shot mainly in North Chennai, with the area being used as its backdrop. Sam C. S. composed the soundtrack and score, P. S. Vinod performed the cinematography, and the film’s editor was A. Richard Kevin.
Vikram Vedha was released on 21 July 2017 to critical acclaim with critics praising its cast’s performances (particularly Madhavan and Sethupathi), writing, narrative style and major technical aspects. Made on a budget of ₹110 million (about US$1,661,631 in 2017), the film performed well at the box office, grossing ₹600 million (about US$9,063,444 in 2017) worldwide despite experiencing difficulties due to the changes resulting from the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax. Vikram Vedha won four Filmfare, Vijay and Norway Tamil Film Festival awards each. Additionally, it received three Ananda Vikatan Cinema Awards, two Techofes Awards and an Edison Award. In 2022, the film was remade in Hindi under the same title by the same directors.
Vikram is an honest inspector, who has a black-and-white sense of good and evil. Vedha is a dreaded gangster who understands the nuance in between. Vikram’s best friend Simon leads an encounter unit formed to eliminate Vedha. In one encounter, the squad kills some of Vedha’s henchmen, framing an unarmed criminal killed by Vikram to avoid further inquiry. As the unit plans another encounter, Vedha enters the police station and voluntarily surrenders. When Vikram interrogates Vedha, he offers to narrate a story to him. The first act relates about Vedha becoming a drug smuggler, who warns his younger brother Vignesh, nicknamed Pulli due to his mathematical skills, to stay away from crime, but Pulli is forced by a rival gangster Ravi, to carry drugs. When Pulli and his friend Chandra are caught by the police, Pulli confesses and Ravi is arrested.
On his boss Sangu’s orders, Ravi assaults Pulli, leaving a permanent scar on his hand. Vedha asks Vikram if he should kill Ravi or Sangu. Vikram replies that Sangu was the real culprit, to which Vedha implies that he killed Sangu. Vedha’s lawyer, who turns out to be Vikram’s wife Priya, intervenes and bails him out. Vikram realises that the unarmed criminal framed by them for avoiding inquiry was actually Pulli, based on the mark in his hand. Worried that Vedha might try to kill Simon, Vikram rushes to save Simon, but finds him and Chandra shot dead. SP Surendhar dismisses it as a botched encounter. Priya refuses to divulge Vedha’s whereabouts to Vikram. Enraged by this, Vikram raids Vedha’s tenements and manages to capture him. Vedha requests Vikram to listen to another story.
The second story relates with Pulli, now grown-up, offering to launder Vedha’s income by investing it in shares. Vedha’s boss Cheta invests ₹5 crore (equivalent to ₹6.0 crore or US$750,000 in 2020) in this venture. However, Chandra is supposedly kidnapped and the money is missing. Chandra returns and reveals that she stole the money to start a new life, but came back because she loves Pulli. Vedha returns the money to Cheta, who orders him to kill Chandra. Vedha asks Vikram if he should respect Cheta and carry out the order or disobey him and support Pulli and Chandra, thus inciting a gang war. Vikram replies that he should support Pulli, to which Vedha agrees. Realising Pulli’s innocence causes Vikram to stumble momentarily, Vedha attacks and subdues him, telling him to investigate Simon and Pulli’s deaths.
Vikram begins his investigation with Simon’s informant Kaattai who led them to Pulli’s hideout, but finds that Kaattai has been killed. Vikram and his unit tries to find the killer, where he takes a moment to recollect and finds one of the members of the Kerala Quotation Gang from Vedha’s story. Vikram apprehends and fights him only for the gang member to almost kill Vikram before getting shot and killed by his unit member Santhanam. Vikram searches his room, but finds a cigar and learns that the cigarette is filled with marijuana instead of tobacco. Vikram deduces that Ravi is behind the encounter and informs Vedha at his restaurant, who brings Ravi to an abandoned factory. Vikram arrives and meets Vedha, who tells the third and final act to Vikram. Vedha had sent Pulli and Chandra to Mumbai. He noticed that only his men, except Cheta’s are being targeted and eliminated by the cops.
On Ravi’s confession, Vedha tells that Simon was bribed by Ravi to kill his men. Vedha asks Vikram if Simon was right, since he became corrupt to pay for his son’s medical procedure. Vedha kills Ravi, leaving Vikram frustrated on finding out who had killed Simon. Surendhar and the unit arrive, where he castigates Vikram for letting Vedha escape again. Vikram slowly realises that the entire unit had also been bribed by Ravi. Surendhar reveals that Ravi paid them to kill Vedha and Chandra’s abduction was intended to get Pulli out of Mumbai, which would lure Vedha out of hiding. However, a guilt-ridden Simon had gone to save Chandra, but the unit had killed them both. As the unit prepares to kill Vikram, Vedha reappears and saves him. A gunfight ensues, and Vikram disables all his colleagues with Vedha’s help, but kills Surendhar. Vikram asks Vedha if he should let him go for saving his life or kill him since he is a criminal where a standoff ensues between them.