Movie Review: Vedam

It is rare to see a genuine movie these days. Rarer still if its being made in Telugu. I thoroughly enjoy the commercial fare of tollywood. The humor is usually top notch and that more or less salvages the movie. Of late though some really good films are being made out here and full credit to the younger breed of actors who are not afraid to defy the demi-god status that is thrust on them by some really senseless fans. It is good to see the Mega Stars and the Yuva Ratnas/Samrats take a backseat because it is giving new age directors and producers the opportunity to make films that do not take the audience for a ride. We still have some really crappy movies hanging around in cinemas, but we also have options now. Which is a very good sign for Telugu cinema because we have always had phenomenal talent. Just not enough courage to make movies with conviction.

Vedam is a remarkable effort. It is not a perfect movie; and there have been better movies made in recent times in Telugu, but none with the same amount of sincerity. First and foremost, a movie should entertain its viewers – irrespective of the genre. Secondly,just because a movie deals with ‘social issues’ does not automatically qualify it to be termed better than movies that were perhaps more entertaining but dealt with non serious themes. Having said that Vedam is both entertaining and eye-opening.

There are five parallel story lines, each dealing with individual themes. Allu Arjun plays the extremely likable Cable Raju who dreams of becoming rich and getting a better life than the one he has living in a slum. Manchu Manoj is an aspiring rock star/musician who has chosen a career path that is against his mother’s wishes. Anushka is a prostitute who hates the fact that she gets paid very less money for the work she does and wants to start her own company – still dealing with prostitution. Manoj Bajpai plays a muslim dealing with the loss of his unborn twins and religious profiling that drives him to extreme levels of frustration. Then there is a poor weaver family who want to educate their young son but are deep in debt. All the story lines are well conceived and performed. Allu Arjun has always been a high energy performer and he does a remarkable job with his character making him extremely believable. Manoj was in my opinion a total revelation. I never liked him. At all. But, he was almost flawless in this performance. Very natural and again, believable. Credit to the dialogue writers too for giving the actor very natural lines. I had a problem with Anushka’s story line because it seemed like they were forcing situations on her. She could have done so many things differently but her choices are never clearly explained. Having said that, Anushka performs well. Her makeup and costumes are spot on but I still feel she could have done better. But kudos to her for taking up a character like this. Manoj Bajpai is good. I felt he could have underplayed his character in some scenes. One does not have to always shout to let the audiences know that one is in pain. Still, he does well. I do not know the actors of the last storyline and I think that is what makes it the most moving part of the movie. Their desperation drives them to extreme lengths, but what is so great is that they go to those lengths with the sole purpose of educating their child. I am usually equipped with tissues when I watch a movie because crying comes very naturally to me :). Their storyline made me cry. I genuinely felt the pain of the weaver family and credit to the director for capturing such a profoundly moving situation.

Now at some point all these story lines converge. Here is where I had a problem. I did not find that convergence point very believable. The whole terrorist angle seemed forced. The director had already dealt with numerous themes in the movie like greed,religious tensions,karma etc. He also included several real life incidents into it. There was no necessity to make the last minutes of the movie as dramatic as they eventually turned out since the rest of the movie was so real. It was jarring. But, I guess majority of people may not have a problem with even that since it made for interesting viewing. It was refreshing to see a real ending where the protagonists meet with a fate that is humanly possible (a note to directors who make actors look like superheroes by showing how they walk unscathed even through fire).
The last scene of the movie will bring a smile to your face and that is all you can hope for when you walk out.

The movie is introspective, informative, entertaining and above all very very real. Definite watch for people who understand Telugu. Even if you don’t, try to get hold of a print of this movie and watch it with subtitles.

Best Scene: The scene where Cable Raju tries to steal money from the poor weaver. I turned into a puddle of tears in this scene.

Best Performer: As much as I like Allu Arjun for being a risk taker and for portraying characters that are grey, I feel Manchu Manoj was brilliant. He did not overact or underplay. He was just great in almost all scenes. And I do not even like him!

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10 Responses to Movie Review: Vedam

  1. manoj says:

    hmm
    the idea was inspired from crash. If you want to compare with Telugu movs, Om shanti was made on same lines with less equipped star cast. So, it could not garner much name.
    Yeah, it is far better than the meaningless crap dished out(cos all netizens think so and they form a mighty 20-30% of a movie`s viewership). Seriously speaking, it tries to do justice to the idea that movie making is an art.
    It would have been far better if the idea was original like prasthanam.

  2. Sundeep says:

    totally agree. vedam is worth a watch.

  3. Sri says:

    Hello Guys,

    I am new to this blog. But the reason I am here is I have some thing to ask for.

    If you have time please read from the below link and sign the petition if you like. The target of petitioners is 1000 signatures but till now only 330 have signed it. Please help.

    http://humanrights.change.org/petitions/view/ensure_human_rights_protection_of_a_minority_rape_victim_in_pakistan

  4. Sri says:

    Yeah, Vedam looks like a hit movie. No, it is a hit movie, but I have not watched it and will not be watching it or for that matter any movie.

    But tell me this. In what terms Telugu film industry deserves respect? Is there any genuine actor (I better call star) today? All up coming heroes are sons of past heroes. If their fathers have decided not make a movie with them, how many of them could have succeeded?

    Even Venkatesh, Nagarjuna and Bala Krishna are sons of famous actors.

    Why is this trend? Do you think it is democratic? Why is it our media not saying any thing on this?

    Come on guys, Think.

  5. Sandatlo_Sademiya says:

    very few people are poor nowadays. everyone (except maybe people in traditional occupations which are no longer profitable like weavers , beedi workers etc. ) is able to get a salary of atleast Rs. 3000 by hook or crook. if you dont have the means to earn, then you shouldnt give birth to children and face problems. population control is the only mantra.

  6. Sandatlo_Sademiya says:

    @ Sri : most of the telangana youth are emulating you in ur thought process.

    this is free market capitalism. not communism. try posing the same question to politicians.

    if you like chiru , watch his movies, else dont watch. if you hate ballu, spread propaganda, else dont watch.

  7. Sri says:

    To Sandatlo_Sademiya,

    Please stop it, man.

    Being from Coastal Andhra, I am against reckless movement of Telangana. The trouble is people have not questioned KCR and his ethical basis for separate state. Why? In simple words, it is moral coward ism.

    Now in what sense my line of argument is similar to that of youth from Telangana? Nevertheless if they are asking the same question as I do then they are right. In fact every Indian should think like this. Why sons of actors are our future actors? Why children of our politicians are our future politicians? Come on, this trend has to be thought over before it starts finishing our national integrity.

    What is free market capitalism? Can you define it? I am not sure of your definition but I am dead sure that this trend, according to my definition of free market capitalism, is pure feudal bigotry.

    Rather than indulging in sheer rhetoric if not polemics you could have pointed out some positive things about our Telugu movie industry (I watched one Hindi movie in the last fifteen years, that is also because of Genelia whom I like)? In fact the entire Indian movie industry it self is disgusting. May be Malayalam and Tamil have some standards. Otherwise it is zuke.

    Yes, next time please mention some positive things in our Telugu movie industry. I will mention few of my own:

    1. Double meaning dialogs.
    2. Vulgar dancing.
    3. Pure male chauvinism.
    4. Lack of originality.
    5. Nepotism.
    6. Divisions based on caste (You are a proof of this.)
    7. Utter disregard for women.
    8. Boastfulness and lies.
    9. Artificial fan following.
    10. Too violent.

    You get the point now! It really deserves ridicule and contempt.

  8. Saujanya says:

    totally agree..it somehow felt like they could’ve taken the last part of the movie a little slower..
    but it certainly was new..and nice.. 🙂

  9. Your Fan :P says:

    A Good review ! I too exactly have the same opinion abt this movie !

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