Finally, things are back to being normal at theatres, what with Brahmastra turning out to be a 250 crores success (and still counting) while National Cinema Day showing that audiences are hungry for films and are more than willing to hop over for that big screen experience. No wonder, all eyes are on the big release this Friday – Vikram Vedha.
So what makes it special? Well, Hrithik Roshan is coming exactly three years after War, which was also a Gandhi Jayanti release. The superstar has claimed the slot after delivering biggies like Bang Bang (2014) and War (2019) on the big holiday weekend and hence there was no surprise when he chose Vikram Vedha as well for the same time of the year. It’s just that there isn’t a much of holiday advantage this time around since Gandhi Jayanti falls on Sunday, which is as it is the biggest day of the weekend. Hence, the day has more of a notional value.
Nonetheless, coming to the core of the film, it is carrying reasonably good hype around it. Yes, it would have been better had it seen some ‘event release’ vibes around it, something which isn’t really the case so far, as was the case with Brahmastra, RRR or KGF: Chapter 2. However, what matters is that this is still a biggie which has seen good buzz around it, and in a way it’s good because you can’t always rely entirely on event films. Hence, it’s good that this Gayatri-Pushkar remake of the namesake Tamil release is being seen as a regular big budget affair.
The film has Saif Ali Khan playing Vikram and Hrithik Roshan as Vedha, and the core theme around ‘no right or wrong being the same in absolute terms’ is rather interesting. I have seen the original starring Madhavan and Vijay Sethupathi, and can say with confidence that as long as the core essence of the film has been kept intact in the remake, Bollywood has a big hit in hand. By the look of things, the director duo has upped the scale in terms of action, and there is enhanced style quotient as well. However, performances come across as rather top notch.
Vikram Vedha does aim for that mass audience as well but to begin with, it would have class audience patronizing it. The advance bookings have been decent, though not on the same lines as the aforementioned event releases but when compared to the other big budget films that have released this year [Laal Singh Chaddha, Shamshera, Prithiviraj Chauhan], the results are better.
In a way, one has to extract something special out of this because Bollywood can’t function just with advance bookings. What is also required is spot booking because it indicates that a film with positive word of mouth can also fetch great numbers at the box office if the reports of morning and afternoon shows are good. That in fact is a happy scenario too because it indicates that a film has been very well received by the audiences. If Vikram Vedha manages to take that route then it would be positive too for the industry as that would mean that you don’t really need an event film per se every Friday and as far as interesting content is being put together for the audiences and served in theatres, there would be consumers waiting to grab it sooner or later.
One just hopes and wishes that this happens indeed with Gayatri-Pushkar directed Vikram Vedha.