In the dreamy world of Telugu films, where commercial stereotypes have become the order of the day, director Krish has tried to bring in some freshness through "Vedam".
Krish, who made a mark with his first film "Gamyam", has clearly proved that his first success was not a flash in the pan. In fact "Vedam" goes one step ahead of "Gamyam" and stands out for its excellent screenplay, taut narration and a powerful story that underlines the importance of humanity and values.
It is a thought-provoking film and all the actors have put their best foot forward. Allu Arjun, one of the top commercial heroes of Telugu films, comes out with his career's best performance. And Krish's dialogues make a powerful impact.
The narration seems to have taken some inspiration from 2004 Oscar-winning film "Crash", which dealt with stories of unconnected people whose lives meet at a point or are linked in some way or the other.
And kudos to stars like Allu Arjun, Anushka and Manchu Manoj for opting to be part of an out-of-the-box film and move away from their branded images.
All the three artists have worked in this film with a high degree of commitment. And critically-acclaimed Bollywood actor Manoj Bajpai is seen in a complex role.
"Vedam" is the story of five unconnected people whose lives are beset with problems. Their journey for a solution to their problems brings them together and how they react to an emerging situation forms the key element of the story.
Credit has to be given to director Krish that he did not yield to temptations to use the star brigade to create another commercial hit. Instead, he focuses on the struggles, sacrifices and the sadistic side of some people trapped in a world of greed and power play.
Thankfully the film has no place for cliched sequences.
The film starts off with a slow narration and the first half is a little dragging as the director tells us the background of the five main characters.
But the film gets a firm grip in the second half where the narration is taut and the events unfold at a faster pace. The last half-an-hour is gripping and keeps the audience on the edge of their seats.
The different characters in the story are cable operator Raju, who wants to please his rich girlfriend, a rock star Vivek, who makes a journey from Bangalore to participate in a musical show in Hyderabad and Saroja, a sex worker who wants to attain freedom from the brothel house in Amalapuram.
The film also has a Muslim character, faced with problems and dilemmas due to which he wants to leave the country and a poor weaver, who is trapped in debt and wants to sell his kidneys and educate his grandson. After facing many problems in life, all these people come to a hospital to face a piquant situation.
Allu Arjun has a big role and comes out with an extraordinary performance. Manchu Manoj is also wonderful in his role. Anushka should be appreciated for accepting such a risky but challenging role. Manoj Bajpai, as expected, is awesome. And Nagayya, who is not a regular actor, is the perfect choice for the poor weaver's role.
Gunashekhar's camera work is the real strength of the film and composer Keervani has given some really good tunes.
"Vedam" is a must watch.