Monday, June 7, 2010

Vedam - Allu Arjun in an awesome multistar film!

On Saturday, I went to watch the first show of Vedam . I couldn’t miss a chance to watch Allu Arjun on the big screen. Therefore, I verified the show times because I was upset with missing out watching Varudu during opening weekend. On top of that, I went solo. I don’t care. I just haaad to watch it :D

Some people have been questioning me why would I go watch another Telugu film with *out* English subs. Well, I used to go watch Hindi films with *out* subs too. No difference here. It wasn’t until a few years ago that every Hindi film that released had English subs. My first Bollywood film in the theater was Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya. The experience was phenomenal because I could finally say that I was able to watch it in the big screen during opening week! My Hmong friends and I used to try to watch them when we got the chance. However, only certain stars’ films – Shahrukh, Kajol, Salman – were available on the big screen and there were no English subs too. That never stopped us for watching! If my friends couldn’t go, I’ll go without them! :D

That same feeling I had with Hindi films is what I feel with Telugu films right now. I had my chance to watch Desamuduru on the big screen, but during that time, I was still new to Telugu films and decided not to watch in the theater with *out* English subs. Fast forward, three years, later. I don’t care. I’ll watch Bunny in anything. I do not want to wait a year later for the dvd. I want to watch it. Right. Now.

Even though Vedam doesn’t have subs, I am just grateful to have it offered in my town. Especially Telugu and Tamil films, and sometimes even Kannada and Malayalam films. Some of my online friends can not even watch Hindi films in the theater yet.

My local theater

First of all, Vedam has been compared with the Oscar-winning Hollywood movie, Crash. Vedam is *not* a remake by any means. The storyline is just similar with several unrelated people coming together. It could be said the same with the other Hollywood movie, Babel. Even Bollywood has done it with Salaam-E-Ishq and Life in a Metro. So why the need to point-out Vedam like that? Let’s not forget it has been done before with Ayutha Ezhuthu (Tamil) / Yuva (Hindi) too.

Since I really liked Gamyam, I was looking forward to Vedam (besides Bunny being the other main reason).

Watching Vedam without subs was no big deal. It really is not that hard to follow at all. While I did get the gist of the movie, I may have missed a couple of comedic parts. There were a lot of laughter from the audience, especially during Bunny’s scenes.

Over the past few months, since my post about why I love South Indian films, I talked about Telugu films still having the masala factor that made me fall for Indian films, in general. Some Telugu speaking people argued with me that Telugu films need to step it up because other film industries have. To me, Vedam is a perfect example of stepping it up and still having all the masala flavor – drama, action, comedy, love. It’s all there!

So all this talk and still nothing more on Vedam?
Well, here goes :D

PS - I made caps from the many trailers off YouTube. 
Sorry for the bad quality

Vedam is the story of five random people who come together at one point and meet in a significant place.

Meet character #1 - Vivek

An aspiring rock star who has a chance to go to Hyderabad with his band and get his big break.

I haven't seen Manoj Manchu in anything prior but thought he did a good job. His dimples are so adorable.

Vivek and Lasya (Lekha Washington) have a love-hate relationship.

Meet character #2 - Ramulu

Poor elder man who has a lot of debt to pay and forced to leave his village in Sirisilla to go to Hyderabad.

Nagayya was perfect. I read that this his debut film? What? He just sleepwalked through his performance.

Ramulu and his daughter-in-law, Padma (Saranya), try to find a way to get extra money.

Meet character #3 - Saroja

A prostitute from Amalapuram who wants to go to Hyderabad to pursue her own brothel business.

After watching Anuksha Shetty's powerful performance in Arundhati, I wanted to see more of her. She definitely has that amazing screen presence.

Her bff, Karpooram (Nikki),  accompaines Saroja.

Meet character #4 - Raheemulla Khureshi

A muslim who is discriminated and wants to leave Hyderabad and live in Dubai.

Manoj Bajpai is one of the most underrated actors in India. I've been a fan of his since Satya. He is such a natural and I am never disappointed with him.

Raheem & his wife (Seiya Gautham) try to escape their difficult times but their past start to haunt them again.

Meet character #5 - Cable Raju

The playful, cunning cable guy from the slums of Hyderabad.

Cable Raju lies to his wealthy girlfriend Pooja (Deeksha Seth) that he is rich and wants to impress her with the money that he does not have.

One of Bunny's best performance. I raved about his performance in Aarya 2, which knocked me off of my seats. However, his performance as Cable Raju took a different route.

In Vedam, Bunny made me laugh and cry. My heart sank on this scene when his conscious got the best of him.

What I also love about Cable Raju is the comedic scenes. I loved the funny fight scenes, which is comparable, to me, with Jackie Chan's style of comical martial arts. Bunny pulled it off very well. He is already the best dancer in India (to me) so adding in the flip-action fight scenes were not hard for him to pull off. [I can *not* wait for Badhirinaadh since he is in Vietnam right now training for martial arts]

I honestly thought Bunny was going to be paired up with Anuksha but instead he was paired with former Miss India beauty queen, Deeksha Seth, instead :( She is a cute girl and reminded me so much of Katrina Kaif. However, after seeing her character Pooja, I'm glad Anuksha took a more challenging role as Saroja instead. Bunny still has not repeated any of his heroines till date (here's in hope to be one of the leading heroines in the future, heck, I'll just be happy in the background)

Each character struggled with something missing in their lives and had to "find themselves" and wanted to change what has happened in his/her lives so far.

I love how each of the characters were introduced. Instead of opening credits, a single frame was frozen with introduction to each of the characters. Interesting to introduce Allu Arjun last, since he Manoj, & Anuksha were in most of the promos. In addition, Manoj was introduced first, as a guest star. To me, he was more than that and had enough screen time to surpass as a guest star.

When first hearing the soundtrack, I did like it but thought a few of the songs were misplaced in the soundtrack. After watching the film, everything flowed together.

Even though most of the songs (or is it all? trying to do it from memory) were used, about 1/3 to 1/2 of the songs were used.

Song #1 - "Now or Never"
Vivek's intro

Song #2 - "Yemi Telisi Nanu Mohisthivi"
Saroja's intro

Song #3 - "Prapancham Naaventosthunte"
Cable Raju transforming from dud to stud at girlfriend's party
(To be honest, if Bunny didn't bust-a-move, I would've been upset :D)

Song #4 - "Yegiripothe Yentha Baguntundhi"
Saroja and her big escape plan

Song #5 - "Vedam"
Vivek changes the mood from lonely to fun

Song #6 - "Roopai"
Cable Raju needs some money

I found this from the Vedam music launch really interesting and had to post here.

No involvement of dad in Vedam selection – Allu Arjun
Allu Arjun said, “A new banner is being launched with Vedam movie. People questioned my logic in working for this movie. They opined that Vedam might not be the right movie for me as I had several commercial hits. I know that I will become a better actor if I work for Vedam movie. I am touched by the story and I am very emotional about the movie. My father is involved in movie selection of all my movies. Vedam is the first movie in which I didn’t involve my dad. I had shown the movie after the shoot is complete. He said that I got many hits and I will continue to get more hits. But I might not get great movies like Vedam often in my career. I will get a good name as actor with Vedam. I am happy to do the Rupai song that is also penned by Keeravani

Lastly, with the red plaid shirt, I was hoping that Bunny wouldn't wear it throughout the film like he did with that brown plaid shirt in Parugu. Instead of wearing it 80% throughout the film, it's 60% this time. However, this time, he often took off the red plaid buttoned up shirt and swung it on his side showing off the black t-shirt underneath :) Instead of Bunny getting kidnapped in this film, he is off on a mission to find some money in a day/night course

 Yes, Vedam is definitely worth it. Imagine if I love it that much, how eager I am for the dvd to come out with English subs :)

ETA (06/15/2010)- Interesting article from Idlebrain about Krish's inspiration for Vedam. Spoilers!


cmleigh said...

Nice write up Nicki. I also think that Manoj is a very talented and underrated. It sounds like a very interesting movie. I will put t on my must watch list.

Louella said...

Aww, I need to watch it. Even if Gamyam was horrible :P

Temple said...

Nice review :) I really enjoyed Vedam, as you know already. I am looking forward to watching again on DVD so I can pick up the subtleties that passed me by due to lack of language skills.

shweta said...

Thanks for sharing what he said at the audio launch. I am glad he went with his gut feeling and worked on this film. He gave a good performance and so did most others. As I said in my mini review, I thought Anushka's role could have been developed more.

Nicki said...

Thanks cmleigh - I think you will like :)

Louella - hmmm, could be a hit/miss for you, we disagree so much on so many films :D

Temple - Yes, I do remember the lack of understanding for no subs but we still enjoy it so much. I can not wait for the dvd.

shweta - You're very welcome. Yes, when I found the audio launch, I just knew I had to share that. Bunny's the best :D

I agree that Anuksha's role could've been developed more too but guess with multi-starrers, it's kinda hard.

Anonymous said...

On my way to the theater to see it now girl, will report back! Thanks for the write up, it will help me to follow. SOoo excited that Manoj Bajpai is in it too.
All the best!

Dolce and Namak said...

Guess who finally saw this!?!? Yaaay! *Dolce does happy dance* :D I'm not sure if I loved it or not, because it all depends on the dialogue, so I can't wait to get the DVD and understand what the heck they were saying (although for once I was so grateful that the villains and, in this movie, for whatever reason, the Muslims too, were speaking Hindi, at least I understood some of those parts).

But it was worth the trip and the wait for that pool song (wow!!!), for Arjun's adorable acting (which I didn't think was going to fit with the movie, but it really did!) and most of all for the scene at the hospital when he's playing with the little girl - I think I lost some brain cells during that one from instant combustion :D His acting was not much different from the usual, but I found his emoting excellent, maybe because there was more scope for acting without words than in his other films. Worth watching the movie just for that.

Was sorry to see that the headband got almost no screen space :P I had high hopes for it!

Ashwini said...

Hey Nicki,
After reading abt ur fascination:) for Allu Arjun, I decided to watch his movies.. saw Arya, Arya 2 and Happy in that order, and was dismissing him as an actor in same roles(although I too understand why u adore him so much ;) I too do now :D).. But after watching Vedam, there was no doubt he is good actor too.. And what a movie!!! Kept me gripped on till the end !!