Gayatri and Pushkar’s film, “Vikram Vedha” centers around two opposite forces of nature, portrayed by Saif Ali Khan and Hrithik Roshan, who are similar yet distinctly different. Vikram heads a team of encounter specialists, and Vedha is the most wanted gangster in Lucknow. But with the rise of Vikram’s prowess, Vedha’s powers have declined, and he has gone into hiding. So, with no other option left, Vikram goes after Vedha’s henchmen in the hopes that it’ll force Vedha to show his hand. And that tactic works since Vedha willingly surrenders himself at the police station. However, instead of simply admitting that he has committed all the crimes he is accused of committing, he asks for Vikram and Vikram only. He obliges, and much like the folklore “Baital Pachisi,” Vedha metaphorically latches onto Vikram and begins revealing the actual reason behind his surrender over the course of three slow-burn stories.
What Is The Moral Of Vedha’s First Story?
There are two things in the film that one has to keep in mind. Firstly, Vikram’s worldview is divided into black and white due to how he has been fathered. He wants a clear distinction between right and wrong. So, even when he reconstructs a crime scene to fit his narrative, he thinks he’s doing the right thing because, ultimately, it’s a criminal that’s on the floor that he is toying around with. And he states that the reason he can go to sleep at night after killing so many criminals is that he knows that none of them are innocent. Secondly, Abbas’s (Satyadeep Mishra) son is suffering from a lung disease, and Abbas thinks it’s the result of his sins. Additionally, Abbas apparently doesn’t have enough money. Now, onto Vedha’s first story, which takes place roughly a decade ago when Vedha dreamt of working for Lucknow’s mob boss, Parshuram Pandey (Govind Pandey).
In this flashback, a wealthy businessman’s son gets kidnapped, and that businessman asks Parshuram to deal with it. So, to get into Parshuram’s good books, Vedha retrieves the kid. He wins over Parshuram and makes Babloo (Sharib Hashmi) and Ravi (Bhushan Vikas) jealous as they have been trying for years to get the recognition that Vedha got within a few hours. Later on, Babloo, Vikas, and Shiv Prasad (Rati Shankar Tripathi) try to rope Vedha’s younger brother, Shatak, into their marijuana-selling business. Vedha finds out about it and forbids him from ever coming near to Babloo. When the police raid Shiv Prasad’s house, Babloo tries to smuggle one last bag via Shatak. Although he refuses, his friend Chanda accepts the proposal for a price of a hundred rupees. The police catch them, and while Chanda uses the standard lie to get out of the situation (which is that they found the bag of marijuana on the road), Shatak confesses that it’s Babloo who gave them the bag of marijuana.
To teach Shatak a lesson, Shiv Prasad orders Babloo to “put a mark” on the kid, and Babloo drives a skewer through Shatak’s hand. Vedha proceeds to hit back with a jackhammer. But before revealing who he hits back at, he pauses the story to return to the present and asks Vikram who’s more deserving of his punishment. Is it Babloo because he followed Shiv Prasad’s orders? Or is it Shiv Prasad because he’s the one who gave the orders? Vikram says that since Shiv Prasad is the instigator, he deserves the punishment. Vedha flashes back to the past to reveal that he did kill Shiv Prasad. Then the conversation between Vikram and Vedha is halted by Priya’s (Radhika Apte), who is Vikram’s wife and Vedha’s lawyer. Priya bails Vedha out, thereby bringing the first chapter to an end. The moral of this chapter is that when there’s a crime, there’s always an instigator and an executioner. If you punish the instigator, the executioner gets away. If you punish the executioner, the instigator gets away.
See More: The Symbolization Of “Vikram Aur Betaal” In ‘Vikram Vedha,’ Explained
What Is The Moral Of Vedha’s Second Story?
The second story is essentially set into motion after Vikram and Priya get into a big verbal fight because Vikram is trying to nab Vedha while Priya is representing Vedha and preventing him from being convicted of any crime. To vent his frustrations, Vikram calls Abbas. But Abbas says that he’s on his way to a factory to get some info from someone called Chanda (Yogita Bihani) and promises to get back to Vikram about his marriage woes later. While fixing his bike, Vikram realizes that one of the criminals killed during the Shivgarh encounter (i.e., the opening scene of “Vikram Vedha”) had a mark on his right hand that looks similar to the one Vedha described while talking about the mark Babloo left on Shatak’s hand, which means that Vikram has killed Shatak and accidentally put the blame on Abbas, thereby making him a target for Vedha. He calls Abbas up, and when he doesn’t pick up the phone, Vikram understands that Abbas is about to walk into a trap at the factory.
By the time Vikram reaches the factory, he finds out that several goons, including Chanda and Abbas, are dead. Still assuming that Vedha is behind all this, Vikram taps Priya’s call and learns that she has to get Vedha’s signature for anticipatory bail. He tails her, and after a long and elaborate chase, he corners Vedha and takes him to a secluded place to kill him. But Vedha starts talking about how sentimental he is, despite appearing so stoic, and ropes him into listening to one more story about sentimentality. As usual, Vikram obliges. In this flashback, we see Vedha delivering a bag of cash for Parshuram. He is attacked by a gang of Marathi-speaking people (referred to as the Mumbai gang), and although he puts up a good fight, a now-adult Shatak (Rohit Saraf) intervenes and helps Vedha out. While tending to his wounds, Shatak proposes a business idea to Vedha where he can earn clean money, help the needy, and leave this life of crime behind him. Vedha agrees because that’s how much he loves Shatak.
After having a little chat with his henchmen about the rat in their gang who’s giving out the details to the Mumbai gang, Vedha relays Shatak’s business idea to Parshuram. Impressed by the idea (and the “kulcha nihari” recommended by Vedha), Parshuram tells Vedha to take the bag of money that he was supposed to deliver to him and invest it in Shatak’s business. When Shatak learns that one of Vedha’s henchmen has stowed that money in Chanda’s house, he goes to pacify her because he knows she hates dirty money. But he finds out that Chanda has actually run away with that bag. When Chanda realizes the mistake she has made, she does return with all the money intact. But Parshuram asks Vedha to kill Chanda so that it doesn’t ruin his image. That’s when Vedha brings us to the present and asks Vikram if he did Parshuram’s bidding and killed Chanda – thereby going against Shatak – or if he went up against Parshuram to protect Chanda because she’s Shatak’s love. Vikram infers that Shatak is innocent, and therefore it’s logical from a sentimental perspective to stand beside him.
As soon as Vikram utters these words, he realizes he has killed an innocent man, i.e., Shatak. During this moment of weakness, Vedha attacks Vikram and tells him two things. One, he did go up against Parshuram while sending Shatak and Chanda away to Mumbai, thereby starting an all-out gang war. Two, (and this is the moral of this chapter) in order to learn why Abbas is dead, he must search and then conclude instead of doing the exact opposite. Which is Vedha’s way of saying he didn’t kill Abbas because, unlike Vikram, he doesn’t kill innocent people.
‘Vikram Vedha’ Ending Explained: What Does Vikram Learn From Vedha’s Third And Final Story? What’s The Significance Of The Cliffhanger?
That brings us to the final chapter of Vikram and Vedha’s journey. So, before Vikram and Vedha’s conclusive meeting, we see that Vikram is in a depressive slump because he has just realized that he has killed an innocent man. Vedha tells Priya all about Shatak’s encounter and vaguely hints at the fact that when Vikram gets stuck while trying to figure out the reason behind Abbas’s death, she’s going to help Vikram. As predicted, Vikram comes across the photos of Chanda that hint that she was tortured before being killed, which means that someone captured Chanda to get Shatak back to Lucknow and then gave the police a tip to hit the Shivgarh hideout and get Shatak killed. Vikram remembers that it was a man named Pappu who gave them a tip and goes after him. But before he can get to Pappu, he finds him bleeding out on a train. Assuming that the killer is nearby, he starts searching for him in the railway yard.
Vikram hears someone talking in Marathi, and assuming it’s the same guy from the Mumbai gang who tried to take Vedha’s bag in the second chapter; he nabs him. The man gives Vikram the slip and tries to kill him. But Constable Dubey (Manuj Sharma) shoots him down, thereby intentionally or inadvertently killing the one lead Vikram had in his hand. This causes him to “get stuck,” and that’s when Priya utters the words “kulcha nihari,” just like Vedha told her to. Vikram goes to Vedha’s favorite restaurant, orders a plate of “kulcha nihari,” and asks the waiter to get Vedha on a call. Vedha obliges and tells him that he has a gift for Vikram at his preferred bike shop, i.e., the obsolete part that he needs to get his dad’s bike working. Vikram returns the favor by telling Vedha that Babloo is the rat in his gang who has been ratting him out to the Mumbai gang. So, Vedha goes after Babloo, brings him to the factory (where Abbas was killed), and beats the living hell out of him (and eventually kills him).
Vikram reaches the factory and makes a call to the IG (Sudhanva Deshpande) to tell him that Babloo is the real mastermind. And now that he has Vedha and Babloo in the same place, he’s going to finish the job. As expected, Vedha stops him and starts to tell him a story. In this flashback, we see the origins of Babloo’s initiative to get Vedha killed and give rise to a new evil: the police. Babloo states that he has always been jealous of Vedha for nabbing the position he was fighting for when Vedha was just a kid. But since Vedha is more popular, he has to be his boot-licker to be relevant. Now that Vedha has crossed a line by taking away his money, he wants to put an end to him. So, Babloo starts giving out the information about Vedha’s whereabouts to everyone in the encounter specialist team except Vikram. Unbeknownst to him, Vikram ends up being just the trigger, while the ones pulling it are Babloo, the IG, Abbas, and all the sub-inspectors and constables working with Vikram.
But why? Why would all these so-called honest representatives of the law bow down to the whims of someone like Babloo? Well, we know that Abbas needs money for his son’s treatment. The IG needs money to fix his “haveli.” Someone needs money to get a new bike to appease his wife, someone needs money to pay off his father’s loan, someone needs money to pay their son’s school fees, and the list goes on. And since all this is not possible on the usual salary, they are doing the bidding of people like Babloo. This is pretty much confirmed by the IG as he blurts out that Chanda was being held captive by goons hired by the police to get Shatak to Lucknow. The plan was to kill Shatak, bring Vedha out of his hideout, and then kill him for a massive amount of money that would’ve been paid by Babloo. But Abbas grew a conscience and, in an attempt to frame Chanda as Abbas’s killer, the IG did fire the bullet that killed Abbas from Chanda’s hand, but he used the wrong hand, thereby exposing his role in this mess.
This leads to a gunfight with Vikram and Vedha on one side and the police on the other. The duo maims everyone, but Vikram kills the IG because he has learned that the instigator is to blame, while the executioner can be reformed. After some chit-chat, Vedha turns to Vikram to kill him, only to find out that Vikram is pointing his gun at him too. At this point, Vikram asks Vedha whether he should spare his life because he fought by his side and saved his life. Or he should do his duty as a cop and kill Vedha for 16 murders. Vedha starts to laugh maniacally and then gets serious. However, that’s where “Vikram Vedha” ends, with the titular duo pointing their guns at each other in a decrepit factory and surrounded by the dead and/or maimed from their respective professional fields. That can mean either of two things. One, it’s a sequel tease. Or two, it shows how people can become pawns in a larger game, and by the time they realize how they are being played, that game has become their nature. So, despite fighting as allies against the greater evil, they can’t coexist because they don’t know how to.
“Vikram Vedha” is a 2022 Drama Action film directed by Gayatri and Pushkar.