The opening credits sequence of the movie Vedikkettu shows us the political landscape of two neighboring places that don’t share a good equation. You have Sree Narayana Guru representing Manjapra and Ayyankali representing Karingotta. Seeing the visual montages, I was really impressed and thought that even Vishnu Unnikrishnan and Bibin George knew the necessity of being woke and political. But my happiness only had the life span of a maggie’s cooking time. One could clearly see Vishnu and Bibin trying to squeeze in too much of their signature humor (which is no longer fresh) in every frame while struggling to take the story forward.
The movie is basically the love story of Chithiresh, aka Chithu. He is in love with a girl named Shibily. But there is a problem. Chithu belongs to Manjapra, and Shibily belongs to Karingotta, and these two places don’t have a friendly relationship. Chithu’s efforts to get Shibily by causing problems whenever she gets a good alliance and how that increases the tension between the two groups is what we see in Vedikkettu.
The people of Manjapra are devotees of Sree Narayana Guru, and the people of Karingotta are followers of Ayyankali. The sad part about Vedikkettu is that it can’t even properly fake its Dalit politics. With some on-your-face dialogues that stand out oddly, Vishnu and Bibin are trying to act woke, but the dishonest exploitation is very evident. All they can do is repeat the formula they had shown in their previous scripts. They start off by glorifying, romanticizing, and normalizing stalking as an act of true love. And then, when you just can’t take any more of that toxicity, they will reveal that everything was part of the plan making you wonder about the purpose of all those so-called mass scenes about the “dedication” of “one-sided” lovers.
As a performer, Bibin George is actually playing a character in his safe zone, and there is nothing much to appreciate. It is Vishnu Unnikrishnan who has got a character that can help him break certain stereotypes. But beyond the rugged look, he is also struggling to perform that transition convincingly. Aiswarya Anilkumar, as Shibily, has that girl next door face, which makes her character a lot more relatable.
Beyond the one line of a boy falling in love with a girl from a hostile neighboring land, Vishnu and Bibin don’t have much clarity on how to develop the story. The film either slips into random comedy sequences, like the autorickshaw guy, or into sentimental sequences, like the song sung by Vishnu Unnikrishnan. The definition they gave for comedy through a sequence intended to mock youtube/online reviewers is actually something they should try to learn. After laying the foundation for being problematic through those stalking scenes, Vedikkettu cements its position as regressive through many other minimal sequences. The hero’s mother threatens others by telling them how she will exploit the law using her gender (it was a comedy scene btw), the female bitching done by female characters in the movie, etc., and many more instances are there where they are adding lines without much thought just for the sake of getting some giggles from the Flowers Star Magic fans.
At the film’s end, Vishnu and Bibin reveal that what we saw in the movie’s climax is based on an actual incident. It seems they tried to club a lackluster story that never excited anyone with this real-life incident to give it some shape. But sadly, the writing around this actual event of compassion is so bad that by the time this film reaches the melodrama-soaked climax, the audience will be in an exhausted mental space.
One could clearly see Vishnu and Bibin trying to squeeze in too much of their signature humor (which is no longer fresh) in every frame while struggling to take the story forward.
Green: Recommended Content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not Recommended