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Ready to Watch Aamir and Saif Ali Khan As Vikram aur Betaal?

Aamir Khan and Saif Ali Khan will feature in a contemporary take of Vikram aur Betaal.

Published
Bollywood
3 min read
Excited about watching Saif Ali Khan and Aamir Khan in a contemporary take on <i>Vikram aur Betaal</i>?

The unconfirmed news of Aamir Khan and Saif Ali Khan’s names being tagged to the remake of the Tamil film Vikram Vedha has sent a surge of excitement amongst not just fans of the two Khans but also fans of the Tamil original. If you don’t know much about Vikram Vedha, this is where you can catch up.

A poster of <i>Vikram Vedha.</i>
A poster of Vikram Vedha.

Released on 21 July, 2017 the original Tamil film Vikram Vedha was written and directed by the husband and wife team of Pushkar and Gayatri. Vikram Vedha starred R Madhavan and Vijay Sethupathi in the lead. The basic story of Vikram Vedha was inspired by the folktale Baital Pachisi (Twenty five tales of Baital) which revolve around King Vikramaditya and the celestial spirit or vampire-like Betaal. Whenever the king captures the spirit, he narrates a story to the king which ends with a riddle that’s usually a moral dilemma. Pushkar and Gayatri borrow this narrative tool for their film and draw a storyline involving a cop (Madhavan) and a gangster (Vijay Sethupathi) as the modern day Vikram and Betaal respectively.

Vikram played by Madhavan is a honest cop who sees the world of cops and gangsters in black and white as good and evil. He believes that he is able to sleep peacefully because he knows that the people he kills are bad men who deserve to die.
R Madhavan and Vijay Sethupathi in <i>Vikram Vedha.</i>
R Madhavan and Vijay Sethupathi in Vikram Vedha.

Vikram played by Madhavan is a honest cop who sees the world of cops and gangsters in black and white as good and evil. He believes that he is able to sleep peacefully because he knows that the people he kills are bad men who deserve to die. However, when he meets the legendary gangster Vedha, things begin to change. The stories that Vedha narrates to him in each of their chance encounters, shifts his moral compass. By the end of it, Vikram acknowledges that the world and the people that inhabit it are more in shades of grey. The line between good and evil is not such a clear cut one after all.

During the release of Vikram Vedha, Madhavan was asked if the film would be dubbed into Hindi and his response was that because of the setting of the film (North Madras) it may not be relatable to a Bollywood audience, but he added that if the film was a success, it had the potential to be remade in Hindi.

During the release of Vikram Vedha, Madhavan was asked if the film would be dubbed into Hindi and his response was that because of the setting of the film (North Madras) it may not be relatable to a Bollywood audience, but he added that if the film was a success, it had the potential to be remade in Hindi. And that’s exactly what happened.

Reportedly made on a budget of Rs 11 crore, Vikram Vedha is estimated to have made over Rs 60 crore at the box-office making it one of the biggest hits in Tamil that year. The film also received rave reviews on its release. Little surprise then that Neeraj Pandey not only grabbed the remake rights of the film but also got the original directors Pushkar and Gayatri to direct the Bollywood version of Vikram Vedha as well.

Initially, there were reports that Shah Rukh Khan was interested in remaking the film with him taking on Vijay Sethupathi’s role and Madhavan playing Vikram in the Hindi version as well. However, it looks like that plan fell through and as a result we now have Aamir Khan and Saif Ali Khan joining hands once again.

Aamir and Saif first came together for Yash Chopra’s Parampara in 1993, which was a failure at the box-office. Their most memorable outing came later in 2001, Farhan Akhtar’s Dil Chahta Hai. If all goes well, we’ll be seeing the duo together once again as the Hindi version of Vikram Vedha goes on the floors in March next year.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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