Vedam and Catharsis




It was the summer of 2010 and I had just finished my tenth board exams. I was in my ripe adolescence where everything makes a mark on you. If I remember correctly it was on the release day, and my brother had already watched it during the first show in the morning. He came back home and I remember asking him how the movie was. He said " You will get out of the theatre and tell another 10 people to watch the movie", and here I am doing the same thing even after 10 years.


Vedam was the first movie for which I cried in a movie theatre. It was the first movie for which I stood up and clapped at the end in a theatre. It was a movie that taught me the right things at the right time before I entered my adult life (Funnily enough the movie is certified A). Now when I look back at it, it did a lot more than just that. Krish's directorial debut "Gamyam" was already a class apart with a very hard hitting ending. But the scope of Gamyam was very limited when compared to Vedam. Vedam as the name suggests deals with all corners of morality. More specifically it is a textbook on class struggle and communal madness.


I wondered a lot about the various things I could discuss about the movie. There is so much in this movie, that a single blogpost wouldn't be able to do justice. I could write about how Vivek learns not to be a bystander when someone is in trouble. I could write about how the story of Qureshi has so much importance in the current times of rising communal hatred. I could write about the wonderful story of Saroja standing up for herself. But today I just want to concentrate on Cable Seenu's character arc and what I learnt from him.


There is a line from the cable seenu character which translates to, "What? If someone dies in our street we lift them in an hour, but when a rich guy dies they won't lift them for two days. You need money in death as well". Cable Seenu is the most relatable guy in the movie. Urban - lower - middle - class guy trying to find his feet in a city like Hyderabad. He is kind of the "Fake it until you make it" guy who thinks he can get anywhere by faking it. We don't know much about the guy's childhood but all we know is that he wants to get rich.





For Cable Seenu every good thing he experienced in life was tied up to the money. He picks up T-shirts to look rich, he picks up bikes to look rich, he dates a woman for the riches. He implicitly associated money with everything good in life. And when he gets too ahead of himself in the money game, life forces him to turn into a thief for buying a couple of new year event tickets. He makes a few unsuccessful attempts and then attempts to rob the old guy who was making his daughter in law sell her kidney for his grandson's education. The entire scene is gut wrenching and works so well because we are also invested in the old guy's story along with cable seenu's story. I remember having a visceral reaction to that scene in the theatre.


The cries for help from the poor lady moves something in cable seenu that he can't put a finger on. You can see it in his eyes when he is struggling to let the old guy leave his legs. He makes it out and goes to venue, but just can't shake it off. He can't bring himself to buy the tickets with that money. This is when he reveals everything about him to his girlfriend. He puts back the money into the sack he stole, and he adds whatever his own money left in his pocket to the pile :)


There is a bit song which starts at this moment. Krish has atleast one song which puts everything about his movie in its lyrics. It goes something like this:


ఉప్పొంగిన సంద్రంలా, ఉవ్వెత్తున ఎగసింది, Like a sea on high tide, it erupted


మనసును కడగాలనే ఆశ... A hope to wash the heart ...


కొడిగట్టే దీపంలా, మిణుకుమిణుకుమంటోంది, Flickering like a lamp on its last light,


మనిషిగ బ్రతకాలనే ఆశ... The hope of a human life ...


గుండెల్లో ఊపిరై... Becoming the breathing in my heart ...


కళ్ళల్లో జీవమై... Becoming the life in my eyes ...


ప్రాణంలో ప్రాణమై... Becoming the 'life' in my life ...


మళ్లీ పుట్టనీ... నాలో మనిషిని...Let him be born again ... a human in me ...


మళ్లీ పుట్టనీ... నాలో మనిషిని... Let him be born again ... a human in me ...


He goes back gives the money to the old man, without revealing his face. He even hides in the corner to make sure the money reaches the old man's hands, and then just cries. He just cries. He then plays with a little girl in the hospital, and cries again. Words can never do justice to what these two scenes do to us. I've come to know about "catharsis" as a word much later in life, but probably understood what it means from this scene. I'm sure half the theatre cried along with me in that scene.

The later scenes in the movie are probably best left alone for another post. I wanted to talk just about this because everytime I watch this movie, the experience never changes. I want to leave you with one final dialogue at the end of the movie related to Cable Seenu's character.


When Cable Seenu dies, his uncle says "Who said he died!? Death itself died in front of him"



Life mostly has just first experiences. We should cherish the ones that feel fresh every time. I can always relive watching these scenes in the theatre now, thanks to Binge Club. Vedam is currently streamed on Aha OTT.

#vedam #throwback #krrish

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