V Movie Review | V For Vengeance

V is an action thriller written and directed by Mohana Krishna Indraganti (Gentleman) and stars Sudheer Babu in the lead role against Nani in his first antagonistic endeavor. V was initially slated to release March 25 but due to theater shutdowns, the film was delayed and eventually picked up by Amazon for a Prime exclusive release. The film follows DCP Aditya (Sudheer Babu), a young cop who, over a short period of time, has received numerous medals from his superiors and waves of praise from the public. This acclaim is challenged when a psycho killer known only as V (Nani) starts brutally murdering people and leaving notes directed at Aditya. And so begins our two hours and twenty-minute cat and mouse game.

Technically, V is a very well made movie. The cinematography is clean and simple with some fantastic color grading. The tone of the film is set up right from the opening frames. Except for the climax sequence, which looks like it has a VSCO filter applied to it, the rest of the movie has dark tones with exaggerated colors that really make some frames pop. There are also some gory practical effects at work that show, with surprising detail, the murder, and the aftermath. And, thanks to it premiering on Prime, none of it is censored. Other than one editing oversight (at 1:13:50 for those curious) the rest of the movie is edited well. Although it isn't frequent, the fight choreography is slick and fast without too many cuts to hide the action.

The performances all around are very great with each actor giving it their best. Nani undoubtedly steals the show with a creepy presence and a deep tone of voice that makes even the simpler dialogues sound eerie. But Sudheer Babu never feels far behind. Some of the cursory characters are also worth mentioning, specifically Vennela Kishore as an officer working in Aditya's team. He manages to add some levity without taking away from the overall tension.

The music, composed by S. Thaman and Amit Trivedi, meshes with the visuals well and it's the use of piano is reminiscent of 2018's Ratsasan, a movie which V shares a few similarities with. As for the songs, they're hit or miss. The film doesn't have a lot of songs and none of them are overly catchy, something that isn't really a negative in my eyes considering songs aren't something thrillers are known for. However, some of them, specifically the songs in the second half, feel out of place compared to the rest of the movie and feel jarring with the film's pace.

Despite all those (mostly) positives notes, V stumbles in one area: the writing. Typically in these psycho killer thrillers, there are two main routes that the story goes. The first route leaves the antagonist in shadow and simply implies that the criminal is doing what they're doing because they're twisted. The other routes gives a backstory to the villain and tries to explain their motives as to make the audience sympathize with them. The latter is often hard to do successfully and even though I loved Ratsasan, its attempts at flushing out Christopher's character are, in my opinion, the weakest moments in the movie. V also attempts to do the same thing, and that is where it starts to fall apart. Very minor spoilers below, no details, but vague statements that some may want to avoid until watching the movie.

The first half of V is its strongest because the audience and the protagonist are left in the same position, wondering who this killer is and why he's killing. The intrigue of having V call and torment Aditya further adds to the tension and the aforementioned brutal murders show just how ruthless V is. There are also a few dark humor scenes with V in the first half that are both unsettling and funny at the same time. Again, this is because of Nani's great performance. The mystery built around V is what make's the story engaging. However, as the film segways into the second half it tries to piece together V's history to explain why he is on a killing spree. This didn't work for me for two reasons. One, the backstory that is shown is not that surprising and seems tacked on to convince the audience that he isn't truly a bad guy. This makes the veil of mystery that surrounded V earlier disappear and makes him less interesting. Two, the backstory is mostly delivered through straightforward exposition that doesn't leave much for the audience to guess at. There isn't really a big twist here to speak of. And the half-twist that is revealed at the end feels unearned.

On top of that, the film throws the romance, that was starting to ember earlier, to the wayside. Towards the end of the movie, Nivetha Thomas' character is only shown in brief cutaways, and in the final shot that I won't spoil. Seeing the police officer and the aspiring crime writer/psychologist try to catch a criminal by teaming up and working together, falling in love in the process, is something that is suggested during the start and forgotten about by the end.

This may sound like I hate the movie but I certainly do not. In fact, I was thoroughly engaged for most of it. It's just as the film came to an end I was left a bit unsatisfied. With that said, V is still a pretty easy movie to recommend to fans of thrillers. The movie doesn't offer much in the way of surprises but it's technically a very well made movie with great performances and a fitting score. V is out today on Amazon Prime. And if you're a fan of this, then I would highly recommend watching HIT: The First Case, also available on Amazon Prime.

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  1. When you were talking about the editing oversight, were you referring to the transition from Vizag to Bheemili?

    1. Yes, mainly the title card isn't edited properly, and if you look closely you can see that the frame is two color tones.

  2. Yeah when the movie shows in darkside of v there is also a mislead of Nivetha Thomas but we only followed the V charecter just like we don't see the sides just curious in V s perspective and shots of climax is well made but minor loops