Vedam (Chant) is a 2010 Telugu drama film written and directed by Krish, starring Allu Arjun, Manoj Kumar Manchu, Anushka Shetty, Manoj Bajpai, Saranya Ponvannan, Deeksha Seth, Lekha Washington, and Siya Gautham. Broadly falling into the Hyperlink Cinema genre, the film was critically acclaimed, receiving several accolades including four Filmfare Awards, This was also the second film to win the four major awards (Best Movie, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Actress), after Jeevana Jyothi in 1975 Shoban Babu film and had a decent run at the box office as well. Krish later remade the film in Tamil as Vaanam (2011), with Anushka and Saranya reprising their roles.Plot
Vedam revolves around 5 principal characters.
Vivek Chakravarthy (Manoj Manchu) is an upcoming rock star in Bengaluru who hails from a family of decorated army officers. His mother wants him to follow the same path but he isn't interested. He is about to give his first live concert on New Year's Eve with his band-mates in Hyderabad. However, Vivek is late to catch the flight and so the band is forced to travel by road. After sometime, one of their tyres get deflated. Not having a spare, the other friends go to get the tyre inflated leaving Vivek and Lasya (Lekha Washington) alone. Meanwhile, they are attacked by a Hindu racist group. However, they manage to get out of the mess with the help of a Sikh truck driver (who incidentally gets involved in an earlier alteraction with Vivek). The band successfully reaches Hyderabad. However they suffer a minor accident there which involves a mother in labour. So Vivek and Lasya takes her to the hospital.
Saroja (Anushka) is a prostitute in Amalapuram working for Rattamma. She has a best friend Karpooram who is a eunuch. Saroja doesn't like working for Rattamma and plans to run away from there. Her dreams come true when she receives a call from Hyderabad from one of her agents. The very next day, which happens to be the New Year's Eve, she leaves for Hyderabad with Karpooram, without Rattamma's knowledge; but not before putting the local sub-inspector Bullabbai to sleep using pills. However, Saroja is arrested in Hyderabad by constables for betraying Bullabbai. Karpooram gets frees her from the inspector and they are both taken by their agent to a client. The client turns out to be yet another broker, who bought Saroja and Karpooram from Rattamma. Both successfully escape from the broker after a scuffle in which Karpooram gets stabbed. So, Saroja takes her to the same hospital that Vivek and Lasya take the pregnant lady to.
Ramulu (Nagayya) is a debt-ridden weaver from Sircilla. He lives with his widowed daughter-in-law, Padma (Saranya Ponvannan) and grandson. Ramulu is desperate to get his grandson educated, being illiterate himself. However he owes money to the local landlord, who takes his grandson away saying that he would be sent to the construction business in the city for 10 years to recover the money. He gives Ramulu & Padma 3 days to clear the debt. Not knowing what to do, Padma agrees to sell her kidney, which is illegal (Ramulu had previously sold his kidney for the same purpose). They come to Hyderabad and her kidney is sold successfully. The original kidney is sold for 100,000 rupees of which Ramulu gets only 37,000 rupees.
Raheemuddin Qureshi (Manoj Bajpai) is a Muslim hailing from Old Basti in Hyderabad. In the past, his wife suffered a miscarriage due to a scuffle between him and a few Ganesh devotees during a religious procession. Unable to bear the loss, he decides to leave the country. However during his farewell party, a police officer (who previously insulted Qureshi during the scuffle) comes to his house and arrests his nephews, alleging that they have links with terrorists. When Qureshi obstructs him, he arrests him too. During interrogation, one of his nephews accepts his terrorist background and says that something tragic would happen on New Year's Eve. Qureshi is shocked. When the police transports him to remand, Qureshi panicks and tries to escape. However, his escape bid is unsuccessful and he gets shot in the leg. He is then taken to the hospital and kept in the same ward as another terrorist suspect.
Cable Raju (Allu Arjun) is a lower middle class guy hailing from Jubilee Hills slum living with his maternal grandmother. He loves Pooja (Deeksha Seth), who is from the upper class of the society. Pooja, however, doesn't know of Raju's financial background and thinks of him to be rich. Raju has to get 2 passes for a lavish New Year's Eve party which cost almost 40,000 rupees. He tries to obtain that money by various means, but is unsuccessful. He even tries to snatch chains from women's necks, but is apprehended by the police when his motorbike hits a police van. He is taken to the police station where he meets Saroja. However, Dappu Subani (who initiated him into the chain snatching business) comes to his rescue and gets him freed. His grandmother, vexed at his behaviour, gives him 3,000 rupees and asks him to do whatever he wants. In a local cafeteria, he happens to see Ramulu with his money bundle and decides to steal it and thus follows him to the hospital. He successfully manages to steal the bundle from Ramulu and Padma. However, as he is about to pay for the passes, he realises his mistake, adds his own 3,000 rupees to the bundle and returns it to Ramulu.The Movie moves around INR40,000
Meanwhile, a group of terrorists come to the ward housing Qureshi and free their leader. They leave Qureshi unharmed on account of his being a Muslim and start the terrorist attack. Raju and Vivek try to save as many people as possible. They even kill two terrorists in the process. Qureshi saves the life of the policeman who arrested him. In the final fight sequence, both Raju and Vivek valiantly give up their lives, trying to protect the people in the hospital.
The conclusion of the movie shows Saroja deciding to change her professiion; Vivek being recognised as a national hero; Raju was dead being respected by all in his community, with Pooja coming to see him along with her mother; Qureshi being freed by the thankful policeman and Ramulu successfully repaying the money and getting his grandson back.
Manoj Manchu as Vivek Chakravarthy
Allu Arjun as Ananda "kanna" Raju
Anushka Shetty as Amalapuram Saroja
Manoj Bajpai as Raheemuddin Qureshi
Saranya Ponvannan as Padma
Nagayya as Ramulu
Lekha Washington as Lasya
Deeksha Seth as Pooja
Siya Gautham as Zara
Posani Krishna Murali
Raghu Babu as Dappu Subani
Ravi Prakash as ACP Shiva Ram
Satyam Rajesh as Ganapathy
Nikki as Karpooram
Director Krish had a visual of an old man walking along with a child in his dreams. However, he felt it as too arty to make a film and also the story was not complete. One day while travelling from Guntur to Hyderabad, he narrated the story of Nagayya (initially he named it as Jalayya) to cinematographer Gnana Sekhar, who also worked with him in Gamyam. The second story initially he conceptualised was about a film crew and later changed it to music band. The title of Vedam struck him when he was penning the story at Sirivennela's home. Krish wanted to do the character of Karpooram, but decided against it after his mother warned him. Later, when discussing the story with Anushka Shetty, she suggested her personal make-up person Nikki for the role and Krish liked him. Anushka reduced her remuneration by 30% as the film was a being a low budget producction. Raheemuddin Khureshi (character played by Manoj Bajpai) is the name of Krish's best friend in intermediate. Nagayya was spotted by Krish. The climax of the film was an inspiration from 26/11 Mumbai blasts in Taj Hotel. After getting a basic story line he decided to produce Vedam on his banner First Frame entertainment, before producers Shobu Yarlagadda and Prasad Devineni decided to finance it. The five principal characters were based on the five natural elements-Water, Air, Earth, Fire and Sky. It notably became the first film Allu Arjun and Manoj Manchu starred in that did not involve their respective fathers Allu Aravind and Mohan Babu.
Vedam had no promotional activities since the film's launch a year ago. First activity happened just before the music launch, by releasing the wallpaper masking the main actors and highlighting the film's title at www.idlebrain.com. After the film's music launch, the wallpaper was re-released without masking the actors.
Vedam opened to utmost positive reviews. The Times of India gave a review stating "After watching contrived plots and stereotype protagonists, this path-breaking movie arrives as a breath of fresh air. Undeniably, it's another inspiring film from the maker of Gamyam." Rediff gave a review stating "Vedam is a must-watch for its story, screenplay, direction and technicalities. It offers a hope to the audience interested in good and sensible cinema that such a film can be made in Telugu. Vedam is a beautiful confluence of writing and technical aspects. It has set a benchmark in Telugu cinema." idlebrain.com gave a review stating "Vedam is a good film. Please watch it and encourage good/meaningful cinema. This film will be liked by classes and A center audiences. If masses and B/C centers patronages Vedam, it will not only do good to the film, but to the entire Telugu film industry." Esskay of 123telugu.com gave a review stating "If films like Vedam aren't encouraged, we will be left with films that will be made with only money and without a soul! Watch Vedam and ask your friends to watch it, for the sake of good cinema in Telugu. The noise of clapping by the audience after the film finished is the loudest I've heard. I plead and rest my case!"
Vedam collected INR25 crore (US$4.2 million)(gross) until end of its run Vedam Pre-release revenues went up to INR17 crore (US$2.8 million). Making it a Table Profit film even before its release. Allu arjun took an acting fee of INR6 crore (US$1.0 million) as remuneration from acquiring distribution rights with a few important areas across the state.
Nandi Award for Best Feature Film – 2010.
2011 Filmfare Awards South
Best Film – Sobhu Yarlagadda & Devineni Prasad
Best Director – Radhakrishna Jagarlamudi
Best Actor – Allu Arjun
Best Actress – Anushka Shetty
Best Music Director - M. M. Keeravani
Best Female Playback Singer - Sunitha - "Egiripothe"
Best Lyricist - Sirivennela Sitaramasastri - "Now Or Never"
2011 CineMAA Awards
Best Actress (Jury) – Anushka Shetty