Riteish Deshmukh’s directorial debut Ved is the official Marathi adaptation of the Telugu film Majili (2019), which starred Naga Chaitanya and Samantha Ruth Prabhu.
The movie starts off in a town in Maharashtra and it revolves around Satya (Riteish). He is an aspiring cricketer who is eager to play for the Railways and later for India. His father Dinkar (Ashok Saraf), who is a widower, is worried for his son but at the same time keeps supporting him, especially whenever their neighbor Murli (Vidyadhar Joshi) complaints against him.
Satya falls in love with a girl-next-door Nisha (Jiya Shankar) in an unusual manner. She too reciprocates her love for him. However, the two aren’t destined to be together. This leaves Satya depressed and he becomes a drunkard. At this moment, Shravani (Genelia Deshmukh) decides to marry him despite knowing that he still loves Nisha.
One of the major plus points of Ved is its fast pace. So much so that you don’t feel the close to two and a half hours of its runtime. Plus, if you haven’t seen the original, like me, there are quite a few surprises. To elaborate, of course, you can predict where the first half is headed if you have seen the trailer. But it is the small incidents, which lead to the end of the first half, that keep surprising and thereby entertaining you.
But there comes a moment in the second half where you wonder where all this is headed and whether Satya will become another Kabir Singh. But this is where the biggest surprise is in store in terms of the story development.
Ved is a family masala entertainer and hence, it should be seen that way in order to be enjoyed. And this means keeping logic aside during quite a few key moments in the film, including the surprise in the second half.
Although the creative liberty at some places is too high to ignore, Riteish’s presentation, along with a fast narrative and cinematographer Bhushankumar Jain’s visuals, makes the film enjoyable. It can be safely said that the actor succeeds as a director.
Ved is also helped by Ajay-Atul’s music. Despite the Sairat hangover, the title song turns out to be the best of the lot.
As far as his acting is concerned, this is one of Riteish’s most memorable performances. He is effective while displaying both the shades of the Satya (present day and flashback). Genelia Deshmukh struggles with her Marathi pronunciation but makes it up with her expressions and screen presence. Jiya Shankar comes across as natural and confident.
Ashok Saraf’s presence takes the entertainment quotient even higher. Vidyadhar Joshi complements him well through his sarcastic act. Raviraj Kande, as the evil Bhaskar Anna, is well introduced. But it’s surprising to see how the character, whose act had a great bearing on Satya, is treated unfairly later. Khushi Hajare, the child actress who plays Khushi, is likeable and confident.
The title song in the end featuring Salman Khan is a misfit and it somehow lowers the emotional impact of the film.
Overall: Ved succeeds in being an entertainer for the family during the holiday period, despite its flaws and some resemblance with Jersey.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Director: Riteish Deshmukh
Writers: Sandeep S Patil, Rushikesh Turai, Riteish Deshmukh and Prajakt Deshmukh
Producers: Genelia Deshmukh and Riteish Deshmukh
Cast: Riteish Deshmukh, Genelia Deshmukh, Jiya Shankar, Ashok Saraf, Raviraj Kande, Vidyadhar Joshi, Khushi Hajare