Rating: 3.5/5 Stars (Three and Half stars)
Star Cast: Varun Dhawan, Huma Qureshi, Yami Gautam, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Vinay Pathak
Director: Sriram Raghavan
What’s Good: Badlapur is a complete performance driven film. It is one of the best neo-noir representation in Indian cinema. The film has the right amount of gore and will leave its bitter taste on your tongues.
What’s Bad: After being glued to your seats for the first half, the film loses its grip in the second half to a dragged ending. Also the vengeful story lacks a little luster in terms of a complete revenge climax.
Loo break: None required!
Raghu (Varun Dhawan) is a happy content man who has a beautiful wife Mishti (Yami Gautam), his college sweetheart and a son Robin. This fairy tale life comes to an abrupt end when Mishti and Robin are killed in a bank robbery case. Left in a state of shock, Raghu never comes to terms with his life.
After one of the robbers, Laik (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) is caught by the police, Raghu tries to avenge his family’s loss by forcefully sleeping with Laik’s prostitute girlfriend Jhumli (Huma Qureshi) but attains nothing. While Laik is given a 20 year jail sentence, Raghu still harbours an uncontrollable angst inside him which comes out 15 years later when Laik is bailed due to his medical conditions. This where the story starts and the twists keep you hooked into this revenge tale!
Badlapur Review: Script Analysis
It is probably easy to show a complex tale since it will need a lot of concentration to unfold but Sriram Raghavan does the exact opposite in Badlapur, right from its on set, he keeps it simple yet engaging. The films does rely on scaring you with its gore imagery but it is the straight forward dialogues and rhetoric of Raghu’s character that really pinch you hard.
Dealing with dark humor, the film is wicked with its script. The way the characters have been carved out is brilliant as the film maker sheds the quintessential hero image and introduces a rather villainous-hero, who will kill and still satisfy your fantasies. While the initial build-up is great, the script fumbles in the second half.
Certain scenes seemed unnecessary, such as the brief conversation between Huma and Varun towards the end is a drag. Also even though the premise of the entire film is revenge, the film will surprise you with its twists. I have to say that Sriram does not go to the level of Ek Hasina Thi and for me that was the true definition of a revenge story, in comparison to that, Badlapur is mediocre.
Nawaz’s character is written with great finesse and while on one hand you are disgusted by him, he is also responsible for the comic relief in the film. Interestingly, in spite of being a story that deals with vengeance, the film lays down bare truths and also how human nature can at times find solace in either surrendering to their realities.
Badlapur Review: Star Performances
Varun Dhawan with this film, proves that he is here to stay. This film will be remembered every time his acting skills are mentioned. He enlivens Raghu’s character with full gusto. There is not a single frame where you find him weak. I rarely connect with on-screen characters but Raghu did get me emotional. This is Varun’s best performance till date!
Nawazuddin Siddiqui is a gem. He is one of the greatest discoveries for Bollywood. In spite of being the villain, he will make you laugh in this film. Nawaz can pull off almost everything and Badlapur’s role will be another feather on his cap.
Yami Gautam and Huma Qureshi have limited roles in the film. Both of them do a average job and leave nothing remarkable in the film.
Radhika Apte receives a special mention for her superb scene as she is asked to shed her clothes by a wicked Raghu. You have to see it to understand its true acting value.
Badlapur Review: Direction, Editing and Screenplay
What speaks even more than the dialogues in this film is the overall lighting and cinematography of the film. Sriram Raghavan truly captures the dark nature of this film with mostly dim lit indoor shots. He tries to keep the pace of the film in the first half. Certain scenes such as Raghu forcibly fornicating Jhumli will give you goosebumps. I almost got chills looking at Varun’s angst in the scene where he thumps the bloody hammer over and over with an intense energy.
Raghavan captures these scenes brilliantly as you feel the pulsating nature of emotions that bring the dark side of you. What Badlapur misses out on is a crisper editing in the second half, else it could have been a edge of the seat thriller. The film has twists which come at the right moments and the songs really help to give them the right punch. I particularly loved the way, Raghavan shifts into Raghu’s past and its connection with his present happenings.
Badlapur Review: The Last Word
Badlapur is a brilliant direction from Sriram Raghavan whose film opens like novel and is full of twists. According to me, the film’s best element is Varun Dhawan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui who own this film right from start. For the excellent performances by both the leads and a gritty dark tale, I am going with a 3.5/5.
Badlapur releases on 20th February, 2015.
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