Star Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Taapsee Pannu, Amrita Singh
Director: Sujoy Ghosh
NOTE: This review contains NO SPOILER and is for those who haven’t seen The Invisible Guest (A Spanish film from which Badla is adapted). There will be no comparisons with the original one because the majority of the public doesn’t even know it’s an adaptation.
What’s Good: More than good, it’s the screenplay that clasps every emotion together till the end, it’s a couple of staggering acts that play with your mind throughout.
What’s Bad: Many might miss this in theaters because it has nothing, apart from the fact that’s it’s a brilliant film, to attract the regular moviegoers. But, I just hope, everyone who reads this review should go and watch this in a cinema hall.
Loo Break: Forget loo break, there are scenes that demand your utmost attention leaving no space to even take a long breath
Watch or Not?: If you’re okay with surrendering yourself for 120 minutes getting mini-stroke in the end, go for it!
Naina Sethi, the business person of the year, is accused of murdering her boyfriend Arjun (Tony Luke) in a hotel. Badal Gupta (Amitabh Bachchan), the lawyer who has lost no case i.e. the Harvey Specter of London, comes in the scene to help Naina. He gives Naina exactly three hours to speak out every truth she knows, else there’s a high chance she could get arrested owing to a new witness coming to light.
As time passes by, Naina unfolds the layers of truth to Badal. Going by the exact turn of events, we get to know about Naina and Arjun’s families. Naina, this ingenious businesswoman, has a lot to reveal and there could be no person better than Badal to help her go through this. Rest of the story is how this 3-hour conversation over the table concludes unveiling the real through Badal is hunting since the start.
Badla Movie Review: Script Analysis
Sujoy Ghosh has desi-fied The Invisible Guest by shooting Mahabharata’s ideologies throughout the film. There’s a gender reversal in this one but boy it works at every juncture in favour of the narration. Within the first ten minutes, the film just gets in your head. The mind-bogglingly convoluted written script forces you to think too many things but how many of your predictions get true? Ghosh through his magical direction hides many twists under his hat revealing them at the very right time. Avik Mukhopadhyay’s camerawork is skillfully detailed covering the brilliant tightness of the sequences.
Also, credit to the makers for perfectly choosing the title of the film – one of the best-titled films in recent years. Apart from the story, it’s also the ‘importance of minute details’ in the screenplay that makes the film shine dimmer (given the tense mood). There are multiple moments that will entangle your mind-wires, but you’ll lose by the time the ‘father’ of all twists appears in the climax. It’s not a perfect 5 movie, because despite all the many twists there are some which are predictable. At some places, things get too obvious and when it’s the same as you thought, the narration loses its essence.
Badla Movie Review: Star Performance
Amitabh Bachchan looks sharp and edgy and delivers performance on similar lines. Thanks to his otherworldly baritone, you’ll just get lost in what he says rather than what should you see. With his inborn quirks, he manages to pull off this complex role at pretty much ease. It surely will go down as one of his memorable performances.
After movies like Pink, Mulk, Manmarziyaan and now this, Taapsee Pannu is an actress we should seriously talk about. We all know she is a natural but proving it with every film, she has a long way to go in Bollywood. She delivers an easy-to-judge but difficult-to-act performance. Amrita Singh has an important role and she carries out the role of Rani splendidly well. Tony Luke and Manav Kaul are passable as the supporting cast; they fill the required voids.
Badla Movie Review: Direction, Music
Sujoy Ghosh, with his direction, might question the depth of your concentration while watching a film. He has adapted the screenplay to design it into that unsolvable question of logical reasoning. He steers the narration keeping in mind about how after a point of time all will not be about ‘who is the murderer?’. Yes, I know there was no scope of joy in the film, still, I wished the dialogues (Sujoy Ghosh and Raj Vasant) could’ve been edgier with a (little more) pinch of wit.
The background score of the film perfectly captures the tension of the room. The sudden silence turns into electro-fusion elevating essence of the scenes. Thankfully, there were no songs to ruin the airtight pace (120 minutes).
Badla Movie Review: The Last Word
All said and done, Badla does not just keep you hooked till the end but it destroys your delusion of ‘I’ve predicted the climax’. Outstandingly performed mind-numbing drama that is on a slow burner and in those last couple of minutes, it explodes like a good dream.
Badla releases on 8th March, 2019.
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