Rating: 3/5 Stars (Three stars)
Star Cast: Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Vicky Kaushal, Vipin Sharma, Amruta Subhash, Sobhita Dhulipala, Ashok Lokhande
Director: Anurag Kashyap
What’s Good: Nawazuddin’s resounding performance and the director’s obsessive exploration of the mind of a serial killer.
What’s Bad: The film lacks a cohesive storyline to keep you engaged throughout the duration.
Loo Break: Only if it’s urgent!
Watch or Not?: Nawazuddin brilliantly embodies Anurag’s vision of a modern day Raman Raghav. Watch it for his casual and terrifyingly believable performance.
Raman Raghav 2.0 is actually a film idea extracted from a potential biopic set in the 1960s that the makers found impossible to make after the massive debacle that was Bombay Velvet. Anurag Kashyap and his writers decided to turn it into a script with a modern day setting, and thus came the idea of Raman (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) and Raghav (Vicky Kaushal) being two different people. While one is a drifting serial killer with blood as cold as the arctic, the other is a cop who is trying to solve his daddy issues by dousing himself with drugs and women. The Raghav narrative really looks like it’s going somewhere, but ends up being a bummer in the end.
Raman’s serial killing ways continue throughout the film, but his real purpose comes into the picture pretty late, and this more than anything, weakens the narrative. His obsession with murder slowly reveals itself as an obsession with Raghav. While a very compelling plot point, it fails to build the suspense as well as the director would have hoped to.
Raman Raghav 2.0 Review: Script Analysis
Raman Raghav 2.0 has delved beautifully into the intellect of a serial killer. Raman’s fascinating descriptions of his delusions, his deranged thinking and his extra-casual approach towards murder are wonderful to witness. His fascination with the real Raman Raghav has been nicely embedded into the script, with subtle allusions to real life incidents that had transpired in the life of the notorious serial killer from Bombay; be it the sexual assault of his own sister (Amruta Subhash), his initial release by the police or his love for chicken curry.
However, the script is bogged down by the lack of a well-bound story. You don’t know what to look forward to. The murders aren’t leading up to something most of the time. The scenes, although incredibly detailed and interesting, do not converge into a satisfying narrative.
Raman Raghav 2.0 Review: Star Performance
Nawazuddin Siddiqui yet again leaves our jaws hanging with his unbelievable performance. He just somehow steers all the attention towards himself in whichever scene he is in. He is the best choice for this role, and has done utmost justice to it.
Vicky Kaushal is good as a cocaine-addicted cop, but I did have trouble believing that an ACP from the Mumbai Police visits night clubs and dances with women before taking them home in his swanky SUV. His performance is true to his part, but the fact that the character is hard to believe sort of takes away his flair. His bouts of anger and regret in the second half are really worth appreciating.
Sobhita Dhulipala as Raghav’s estranged girlfriend impresses by embodying a complicated character, while Amruta Subhash does justice to her role of Raman’s sister.
Raman Raghav 2.0 Review: Direction, Music
Raman Raghav 2.0 has evidently been seen by its makers as an experimental film, and this probably gave them the guts to pursue a unique storytelling path. But unfortunately, the director fails to engage the audience with his craft. What’s worth appreciating though is his use of unexplored Mumbai locations, his brilliantly lit-up scenes and suitable music tracks. To sum it up, Anurag Kashyap has succeeded in creating a believable serial killer, but has failed at giving him a good story environment.
Ram Sampath’s soundtrack and background score shine throughout the film. The music doesn’t seem forced at any point, and has been sparingly used. The songs create the right mood, and are really worth adding to your playlists.
Raman Raghav 2.0 Review: The Last Word
It’s hard to imagine what Raman Raghav 2.0 could have been had it been made by a different director. It’s a film that utterly suits the style of Anurag Kashyap; yet he fails to create a captivating experience. This ends up making Nawazuddin Siddiqui the saving grace in the end, and he handles this responsibility like a boss. Raman Raghav 2.0 is to be watched if you wish to dive into the convoluted mind of a serial killer. If you’re not interested in that, you can give this one a miss. It’s a 2.5-star film in my opinion, but the excellent performance from Nawazuddin Siddiqui forces me to turn the rating into 3/5 stars.
Raman Raghav 2.0 Trailer
Raman Raghav 2.0 releases on 24th June, 2016.
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