Badla: A twisted tale of Human Psyche
“Badla” is the official remake of Spanish blockbuster “The Invisible Guest”. Straight up I must confess that I have not seen the original so my review would be what director Sujoy Ghosh has to offer to us.
Sujoy Ghosh has this uncanny ability to dish out thrillers which are layered and well made, take his previous “Kahani”, “Kahani 2” or the web short film “Ahilya”. In all his previous movies you get layered characters who are not exactly black or white but a shade of grey. Well Sujoy continues with his endeavor and gives us another crime thriller “Badla”.
“Badla” adapted by Sujoy Ghosh from its original screenplay written by Oriol Paulo for “The Invisible Guest”. “Badla” is a whodunit genre of movie which primarily revolves around a conversation between a murder convict Naina Sethi (Tapsee Pannu) and her lawyer Badal Gupta (Amitabh Bachchan) and events are played as a flash back. The best thing about the screenplay is that there is not a single dull moment and the proceedings keeps you glued to the edge of the seat till the big reveal in the climax. What is commendable about the writing is, that the characters are layered of both Naina and Badal, and as an audience you keep on guessing what will happen next. Though to be very frank in the last 30 minutes you do get an idea but still it is worth a wait. I guess Sujoy Ghosh has been true to the original with a slight tweak to make it relevant in India. The dialogues written by Sujoy Ghosh and Raj Vasant is gripping with apt references to Mahabharata making it more interesting.
The combo of Amitabh Bachchan and Tapsee Pannu after “Pink” again shines. Amitabh Bachchan as the advocate Badal Gupta is a delight and you can see that he is enjoying, his piercing eyes and his baritone voice are an icing on the cake for the character of Badal Gupta. Definitely one of his best performance after “Piku” and “Pink”. Tapsee Pannu as the businesswoman Naina Sethi is a revelation, she kills it with her portrayal of an unpredictable character, keeping the audiences guessing of her next action. Another brilliant performance is by Amrita Singh who plays the role of Rani Toor, an old woman in search of her missing son. Amrita Singh’s performance is both heart breaking and strong, definitely one of her finest
performances till date, Bollywood should utilize this brilliant actress more often. Debutant Malayalam actor Tony Luke as Arjun is a discovery, though hindi language is not his strong point but he manages to capture your attention with his nuanced performance. Manav Kaul in a brief role of Naina’s lawyer and friend is impressive. So is Tanveer Ghani as Nirmal, an international actor not often seen in Bollywood.
Though the entire movie is heavily burdened on both Amitabh Bachchan and Tapsee Pannu still it is the other actors who also make a mark and take the movie to another level.
The cinematography by Avik Mukopadhyay is another highlight of the movie. He captures the nuances and the landscape of Glasglow so well that it becomes a character with the proceedings.
Sujoy Ghosh again strikes gold with this crime thriller as well, though a bit predictable at the end unlike Kahani, still it is an impressive presentation.
If you are an avid whodunit genre lover don’t waste time and head for “Badla”, I will go with 4 stars.
Movie Rating: (4 / 5)