Badlapur: A lukewarm revenge drama
Shriram Raghvan’s fascination for dark thrillers is a known fact what with his previous movies Ek Hasina Thi & Jhonny Gaddar. He continues his fascination for the same with Badlapur.
The basic premise has many layers and Shriram Raghvan along with writer Arijit Biswas try to show the psychological side of revenge as to how a Advertising Professional Raghav (Varun Dhawan) becomes psychotic after his wife Misha (Yami Gautam) and kid Robin get killed in a bank robbery and he plans to avenge the killers.
The basic message that Shriram wanted to portray was how revenge makes a normal human being act like an animal and in his rage he commits crimes which he does not want. This he portrayed through his two principal characters Liak (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) who commits the bank robbery and kills Raghav’s wife and kid and on the other side Raghav who in his madness to take revenge commits a crime which was not intended.
Every character in the movie is very well etched and very complex, but where the movie looses is its weak narration and slow pace. The 134 mins movie could have been trimmed at least by 15 to 20 mins to create more impact. Though the climax has a message but the overall narration does not create an impact. The first half shows promise and you expect some twist in the second half which unfortunately does not come and results in a half baked second half. I felt in some sequences the blood quotient was too stark than required.
It is the performances which is the biggest highlight of the movie, Varun Dhawan as Raghav tries to do a role which was different from his previous movies and succeeds to a large extent especially in sequences where he underplays his anger. The best performance is undoubtedly of Nawazuddin Siddiqui who plays the antagonist Liak with such perfection that he overshadows everybody in the frame. Huma Qureshi as the prostitute Jhimli gives another riveting performance. Yami Gautam as Misha has nothing much to do. Radhika Apte as Kanchan is good but could have been better, rather she looks quite jaded. Divya Dutta as Shobha the social worker has nothing much to do but still she shines in her brief role. Kumud Mishra, a brilliant actor but underrated by Bollywood shines in the role of the inspector who investigates the bank Robbery. Rest of the cast like Ashwini Kalsekar, Pratima Kazmi, Vinay Pathak do a brilliant job in their brief roles and makes the movie a worth watch.
Music by Sachin Jigar is melodious, especially Jeena Jeena & the rock Jee Karda. Anil Mehta’s brilliance shines through the magical cinematography which captures the suburbs well….
Shriram Raghavan gets the premise right but fails in making it an impactful narration which was the biggest flaw. The pace in the second half is so slow that you want the movie to end.
I will go with Two & a Half stars….
Movie Rating: (2.5 / 5)