Movie Review : Badla

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 layeredBadla 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 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Movie Review : Pink

Pink: The New Color of Women’s Liberation

“PINK” as the name suggests is a woman centric theme. But it is far removed from the fun & frolic that you normally associate to the color “PINK”, it is the story of struggles and tribulation of an average Indian women of today…

“PINK” tells the story of three working girls Minal Arora (Tapsee Pannu), Falak Ali (Kirti Kulhari) and Andrea (Andrea Tariang) who stay together in PG accommodation in Delhi. Their life takes a 360 degree pink-movieturn when one night they fall prey to a gang of guys comprising of Rajveer (Angad Bedi), Dumpy (Raashul Tandon) and Vishwa (Tushar Pandey) who take them to a resort at Surajkund and there they try to be physical with them and Minal ends up breaking a glass bottle on Rajveer, post which the girls flee. Next how their lives change for the worst is what the movie is all about…

Written by Ritesh Shah, this court room drama is an interesting watch thanks to the taut script. Ritesh keeps the screenplay very straight and to the point, not digressing a wee bit from the main plot which keeps the audience completely engrossed till the end. Each character especially of the three girls are sculpted with immense minuteness and complete precision. The character of advocate Deepak Sehgal (Amitabh Bachchan) is like a foil on the young helpless girls, I wish Ritesh would have given a bit peep on the Deepak Sehgal’s past but nevertheless the character is so strongly written that it over powers other characters completely.Ritesh does not waste time on clichés and keeps it as realistic as possible. Another character which also impresses throughout, is the character of the defense lawyer played by Piyush Mishra, rather the war of words between Deepak Sehgal and the defense lawyer make the court room proceedings interesting. Another thing which would have made the movie more interesting if Ritesh would have also shown how Deepak Sehgal does his investigation for the case. But overall brilliant writing.

Ritesh Shah’s dialogues lifts the screenplay, especially the court room sequence. The dialogues are taut and gives a message without being preachy. The dialogues have been painstakingly written keeping in mind the character who would say the dialogues making it sound as realistic as possible.
In a nutshell the real hero of the movie is the writing…

Good writing can go down the drain if it is not backed up with some good performances. Amitabh Bachchan as Deepak Sehgal the aging advocate gives a crackling performance, especially in the court room sequences. I must say Amitabh Bachchan is having a blast in his career at this age, first “Piku”, then “Teen” and now “Pink”, all three movies have tapped his potential as an actor to the fullest and you can feel as an audiences that even he is enjoying it….Next actor who impresses and stands high in front of Amitabh Bachchan is Piyush Mishra as the defense lawyer, who successfully makes you hate him, and that I think is no mean task…Piyush Mishra’s verbal war fare with Amitabh’s character are the highlight sequences of the movie. Now the three girls played by Tapsee Pannu as Minal, Kirti Kulhari as Falak and Andrea Tariang as Andrea, all the three do a splendid job but Tapsee Pannu steals the show with her portrayal. After her brief role in “Baby”, Tapsee again shows that she is an actress who should not be taken lightly. Kirti’s character starts as a timid character but later blooms and how, especially her emotional breakdown scene in the court just takes your heart away, definitely a brilliant actress, I hope Kirti gets more opportunities in this glamour stuck Bollywood who give Smita Patil Award to Katrina Kaif (Are we kidding???). Debutant Andrea Tariang has a brief role and not too much of histrionics but her silence says it all and the looks portrays the pathos which a page long dialogue would not justify. Angad Bedi as the spoilt brat Rajveer does his mean act well, though not a longish role but Angad justifies his presence completely. Dhritiman Chaterjee as the judge also does a brilliant job, and brings a meat to a role which in other movie is only confined to saying “Order, Order”. Other actors like Mamta Shankar (Good to see her in a Bollywood Movie), Rushal Tandon, Tushar Pandey, Vijay Verma and Vinod Nagpal also do a brilliant job. Overall the cast justifies the writing to the “T”.

It is said that editing “Makes” or “Breaks” a movie and in “Pink”, Bodhaditya Banerjee’s editing makes the movie taut without any once of sluggishness. Abhik Mukhopadhyay’s cinematography captures vibrancy of Delhi and the grimness of a court room with equal élan.

Now let us talk about the “Captain” of the ship Aniruddha Roy Choudhury, who debuts in Bollywood with “PINK”. After some brilliant movies in Bengali like “Anuranan” & “Antaheen”, Aniruddha does an equally impressive debut with “PINK”. “PINK” not only entertains but also raises a lot of pertinent questions which are like a taboo for a working women, especially if she lives alone, and Aniruddha has very beautifully portrayed a modern day woman and her struggles in a modern yet feudal society of today’s India. Two things that Aniruddha scores as a director, first being straight forward and completely glued to the main plot without falling prey for typical Bollywood trappings and secondly extracting some memorable performances by the entire cast.

A truly brilliant cinema which should not be missed, I will go with Four and a Half stars…

Movie Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)