When you walk away from a screening, puzzled (nay rattled), by the behavior of the protagonist, you know that there must be something in the presentation. When the thought lingers and makes you do a post-mortem of the 'Ifs, Buts and Whys,' the next morning, you are certain that this film has to be a gem.
Welcome to Sriram Raghavan's BADLAPUR, where script is king and performances are the icing on the cake.
Very quickly Raghavan pulls you into the vortex of the drama being enacted on screen. A bold bank robbery goes horribly wrong where Misha (Yami Gautam) and her six-year-old son are killed. The son falls out of a speeding SUV and Misha is shot at when she goes hysterical battling with the goons Liak (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) and Harman (Vinay Pathak).
A few seconds before that her husband Raaghav (Varun Dhawan) is shown in his office displaying his funny side. A few minutes later his world changes. So does his demeanor. If just for this quick switch of emotions, captured brilliantly by Raghavan and enacted beautifully by Varun, this is paisa vasool
fare.Also Check Out: BADLAPUR Music Review
But there's more paisa vasooli
to be made as Nawazuddin Siddiqui gives us a super blast of a performance. You want to stand up and applaud his sheer genius. ''Tu cheez kya hai bhai?''
Even if it's just for Nawazuddin, you have to watch this film. Provided you have the ability to stomach 'gruesome, pathological violence'.
That brings us to the core of the plot. Raaghav has lost all sense of thinking and is plummeted into his grief. He detaches himself from his past and resettles in Badlapur, creating his own private graveyard where he lives in the memory of his wife and son. Every living moment is consumed by a passion for revenge. A revenge that takes an unfathomable turn when he gets to that path, 15 years later!
Just his jhalak
in the promos of BADLAPUR had convinced me of his performance. He has raised the bar for newcomers by improving with every outing
. Studied, intense, diabolical, with a dash of underplayed comedy; this Dhawan is a full-on dhamaka
.Also Read - Varun Dhawan: There is a guilty pleasure in the BADLAPUR role
Vinay Pathak too sparkles in a cameo, breaking off from the mold he has cast himself into. But it is Radhika Apte who your heart goes out to for the sincerity in the role and the sparkle in her performance; powerful whilst just being docile. Mind-numbing!
As for Huma Qureshi, she has made the wrong choice of role. An actress of her caliber needs to think differently.Also Read - Nawazuddin Siddiqui: Never felt overshadowed by Varun Dhawan
Now for the flaws which are glaring. Even after 15 years have elapsed, Jhimli (Huma Qureshi) looks the same. Ditto, Liak's mother who has not aged a day since her son was given a 20-year prison sentence. What's also perplexing is that Varun's parents are not in touch with him, nor are his in-laws. Also, Liak is said to have cancer and only 10 months to live. But this guy is hale and hearty with no signs of medications or its after-effects.
But all this is made up for in the end when Liak takes his revenge after being denied his share of the booty. So whose revenge is sweeter; Raaghav's or Liak's?
An interesting aside to this movie is one where an NGO worker Shobha (Divya Dutta) is shown working for the plight of convicted criminals. Raghav gives her food for thought when he asks her, ''What about those who have been affected by the crime?''
If you have the tensile strength to absorb gore, go for it.