Badlapur : A Cold Blooded Revenge
Sirram Raghavan is an important film maker in Hindi film industry. Important because he is different. Important because he sticks to the basics of film making. From his first movie, Ek Hasina Thi, then Johny Gaddar to Badlapur, he has successfully established himself as a dependable provider of taut edge off the seats thrillers. These are dark, edgy but entertaining at the same time.
With Badlapur, he again proves that cinema is a Director’s medium and strong writing can make anyone understand a good cinema and make him like it. Based on a novel by Italian crime writer Massimo Carlotto, written for the screen by Arijit Biswas and Sriram Raghavan, Badlapur is very strong at the writing level. It has perfect Characterization and right mix of relations and emotions. Moreover, it is written visually like a very good screenplay. Most of the time there are only visuals and background music and sometimes only visuals and still the story moves forward powerfully. That is what screen writing is all about. You use dialogues only when needed. Dialogues are swift, interesting and crisp.
Director Sriram Raghavan do not let the film wear off for a single bit. He is tightly controlling the whole project like a skilled Jockey and skillfully wins the race. The film promotion says “Do not miss the start”, and that’s true. Start of the film sets the tone of the movie. It is all basic film making sans any fancy and stylish presentation which is generally used as substitute for writing in so called thrillers. This film can be an example of how to convert and good screen writing into a great film. The narrative is smooth, gripping and holds the interest of audience till the last film. Not only that, it does provide interesting twits and turns and while doing so, provokes one to think about “Right/Wrong”, “Moral/Immoral” without an iota of pretensions. It is a film which provides all the thrills, entertainment, thought provocation and makes a statement too. That makes it an accomplished piece of work by Sriram Raghavan.
Casting Director Mukesh Chhabra has done award winning job for this movie. Apart from the casting coup of sorts for the lead role, all the supporting cast is of great actors and that notched up the quality of the movie muiltiple times. Be it Yami Gautam (Misha), Huma Qureshi (Jhimli), Divya Dutta (Shobha), Vinay Pathak (Harman), Radhika Apte (Kanchan) or Ashwini Khalsekar (Mrs. Joshi), each one of them need a special mention just like the leading actors. It is interesting to see how each one of them have strong author backed roles. Thinking of it now just blows my mind way. Hats off to the writers and these performers.
As far the lead actors are concerned, the casting of them itself got the buzz started about the movie. Believing that a Chocolate hero like Varun Dhawan (Raghav) can pull of such an intense and mature role in itself is an amazing feat. And boy, he does deliver quiet a punch. So much so that I feel he did better than Nawazuddin Siddiqui (Liak). We have seen Nawaz displaying such histrionic and we can say now that his brilliance is getting templated. Varun even gets a scene and dialog where he says him “Mai bhi kar sakta hun” and mocks him. It is part of the story, but he proves it in reality too. I can sure say that Varun gave tough fight to Nawaz and he does leave bigger impact than Nawaz.
Neverthless, Nawaz is at his brilliant self too. He has equal amount of screen time and may be better scenes too. He provides the chills expected from a vallain and also the entertainment. He just lives the character. When he acts, he becomes that character. He makes Liak come alive.
Technically the film is just brilliant because nowhere Technic overpowers the story telling. Film Editing by Pooja Ladha Surti is crips, correct and engaging. Production Design by Donald Reagen Gracy and Anita Rajgopalan Lata is perfectly suitable for the needs of the script. And who says grim thrillers can not have good music? Raghavan’s taste in music is again evident in Badlapur too. Music by Sachin Jigar is already chart-buster and it is used without any hindrance to the screenplay. Lyrics are good too. Background Music is also an asset to the movie. In short, every department has done wonderful and praiseworthy job.
Finally, here is a flawless movie which can be recommended wholeheartedly. After watching it, a lot of scenes, a lot of performances, many characters leave impact on audience. And as you think more about the movie, you realize the brilliance of the writing and making of the film. The promotion speaks about not missing the start, but I say “Do not miss the end” too. Film has totally different and unexpected end and it leaves us thinking who is the protagonist and who is the antagonist in the movie.
The film does not take its audience granted for being dumb. It believes in the cleverness of its viewers. It does not give unnecessary justifications of the scenes or the characters. It is dark, grimy, taut and entertaining and thought provoking at the same time. It is fulfilling experience of good cinema. Take a Bow, Mr. Raghavan, Take a Bow!
Recommendation: If you are above 18 years, you must watch it. Go for it.