Picture Post-Mortem: Badlapur

Open a new tab. Navigate to your preferred movie ticketing website. Book tickets of Badlapur. Now you’re welcome to proceed.

Intense, gripping, raw and real – that’s Badlapur, directed by Sriram Raghavan, whose last film was Agent Vinod. He has redeemed himself of his association with his last film, with this. Raghavan gives one of the best movies of 2015. (Yes, it’s just been a month-and-a-half, but still…)

I was expecting to see a conventional revenge drama, but it’s not. It’s like you were anticipating dark chocolates, but you get sweet Belgian ones – you know there’s something missing, but you are too hungry, too engrossed to care.

I would have liked to see more of Yami Gautam’s part which could’ve added an emotional weight to the film. There’s a possibility of that weight turning into a burden, but yes, that’s a personal observation. And why is Gautam’s role less in the movie? Because she’s killed in the beginning, along with her son. Arey, ye spoiler nahin hai re baba.

Varun Dhawan is her husband, who breaks down completely at the news and vows to find the people behind the killings. He moves to Badlapur (Yup, that’s a real geographical place near Mumbai), to extract a suitable revenge. Dhawan looks mature, not just because of his beard, but by his gritty character, which he has portrayed, much better than expected. I was skeptical initially with the trailers, to see Varun in such a role. But now, I am happy to be proven wrong.

Sometimes there are negative roles which become heroes in themselves, because of sheer charm in their portrayal. Nawazuddin Siddique as the antagonist plays one such part. He plays a carefree murderer and burglar with ease. He expressions let flow his intensity and his dialogues sustain the raw appeal. You start to care for the bad guy, the dilemma seeps into your heart too – of which side you’re on.

There are other some small yet important roles essayed by Huma Qureshi, Pratima Kazmi, Divya Dutta and Vinay Pathak, which add further texture to the story. As a revenge drama, there are no white or black characters, it’s all grey.

Sriram Raghavan has brought meat to film by his nuanced storytelling. You don’t miss the song-and-dance. Also, there’s little violence in a film about revenge. Varun and Nawaz eventually become characters of the same scale – of morality, crime and redemption.

The vengeance is unlike what you’ve seen in Ghajini, Ek Villain or even Gangs of Wasseypur. It’s real, uncomfortable and cold – The perfect way revenge should be served.


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