Sriram Raghavan’s Badlapur is being touted as one of the best Bollywood flicks so far this year and I was pretty sure I was not gonna like it. Thanks to Varun Dhawan, the shoes he usually gets into is hardly interesting. Add to the fact that Sriram Raghavan’s previous flick was the atrocious Agent Vinod, things were never tempting. And just as I had expected the previews didn’t sell me but the rants were so much that I couldn’t give this a miss. Especially when the rants came from a friend who had worked in the movie.
My presumptions were proven wrong when I watched it though. Badlapur could have easily slid into a typical revenge drama, the usual “you killed my wife and kid so I am gonna kill everything you’ve ever laid your hands on”. Well, it kinda does go the same path but luckily through fluke or frame, Badlapur takes on a whole new shade just minutes into the movie. The characters were well written and often blurs your perception of good and bad. Although they are painted black and white, initially, slowly it etches itself in your mind that everything is not as it seems. Sprinkled equally with dark humor and macabre, Badlapur takes a swift turn in narrative post-intermission and populated by a handful of characters, Badlapur manages to take weird turns in a movie which starts out predictable.
The previews had put Varun Dhawan in the limelight and there was a little someone I’d missed out: Nawazuddin Siddiqui! This guy has that quality that’s oft missed in Bollywood these days: genuine acting prowess. Whenever he’s onscreen, you are bound to be dumbfounded. He was noticeably impressive the first time I’d seen him in Kahaani and from there on he has made his mark left in whichever roles he’d played. Its no less in Badlapur as well, as Nawazuddin chews the scenery and leaves a little for Varun. Varun on the other hand makes use of the break and plays a heartbroken, revenge-drenched soul rather convincingly. As for the supporting cast we’ve got a well toned Huma Qureshi, some good Vinay Pathak moments and a few minutes of Yami Gautam’s Fair & Lovely face (no pun intended). Lastly, Radhika Apte was a sight for sore eyes! Period!
I am glad for my friend’s claim that it was not a movie to be missed. Its technically sound and even the music is enjoyable. Badla Badla sets the mood and stylish score for the movie while Jee Karda serves for a great theme as well.
Badlapur also cashes a little in on shock value, some scenes could have been a bit tame but doing so for the sake of censorship might have done a tad bit damage to the narrative. While, Badlapur aint without its flaws it does bring in a refreshing take on the classic revenge drama. Badlapur, the title, may sound cheesy but it has more layers to it than what’s seen on the surface and makes for Sriram Raghavan’s way outta limbo.