Badlapur review: Avijit Das Patnaik lists five things in this revenge saga which may make or break this latest offering from director Sriram Raghavan.
Director: Sriram Raghavan
Producers: Dinesh Vijan, Sunil Lulla
Writers: Sriram Raghavan, Arijit Biswas
Cast: Varun Dhawan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Huma Qureshi, Yami Gautam, Vinay Pathak, Divya Dutta, Radhika Apte, Mateen Shaikh
Sriram Raghavan returns (after three years) with a revenge saga titled, interestingly, Badlapur. The director debuted in 2004 with revenge saga Ek Hasina Thi which turned out to be a classic. Three years later he returned with an absolute 5/5 edge of the seat thriller Johnny Gaddar. His last venture Agent Vinod didn’t live upto expectations and hence Badlapur was eagerly awaited. But is the movie worth your time and money? Here are five factors which may help you decide.
Nawazuddin Siddique: The man never ceases to amaze. In Badlapur he plays the role of murderer named ‘Laik’ and turns out the most ‘layak’ (apt) person for the role and the most ‘liked’ one. He sizzles every time with his posture, timing and body language, in mocking of jail inmates, in wanting to talk ‘dirty’ with his girlfriend (Huma), in teasing the police informer following him or in the numerous times he goes around lying.
Varun Dhawan: In his fourth movie, Varun tries to break from his chocolate boy image and expand his CV. Unfortunately, it falls flat on the face. Mourning his wife and kid’s death (who are shot accidentally during a bank robbery), Varun gets exposed, unable the convey pain to the viewer. And it gets worse when he is sharing the screen with likes of Nawazuddin, Divya Dutta, Vinay Pathak or Radhika Apte. Credit to Varun for trying something new but discredit to Sriram for casting Varun more for commercial pull than as the best man for the job.
Don’t miss the beginning: Trailers of Badlapur repeatedly ask not to miss the beginning. And you better not miss it. The first four minutes of the movie (brilliantly shot) has the bank robbery scene. And the first forty minutes after interval has the tussle scenes between Varun, Vinay and Radhika. Those are the best and most memorable parts of the movie, outside Nawazuddin’s scenes. The detailing in these scenes make it more memorable – the towing of a car and policeman standing next, which forces the bank robbers to go for another vehicle; the way Yami and her son cross the road or Radhika’s undressing scene which just can’t titillate the viewer.
Cast: Simply put, the cast is wasted, and there are extra scenes punched in just to justify their presence. Yami’s ravishing smile comes only in ‘blink-and-you-will-miss scenes’ – there are useless flashbacks which aren’t cute and dilute the seriousness of the story. Huma’s slimming body is the only thing you remember of her scenes – her track with Zakir Hussain (another blink-and-miss role) wasn’t required. Divya Dutta has a role any small time actress could have essayed. It seems Raghavan wanted to keep Varun’s brooding face in most of the scenes, and keep good actors coming in and out to extend length of the movie.
Screenplay: While the story isn’t bad, the screenplay and editing goof it up. There is a strong feeling that Raghavan is going the Ram Gopal Varma way after peaking in his second venture (Johnny Gaddar). Badlapur suffers from frequent injections of melodrama in a movie which is anyways slow – the scene where Yami’s parents are crying remind us of the laughable crying scenes of No One Killed Jessica. The last half hour, while retaining its unpredictable element, defies logic; the ending, while logical, defies the theme of the movie. All this, in between some very well shot scenes – especially of the Pune rains or the jail sequences.
Verdict: Average fare, go only for Nawazuddin and some good scenes. DVD viewing makes more sense, as on TV, the censor scissors will go sharp.
Box Office Prediction: Raghavan’s first two classics were made for multiplex audiences, but this one is targeted at small town and single screen theatres also. With Roy being massively boring, Badlapur virtually has no competition. Varun Dhawan’s right contacts within the industry ensures many from the brethren will overpraise the movie and go gaga over Varun. When a rubbish product like Tevar made 33 crores, expect Badlapur to hit 60+ crores.