The revenge saga has got a new dimension in Badlapur and its director Sriram Raghwan makes sure to keep you on tenterhook with its dark story. The director undermines the conventional hero-villain norms in Badlapur and makes a cracking psychological thriller.
There is intensity, brutality, exceptional craziness within the characters which are wonderfully delved and executed by its actors. Varun Dhawan (Raghu) is the man who is out to seek revenge from Nawazuddin Siddiqui (Liak) and his partner (Vinay Pathak) who during a robbery murdered his wife and son.
While entire ensemble cast including Huma Qureshi (Jhimli, a prostitute), Divya Dutta (Shobha, a Doctor), Radhika Apte (Koko, as Pathak's wife) didn't put a foot wrong, it's Varun and Nawaz who give a powerful performance and a realistic appeal to their characters. While Nawazuddin is purely shameless in whatever he does minus any regrets for his deed, Varun is outrageously brutal when it comes to assassinate the close associates of Liak.
Stars- Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Varun Dhawan, Yami Gautam, Huma Qureshi, Divya Dutta, Radhika Apte
Director- Sriram Raghwan
Music director- Sachin-Jigar
The movie's premise is however, kept simplistic but the twists and turns it lays ahead makes it unconventional. Yet there was scope for more. Director feels no hesitation in implying the pessimistic events, which might make you uncomfortable at times but it's the need of the drama which is brutal.
Witnessing the assassinating scenes requires a brave heart as accused are shown no sympathy and so are given insane treatment for their deeds.
But there is half-baked execution in it as we guess over why Varun rips off his shirt before hammering down Pathak's on-screen wife. Not only this, despite anointing this as a ‘Badla' drama, Raghwan just staggers while giving it a full vengeful justification.
After building emotions of sympathy, rage, revenge it's a bit hard to see antagonist and protagonist capitulating out of sudden change of heart. The climax carries a meaning but only if you have that strong stomach to absorb. A little more effort on the editing table could have helped avoid the few glitches. But by the time we come to count those errors, Badlapur is done giving us ample of edge of the seat thriller moments.
Besides all, it's once again the actors who paint the blemishes by entirely surrendering themselves to their characters. Varun Dhawan swims against the tide by shedding his 'student' tag. He excels as a troubled man with gusto. There are few scenes where he gives an extraordinary act when he asks Huma Qureshi to dance like she does for her beau Liak. In another sequence where he asks Radhika to undress is a scene-stealer too. While watching him, it's hard to believe that he is the same chocolate boy of ‘SOTY' or ‘HSKD'. The way he looks someone is dreadful. We are sure his performance is going to open other doors of Bollywood for him.
Nawazuddin gives a captivating act once again. He has a chameleon-like mannerism that can change one's opinion according to situation. He holds his part with vividness. The sudden change in his temperament is worth noticing. You would love to hate him like an unpleasant smell. With each passing flick he is giving an accomplished performance and he undoubtedly shines once again.
Huma Qureshi too gives an extraordinary act while Yami Gautam impresses in her limited appearance. Radhika Apte's cameo appearance is convincing.
All in all Badlapur is a psychological roller coaster. Three stars for Raghwan's directorial who has also done a great comeback after giving a messy ‘Agent Vinod'.