Badlapur: To Watch or Not?
And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee.
- Jules Winnfield, The Breakfast Scene, Pulp Fiction.
Sure, it’s a dish best served cold on a pike, but it also makes for gritty, furious, broiling, uncaringly truthful movies. Add to that the flavour of losing a loved family and we got ourselves a good ol’fashioned blood bath. I must admit when I first saw the trailer, the first reaction, “ Varun Dhawan. Really? Full fail hai boss”. It’s sort of difficult to trust a guy as an actor after the cinematic genius that was Student Of The Year and that Main Tera Hero crap. Truth be told, I went to see this for Nawazuddin Siddiqui and came out seeti bajaoing for Varun Dhawan. I don’t like myself as a person anymore. But we’ll deal with that later.
Sriram Raghavan (Johnny Gaddar and Ek Hasina Thi) gives us the “Haider”of 2015. The premise is pretty simple. Wife and beta get killed as collateral in a bank robbery gone wrong. The strained robber duo (Nawaz and Vinay Pathak) are now on the husband Raghu’s (Varun Dhawan) hit list. Filled with revenge porn (surprised to see the amount of sex in the movie- woah!), Dexter style killing, deadpan eyes and dark comedy, Raghu exacts revenge in a very brutal, calculative and relentless manner. Badlapur could very well be the movie that puts Varun Dhawan square in the middle of the acting map. His portrayal of the widowed husband moving through phases of utter pain (mental and physical), depravity, and blood seeking revenge, maintains the intensity, calm and his-soul-is-dead-kind-of-eyes, very much like a badass serial killer. On the other hand there is Laik (Siddiqui) who is no newbie to a role like this. Liak gets 15 years jail time but the po po can’t stop him yo! Nawaz paints a funny-yet-likeable character of a robber who made a bad dimaak garam decision in killing his wife and hates the fact that jail is going to stop him from enjoying life and getting it on with his prostitute girl (Huma Quereshi). Whether it’s his multiple attempts to break out or his loving relationship with his mom, Nawaz is an actor who does it flawlessly with humour and basic human emotions, no overacting at all.
The supporting cast of the cheeky prostitute (Huma Quereshi), the police inspector in charge of the investigation (Kumud Mishra), who tries to extort the loot ka paisa, wife of Robber no 2 – Koko (Radhika Apte), wife (Yami Gautam) and our very own Pune (M.G road ko toh celebrity status mil gaya abhi) are perfectly picked parts of a very fine tuned film. The opening sequence of the murder itself is beautifully crafted (not too much rona dhona– quick and easy) and that’s the beauty of it. Badlapur is a racy, no-nonsense, no running-around-the trees-singing-ishq-wala-tree kinda film. The only drawback is the really bad editing; it makes the film look even more low budget than it’s shown to be.
All in all, Badlapur is a movie definitely worth watching. It has many flaws, but you shouldn’t care about them. It’s a welcome relief from Bang Bangs and Action Jacksons and probably the beacon of hope for 2015. I’m sure you won’t be able to take your eyes off the screen!