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The Axe Forgets But The Tree REMEMBERS!
Feb 25, 2015 12:37 PM 15265 Views





In most action thrillers and dramas, revenge is the core emotion that helps make the protagonist’s battle seem justified. The hero is out there to finish off the villain because he is evil and has inflicted harm on him or his loved ones. And in most in cases, especially in Bollywood, the hero teaches a lesson to the villain in the right, moralistic manner way. But Badlapur is little different. The victim here is as villainous as the assailant. And this surely will be a new experience for the viewers when they go to watch this exceptionally brilliant revenge drama!

The story of the movie: Raghav aka Raghu(Varun Dhawan) is living a carefree life in Pune with his wife Misha(Yami Gautam) and son Robin. One day, Misha and Robin bump into Liak(Nawazuddin Siddiqui) and his accomplice. Both are on the run after committing a crime and while trying to escape, they end up badly hurting the mother and the daughter. Raghu gets devastated and decides to seek revenge. However, it will not be that easy for Raghu. In fact, he might have to wait many years to achieve his goal.

The tagline of Badlapur is ‘Don’t Miss The Beginning’. And it’s very apt and a sincere request to all moviegoers – don’t even think of getting late for your Badlapur show! This is because the first scene is very crucial to the film. One needs to see and understand the seriousness of Liak’s crime. Only then will the viewers feel convinced when Raghu turns into a ruthless revenge seeker. And this first scene is superbly shot, in a style that has become trademark of Sriram Raghavan – the camera remains still and nothing quite happens for a long time and the moment one starts feeling bored of the scene, a dhamaka erupts on screen! He did this in Johnny Gaddaar and also Agent Vinod and repeats this feat in Badlapur. In fact, Badlapur at some places does give a déjà vu of Johnny Gaddaar – both films have similarities like a bhola bhala guy with a devious mind, the long distance train, 70s Hindi film being played somewhere, someone reading a crime thriller while travelling in a train and a murder taking place in a realistic-looking household – to name a few. There’s a reason behind the film’s title which comes out well and has more than one interpretation. The film is as realistic as possible and goes into a shocking zone at some places. And it makes for a thrilling watch. Also, in terms of realism, Sriram Raghavan depicts some novel aspects as well. For instance, the lack of sensitivity displayed by close family members at times during a tragic situation.

Badlapur gets better in the second half and Vinay Pathak’s track is easily the best portion of the film. The cat and mouse game that ensues involving the cop is impressive. The climax however is unexpected and although a bit unjustified, it works. One definitely wishes it was different or maybe conventional but the unconventional finale also has its advantages. One major advantage is, it compels one to think and wonder what would have happened next. One also tries to judge the characters and their actions and whether they are justified. In short, Badlapur lingers for a long time in one’s mind and this is not something that happens in most of the films nowadays.

Badlapur is embellished with some outstanding performances. Varun Dhawan as expected packs a punch and plays the revenge seeker effortlessly. One instantly forgets his past works – the masala and candyfloss entertainers – and gets to see a new side of Varun Dhawan. Who could have thought this boy with chocolate looks can induce fear? But he does it and that too, so well! Nawazuddin Siddiqui delivers one of the finest performances of all times and his career. It would be a crime if his name is not added in ‘greatest movie villains of all time’ list! He is not scary – at places, he looks vulnerable as per the character’s demand – but the way he essays the role and raises laughs with his antics – it’s superb! Kudos to this outstanding actor!

Yami Gautam looks extremely charming and plays her supporting role very well. Huma Qureshi(Jhimli) is hardly there but does fine. Divya Dutta(Shobha) arguably has a longer and much better role and as always she delivers a brilliant performance. However, it’s Radhika Apte(Kanchan aka Koko) who leaves the maximum mark among the ladies. Her character is quite interesting and she plays it very nicely. It’s during her scenes that Badlapur goes totally on a high! Vinay Pathak(Harman) doesn’t speak much but his expressions do a lot of talking. Great to see this actor after a long time! Pratima Kazmi(Liak’s mother) and Ashwini Kalsekar are too good. Kumud Mishra(senior police official) gives a decent performance. Zakir Hussain is okay in a cameo.

Sachin-Jigar’s music flows well with the film without interrupting the narrative. Jee Karda is obviously the best of the lot while Judaai and Jeena Jeena too are quite soulful compositions. Background score is exhilarating. Parvez Khan’s action is raw and gory. Anil Mehta’s cinematography is superb and it’s great to see the manner in which the locales of Pune, Nashik and Igatpuri are captured. Anita Rajagoplan and Donald Raegan’s production design is very realistic. Raghu’s second house is well thought of. Dialogues are exemplary, especially the ones mouthed by Nawazuddin Siddiqui. But the clapworthy ‘Dushman Ko Maaf Kar Dena Chahiye’ dialogue is missing in the film. Story is original and had all the ingredients of a gripping revenge fare. And screenplay(Sriram Raghavan, Arijit Biswas) manages to do full justice to the plot in hand. Sriram Raghavan’s direction is outstanding and it’s evident that he’s comfortable in helming such kind of a small-budget film than a biggie like Agent Vinod. He brings out the best from the actors and executes some key scenes with finesse. The only scene he falters is when the train passengers are speculating whether Raghu is a TV actor. It looks out of place and unjustified. But nevertheless, this is a sixer from Sriram and hope he continues to come up with such superb thrillers!

Some of the best scenes:

  1. The opening scene(bravo!)

  2. Raghu-Misha’s scenes

  3. Raghu meets Liak for the first time

  4. All scenes of Shobha

  5. The intermission point

  6. Raghu with Kanchan in the car

  7. Raghu at Konkan Queen

  8. Raghu at Harman’s house(both scenes form the best part of the film)

  9. Liak at Raghu’s house

  10. The climax

On the whole, Badlapur is a gritty revenge drama and embellished with exceptional execution and performances. Sriram Raghavan goes all out and comes up with a shocking, violent fare where the hero has no qualms of turning bad and doing anything to take revenge. Varun Dhawan rocks as the rutheless Raghu and looks convincing despite his chocolate looks and persona. However, it’s Nawazuddin Siddiqui who’s takes the cake. His character, Liak, surely gets into the ‘greatest movie villains of all time’ list! The finale is unexpected and will raise lot of questions and discussions. But nevertheless, this is a must watch and hope it is showered with praises and lots of love!

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