Badlapur was marketed as Ghajini 2.0 without Aamir “Legolas” Khan. The trailer was adorned with scenes of Varun Dhawan going batshit crazy, beating the holy bejesus out of Nawazuddin Siddiqui and anyone else he could lay his hands on.
The film however takes off, in a completely different direction. And that’s what make it so much fun to watch.
Incorporating themes from films such as I Saw The Devil and Oldboy, Badlapur is surprisingly a really good film. It is violent yes, but only where it needs to be. It sees Sriram Raghavan return to a playing field where he is the one true king. This is the man who gave us criminally underrated films like Johnny Gaddar(The last good thing Neil Nitin Mukesh was in) and Ek Hasina Thi(The last good thing Urmila Matondkar was in) and he does not disappoint with Badlapur.
Badlapur tells the story of Raghav, whose life takes a dramatic turn when a terrible tragedy befalls his wife(Yami Gautam) and son Swearing revenge, Raghav moves to the sleepy town of Badlapur, where he plots to bring hell crashing down around Layak(Nawazuddin Siddiqui) and Harman(A rejuvenated Vinay Pathak), the two men he holds responsible for the tragedy.
What Badlapur does so well is that it establishes that the film is no hero-driven vehicle. Both Dhawan and Siddiqui have a dark side to them, but at the same time are extremely vulnerable human beings. Both of them dish out terrific performances as two psychotic sides to the same coin, playing off of the other in wondrous fashion. Siddiqui in particular is brilliant, chewing up the imagery in most of the scenes he’s in. The film does not make him a mere caricature out of his character(Like Kick did) and hands him the baton, with which he truly runs away with. Dhawan too matches up to him, playing the emotionally shattered Raghav. He’s not the annoying fool from Student of the Year, nor is he the charming doofus from Main Tera Hero. He’s batshit crazy in the film, getting you to sympathize and despise him, at the same time.
The film’s two leads are supported by a great cast. Huma Qureshi, Divya Dutta, and the impressive Radhika Apte, all churn out great performances as the film slowly cranks up the intensity in this game of cat and mouse that it helps bring to the screen so well.
At times Badlapur is really hard to watch, but you can’t really look away either, in fear of missing out on something important. It’s bold, unflinching, with lots of gore, sex and violence, in no particular order. It makes you accept the harsh reality that the two leads find themselves in and it ensures that you truly feel the pain and misery they’re going through.
Badlapur really surprised me. I was all set to completely take a giant dump on this film,but that’s certainly not the case. It’s slow, taut little thriller that works wonders if you’re patient with it. Go watch it over the weekend and rest assured, you won’t come away disappointed.