Bollywood has always been way behind those Hollywood and European filmmakers in making a genuinely engaging crime thriller. There are very few filmmakers in the Indian film industry who actually want to take risks in creating a great movie without focusing on the usual song and dance routine. While most of the films in India lack genuine storytelling, the newly released Sriram Raghavan-directed Badlapur at least leaves some impression that there are filmmakers and there is scope for thrillers, suspense, or revenge drama.
Badlapur focuses primarily on two characters: first is Raghu (Varun Dhawan) who after losing his wife and son in the aftermath of a bank robbery is trying to take revenge that seems will ultimately give him solace, and the second is Liak who is one of the robbers responsible for that ill-fated day which changed Raghu’s life forever. While Liak is serving a 15-year-long sentence, his partner in crime living a fulsome life away from any suspicion, as Liak has not revealed his name with the plan to get his share of the money when he goes out of jail.
Raghu on the other side throws himself into solitude while still searching for the second man in the robbery. He sees an opportunity to take revenge when he hears that Liak is suffering from cancer and needs his pardon to come out of jail a year earlier. Here comes the name of the film in the play Badlapur: in Hindi ‘Badla’ means revenge and ‘Pur’ means the town. In the narration, the director certainly brings in the question of whether revenge is actually the right path for anyone to go forward or not.
Unlike the average revenge drama in Hindi films, this is a breakaway when it channelizes the suspense with a few twists and more realistic actions. Even though there are very few basic flaws in the story, Badlapur is very well-acted by all its star cast, particularly Varun and Nawazudin. This is probably the first serious film for Varun Dhawan where he gets to show different shades of his character, and Nawazuddin Siddiqui yet again proved why he is the first choice in realistic/parallel cinema.
“Although Badlapur is nowhere close to realistic cinema as it has been designed as a mainstream commercial film, it’s thrilling and at least not one of those average black and white revenge dramas, rather a darker neo-noir thriller with conflicted antihero-like character.”
Genre: Crime, thriller, drama
Starring: Varun Dhawan, Nawazudin Siddiqui, Huma Qureishi, Vinay Pathak, Kumud Mishra, Radhika Apte, Yami Gautam, Divya Dutta, Pratima Kannan
Directed by: Sriram Raghavan