Movie Review: Badlapur
Will Varun Dhawan redefine himself with this film? Find out what are City 1016's RJ Lokesh's thoughts on it
DIRECTOR: Sriram Raghavan
STARRING: Varun Dhawan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Huma Qureshi, Yami Gautam
RATING: 3 Stars
Badlapur is a revenge story. Like ‘Basanti, tumhara naam kya hain!?’
Yes, the title of the film is as lame as a couple of its scenes. For instance, when Raghu tricks Shobha (a social worker) into bed, the camera zooms on the Scrabble board and the word is R.E.V.E.N.G.E. Wow. Thanks for telling. Or else I would have eagerly waited for a romantic song in the Alps.
The film’s trailer advised not to miss the beginning of the film, which indeed is a masterpiece. The opening scene is a wide shot of a market capturing stray dogs ambling, traffic building up and women haggling. Everything looks out of focus yet you don’t miss two men breaking into a bank, traffic policemen towing a car and a woman dodging traffic and crossing the road. Suddenly the blurry scene gains focus and momentum and you see the woman is Misha (Yami Gautam) with her son who gets hijacked in her car by bank robbers, Harman (Vinay Pathak) and Liak (Nawazudin Siddique).
What follow are two dialogues said repeatedly by both Raghu and Liak over fifteen long years that I actually felt I saw Liak’s hair turn white. Phew. All they say is-
Raghu: Tera partner kaun hain?
Liak: Maine khoon nahi kiya hain!
How far the good can go to settle the scores makes revenge films interesting. Hence Madhuri Dixit feasting on Tinu Anand’s arm in Anjaam is still so delicious. Or Urmila Matondgar feeding all of Saif’s body to cave rodents in Ek Haseena Thi continues to tickle. Badlapur has a new payback strategy. You kill my wife, I will sleep with yours (and all those women who are remotely connected to my wife’s death.) ‘My husband made me a prostitute’ should have a sequel video now- ‘My wife made me sexomaniac.’
The first fifteen minutes of Badlapur felt like someone had kicked me in the stomach. I even cried especially when Raghu's wife serves him rajmaa in name of some exotic Mexican dish. And that too for a WEEK! Tragic. Very tragic. Jokes apart, the scene where Raghu breaks down indeed was a tear jerker.
Varun-this-film-is-so-real-I-have-not-even-waxed-my-chest-Dhawan played Raghu. He spoke with his eyes, but only so briefly. He got the body and its language right but failed to menace. Raghu should be cold and unforgiving. He should frighten me, disgust me. I should feel his pain and justify his brutality. Nothing. Zilch. Zolly.
All he does is what most ‘intense’ actors do; hide the expressionless face behind a scruffy beard and yes (pause) sleep with multiple women. But hey how does that really matter? Women of all ages will still scream over a heartgasm, ‘oh my god he is so hawt!’
There is a crucial scene where Raghu imitates Liak that differentiates the natural actor from a novice. Nawazudin-I-didn’t-do-Kick-Siddique plays (ironically called) Liak so well and so close that I wonder if he is as cheeky and sleazy in real life as well. He contorts his body to look the part as he sleeps on the prison floor and looks convincingly apologetic as he mocks grief at Raghu’s tragedy.
So amid Varun’s hotness and Nawaz’s histrionics logic goes for a walk in Zabeel Park. Raghu nurses his revenge for twenty years. Twenty YEARS? Even marriages don’t last that long these days. And where did his mamma papa disappear who were so concernedly feeding him a glass of juice two scenes ago!? And what job is he in when he wears that yellow hard hat? The last time a Hindi film hero sported that hat Javed Akhtar hit his career’s lowest low and SRK’s six pack abs made a rather ‘darde’ debut!
Badlapur is not bad. It has got a fabulous supporting star cast: Huma Qureshi, Vinay Pathak and Radhika-oh-my-god-that-woman-is-hot-and-talented-Apte. Besides it has a story and a beginning that’s both emotional and powerful.
WHAT THE RATINGS MEAN
5 stars: Loved it. (This could make to top ten movies you must watch before you die!)
4 stars: Liked it. Recommend it. (This will help you sound intellectual and give you stuff to add at water cooler conversations.)
3 stars: Didn’t hurt. Watch it once.
2 stars: It put me to sleep. Watch it if you are an insomniac or a newly wedded couple. Winks!
1 star: Do I even need to explain this?