Badlapur - Review

wogma rating: The keen should rent; else TV (?)
quick review:

A well-made, well-performed revenge drama that makes you question your definitions of right and wrong, even if the story is unconvincing.



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Wogma Review

Does the motivation of a murder justify the murder? Does time elapsed justify forgiving a crime? Is revenge futile? Does it become justified because of the first wrong done? Is a cold-blooded crime less justifiable than one committed in the heat of the moment? Does your justification depend on the justification of the criminal? Is forgiveness less palatable when done by a criminal?

You might have your answers to all these questions, but the ambiguity will remain. They are, after all, only “yours”. Your “justifiable” will different from mine. The point is, Badlapur makes you think about where you've drawn the line. Even if not entirely convincing.

In that sense, Badlapur pushes the boundaries of a regular Hindi thriller film. We all know its going to go one way or the other – the wronged is going to either take revenge or not. Badlapur makes you reconsider what and how much your conscience will allow even if you are not in the judge's seat. But, it involves a leap of faith from your side.

We make allowances for films that we begin to like while watching them or the ones we want to like. But very often, the story jerks in a way that you don't quite get. Badlapur did that to me with its character transformations. Sure, they are unpredictable and the unexpected is seldom unexciting. But unpredictable change towards something that was built up for over an hour of screen time doesn't convince you.

For me that and the one passage of time were deal-breakers. Especially, a short scene just explains it off asking characters and audience to introspect. As a film, a story, Badlapur makes you think of it as a convenient contrivance. As a concept though the film stays with you and it is not only because of the intensity of the violence.

If you take what happens as a given you will find yourself mulling over it in circular thoughts. And that is Badlapur's success. You are with the film after the 2+ hours in the theater. The actors stay with you for long after. Nawazuddin Siddiqui makes you laugh in the darkest moments to go with the noir tone of the film. The character and the actor compliment each other perfectly, as can be said about every character that the man plays.

So used to his class act are we, that the one thing that I'll remember Badlapur by is Varun Dhawan's performance. It might be a cakewalk for a good actor to play a brooder/sulker. But, Varun Dhawan carries it off while drawin sympathy from the audience. You almost feel like telling him to let go of his anger for his own sake. Huma Qureshi plays aloof and concerned all at once exactly like her character would be in her place.

All others in their bit roles from Vinay Pathak to Radhika Apte to Ashwini Kalsekar and Divya Dutta keep the film very rooted. Their expressions and body language make you believe what their character feels. But you might or might not be convinced of what the character feels in the first place.

I am slightly ambivalent about the pace of the film too. Not that the slow build-up was an issue, but I can't help but think how the dynamics would have changed had the film lingered a little less and stayed crisp as one has come to accept of a thriller.

Starting with a philosophy "The axe forgets. The tree remembers.", Badlapur obviously aims at being a psychological thriller. Unfortunately, it neither is whole-heartedly psychological nor a thriller. Even though it makes you introspect your attitude towards crime and justice.

- meeta, a part of the audience

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: Loads and gruesome too.
  • Language: Abusive language silenced out.
  • Nudity & Sexual content: A prostitute is one of the main characters. Has scenes that involve sex and mental sexual harassment,
  • Concept: Revenge and its ilk.
  • General Look and Feel: Grim, serious with sprinkles of dark humor.

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

  • Direction: 3
  • Story: 2.5
  • Lead Actors: 5
  • Character Artists: 4
  • Dialogues: 3.5
  • Screenplay: 2.5
  • Music Director: 2.5
  • Lyrics: 2

Badlapur - Movie Details

Badlapur - Trailer

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Comments (21)

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Looks okay except for its name (too cheesy and a poor attempt at sounding massy). Hopefully Sriram is in Johnny Gaddar mode and not the Agent Vinod mode. Good word of mouth should see it through to 70 cr. An acid test for Varun Dhawan though!


Rave reviews all over the net. Waiting to read what meetu has to say :).


@moviebhakt there you go :D


Sridhar Raghvan last flick was a fiasco , it was expected to be an edge of thriller movie like his earlier one "Johnny Gaddar". After reading this review particularly if Meetu's verdict is positive , i am convinced i won't be disappointed again. :D


Well, Guddu it is not all positive :D


@Guddu: The rating might seem positive with catch on dvd for sure. But the written review has lots of hesitation and regret. So not that positive a review. And the little bit of positiveness is probably due to the aandhon mein kaana raja phenomenon.


BADLAPUR - Its a new entry in Neo Noir genre.

But its not a typical revenge drama in which we have
a perfect hero without any sins inside him , neither the villain is a
total sinful person. Rather the characters are of Grey nature and have
both goods and bads inside them. Normally Bollywood movies show that there is a villain , who
kills any person from Hero's family and our Hero take his revenge , its
for his inner peace as well as for justice to some extent. But the real
question is that , is revenge is a right solution to compensate the
murder of your loved ones. Is killing back the murderer will give you
peace . The
climax which is too much unconventional
may not be liked by many. [comment partially deleted because it gives the movie away]

The movie lacks the shocking element , because of that some
scenes feet flat as our hero doesn't seems like he has a particular
plan . Also the revenge drama only
starts in the 2nd half so the movie actually doesn't
move much in the first half.
Varun Dhawan has got a lot of complaints
that he cant do different roles other that comic character as he is
perfect for comedy. This will prove all those persons wrong (i am also
one of them). Its not like he has nail it totally but for an actor just
three film old (all the three being too light on nature) he has
done a pretty good job. And he will only get better from here. Now he
is a threat for his generation of actors.
To write about Siddique is
being difficult now a days. He shows so much perfection to his
character that leave no words to describe it.its actually too
difficult for a hero to shine in a film in which Siddique plays a
villain. Siddique has stolen the lime light from Salmaan in kick and
now he has stolen all the praise from Varun(Luckily in Kahani & Talaash
Siddique doesn't have a too much important role otherwise he should
have stolen it from Vidya and Aamir too) . And his next will be with
Srk in RAEES , be aware Shahrukh.
I so
much wanted this movie to be directed by Anurag Kashyap , he could have
made this better. But its good to know that there exist another director in bollywood who can match with Anurag in the same genre.
Not for every type of audience ,
couldn't recommend it to every one , so watch it as per your taste.


Direction: 3
Story: 3
Lead Actors: 4
Character Artists: 3

Dialogues: 3
Screenplay: 2.5
Music Director: 1
Lyrics: 1.5


As per Meetu's tweet - It makes you question the concept of right and wrong. Seems intriguing.


Agree with the review overall, but amongst the tremendous acting talent available in the film,unfortunately, Varun Dhawan seemed the weakest link. It was the same story with Ek Hasina Thi which was a reasonably decent film except for Urmila Matondkar who couldn't act to save her life. Wish Raghavan would choose his main protagonists more carefully.


@Suman we seem to almost agree! :D

@Kapil It is interesting, but...

@Samir oh. I like how Dhawan played Raghu. May have to do with the change from earlier films, but in absolute terms too his act worked for me.


Will check this out this evening. Encouraging reviews and a good start at the BO. Like Neeraj Pandey, Sriram too is a film maker whose name is bigger & popular than the actors who act in his films. We need a lot more of the Pandey's and Raghvan's in India.


Meetu u rarely denounce a movie with a verdict "Catch on DVD for sure" , generally ur reviews conclude as "watch if you have nothing to do better" or "switch channels if its on cable"
.Since u don't provide star ratings for ur analysis it becomes difficult to interpret whether the review is positive or mixed , as an avid reader of your reviews , I instantenously felt u were pleased with the film overall . :)


Varun vs Nawazuddin : Is it even a contest? Nawazuddin carries an otherwise slow paced and partly boring film on his shoulders and delivers a gem of a performance. This guy just never ceases to amaze. As for Varun, unfortunately as hard as he tries, he can just never be convincing a dark, broody revenge hungry role as this (a trait shared by his SOTY co-star Sid Malhotra). Yami Gautam is pretty, Vinay Pathak is wasted, Radhika Apte proves her stripping credentials well enough. Direction is good but the screenplay is a lackluster and loose imo. A decent watchable film nevertheless, all thanks to Nawaz 3.25/5


Varun,Nawaz and Raghavan have combined to give us a kickass film!!!!The first half was taut and although the second half feels a tad bit long but the superb climax more than makes up for it.No matter how much I praise,it won't be enough for Nawaz's performance.Badlapur is the most fun I have had in theatres in a long time.


These days im listening of the songs of this movie running on top these days...I am very impressed by Varun Dhawan's Acting..Really Impressed.


This is what Komal Nahta, whom i rate as India's best and most honest trade analyst has to say about Varun & Nawazuddin in this film "Varun Dhawan does a very good job. He plays the role of Raghav effectively. But his dialogue delivery does not have the desired impact. Nawazuddin Siddiqui is, hands down, the star of the show. He impresses in every single scene and gets into the skin of the character so very brilliantly that there could veritably have been no other actor better than him in this role. His is an award-winning performance indeed." ~ as always, Mr Nahta is spot on this time too!


Was able to catch this on DVD. Superb movie. Everybody acted their bit and Varun was good also !! The song Jeena Jeena was really picturized well and brought a tear to my eye. Won't speak about Nawaz as everything has been said about him. What a performance....this surely must win loads of IIFA or Filmfare awards. The climax was superb and was the main point about this movie..though personally i thought Raghu will now go against the inspector too. was very refreshing to see this after coming back from watching BV on screen. Not fair to compare..but seems Sriram knows the limits of noir better than the self-proclaimed god of indie. And Sriram's own version of Turkey (AV - Agent Vinod) was way better than BV. Hope there is no CV coming !!


Just caught up on Sriram's Ek Hasina Thi. As I did not find any page for Ek Hasina Thi, I am writing it here.

Excellent stuff - EHT. Real noir film. You get sucked into the happenings - which move at a fast pace.

Although the ending was more filmy stuff - unfortunately noir life does not have such a silver lining.


@Fan I recently watched Ek Hasina Thi again and was impressed again :D


@Meetu: agreed. A good film. Urmila Matondkar surprised, yet again. Considering the hamming in her first film as lead actress (Chamatkar) she did make massive progress in the 2nd half of her career so far.

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