Badlapur - Review
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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
- 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.
Badlapur - Movie Details
- Official Sites: Facebook Twitter YouTube Wikipedia IMDB
- Banner: Maddock Films, Eros International
- Producer: Dinesh Vijan, Sunil A Lulla
- Director: Sriram Raghavan
- Lead Cast: Varun Dhawan, Huma Qureshi, Nawazuddin Siddiqui
- Supporting Cast: Yami Gautam, Vinay Pathak, Divya Dutta, Radhika Apte, Kumud Mishra, Pratima Kazmi, Ashwini Kalsekar
- Screenplay: Sriram Raghavan, Arijit Biswas
- Cinematography: Anil Mehta
- Choreography: Ahmed Khan
- Music Director: Sachin, Jigar
- Lyrics: Dinesh Vijan, Priya Saraiya
- Costume Designer: Anaita Shroff Adajania
- Facebook Page: Link
- Running time: 130 minutes
- Reviewer: meeta
- Language: Hindi
- Country: India
- Genres: Noir, Philosophy, Thriller
Badlapur - Trailer
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