Some good man said that Revenge is a sin, but another cleverer man said we should forgive our enemies but not before they are hanged. Badlapur, no secret is a revenge movie of a man, who witnessed his wife and son being killed during a robbery and a criminal, who actually killed the two. And like the title says, you absolutely DO NOT have to miss the beginning, for that matter anything in the movie.
Raghu (Varun Dhawan) is a happy content man who has a beautiful wife Mishti (Yami Gautam), his college sweetheart and a son Robin. This fairy tale life comes to an abrupt end when Mishti and Robin are killed in a bank robbery case. Left in a state of shock, Raghu never comes to terms with his life. After one of the robbers, Laik (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) is caught by the police, Raghu tries to avenge his family’s loss by forcefully sleeping with Laik’s prostitute girlfriend Jhumli (Huma Qureshi) but attains nothing. While Laik is given a 20 year jail sentence, Raghu still harbours an uncontrollable angst inside him which comes out 15 years later when Laik is bailed due to his medical conditions. This where the story starts and the twists keep you hooked into this revenge tale.
Badlapur is a complete performance driven film. It is one of the best neo-noir representation in Indian cinema. The film has the right amount of gore and will leave its bitter taste on your tongues. The biggest highlight of the film is the incredible tussle between two powerful actors Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Varun Dhawan unexpectedly conjoined by the quirky screenplay-labyrinth. Siddiqui is indeed God’s gift to Bollywood, he makes your feel intense hatred towards Laik in the first half but in the second character shows his human touch and you can not help but sympathize with him. He becomes very different person with every person he is interacting be it Raghu, Jhimli, policemen and his old mother. Yaami Gautam and Huma Qureshi have small roles, which they portray competently. Radhika Apte and Vinay Pathak impress in their cameos. But the one who has gained the most from this movie is Varun Dhawan, his transformation from an impressionable teenager and a caring husband to an eerily quiet middle aged lonely-disgruntled-man is amazing. He convinces you entirely of his cold bloodedness and brutality. With this film, Varun emerges as one of the finest actors that we have today, across all age groups.
The makers have aptly labeled this film as a ‘Twisted Entertainer’. It is probably easy to show a complex tale since it will need a lot of concentration to unfold but Sriram Raghavan does the exact opposite in Badlapur, right from its on set, he keeps it simple yet engaging. The films does rely on scaring you with its gore imagery but it is the straight forward dialogues and rhetoric of Raghu’s character that really pinch you hard. Raghavan captures these scenes brilliantly as you feel the pulsating nature of emotions that bring the dark side of you. What Badlapur misses out on is a crisper editing in the second half, else it could have been a edge of the seat thriller. Music and background score by Sachin-Jigar provides solid scaffolding. ‘Jee Karda’, ‘Jeena‘ and ‘Judai‘ are exceptional tracks. The background music is effective in pulling just-the-right strings at opportune time.
All in all, if you are a revenge genre movie fan this is the movie for you. If you are a Varun Dhawan or Nawazuddin Siddiqui fan, this is the movie for you. If you like movies for good acting and direction, this is again the movie for you!!