Our Hindi cinema has been highly obsessed with revenge drama, whereas in the earlier films the conflict used to be between the zamindar and the poor farmers. Though, the films featuring Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra, Jeetendra and a few more from the retro era could be termed as the proper inceptor of this genre. The good vs bad drama used to start with the villain killing any one of the family member of our hero, due to which our Desi hero used to grow up with a vengeance and try to avenge the death of his family member. Most of these movies used to be proper commercial potboilers like 'China Town', 'Zanjeer', 'Yaadon Ki Baarat', 'Agneepath', 'Sholay', 'Baazigar', 'Ram Lakhan', 'Karma' and many more. On the other hand, we also witnessed some different films like 'Raakh', 'Aaj Ki Aawaz', 'Kahani', 'Ek Hasina Thi', 'Ghajni' and more, which enhanced the whole genre in a superior manner. The latest film from this genre is, 'Badlapur', which is directed by Sriram Raghavan, who gave us some good crime thrillers like 'Ek Haseena Thi' and 'Jhonny Gaddar'. Right from the first look of the film to its hard hitting promos, the movie seems to have high levels of curiosity attached to it. Thus, let's find out whether 'Badlapur' will be another hard hitting revenge drama from the ace direction of Sriram Raghavan or might be yet another half baked product on the lines of his last directed film 'Agent Vinod'.Story:
'Badlapur' is a story of Raghu (Varun Dhawan), whose wife (Yami Gautam) and son gets killed in a bank robbery done by Liak (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) and his partner. Raghu puts in all his efforts to find out about Liak's partner, but fails miserably. On the other side, Liak is sentenced for a long term imprisonment due to which Raghu has to wait for a long period of time to seek his vengeance. Fifteen years later, Raghu gets an opportunity and how does he utilize it is what the film is all about.Screenplay & Technicalities:
The story seems quite similar to the typical revenge drama we used to witness in the retro era, but has been presented in a brilliant manner. Though, one can find some similarities with Austrian thriller film 'Revanche', especially in the vengeance scenes featuring Varun Dhawan with Huma Qureshi or Radhika Apte. The first half of the film is superb and keeps you indulged in it with back to back thrilling happenings. The movie keeps you involved in it right from the first scene featuring the bank robbery followed by cops and Varun interrogating Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Varun-Huma Qureshi scenes, Nawazuddin Siddiqui escape attempts from the jail, Varun at Vinay Pathak's house, followed by his interaction with Radhika Apte, Nawazuddin Siddiqui meeting Huma Qureshi, Varun's violent scene at Vinay Pathak's house, Nawazuddin Siddiqui at Varun's house and many more such scenes leading the finale part of the film. On the flip side, the second half starts to slow down and drags a lot with unwanted scenes including the stretched climax. One can feel the pain and agony that Varun Dhawan might be going through in the initial parts, but towards the end of the film that connect was highly missing. The climax point gets delivered much earlier and due to which it fails to leave a hard hitting impact in the end scene. The camera work by Anil Mehta is superb and does full justice to the feel and the theme of the film. Editing should have been sharper in the second half of the film.Music & Direction:
Music by Sachin-Jigar is good and goes well with the flow of the film. 'Jee Karda' keeps haunting you, followed by 'Jeena Jeena' and 'Badla Badla'. 'Judai' is pretty average. The background music does full justice to the theme of the film.
Director Sriram Raghavan returns back to his style of crime thrillers and enhances the bar of such type of films made in our Hindi cinema. He adds the much required raw and dark elements with a good amount of gore and sexual content, which justifies the screenplay of the film. The narrative style of the story is slow but with a strong intoxication, which leaves a deep impact for a long period. It's only that, the movie goes on a bit repetitive mode in between and so the whole purpose of the film gets diluted. Also, the final message fails to leave a hard hitting mark which is essential for such types of films.Performances:
Varun Dhawan tries hard to do something different and succeeds as per his potential. He adds the toughness, pain and agony in his character and presents himself in a matured avatar. Sadly, he fails to get the proper soul of the character in certain important scenes due to which one does feel that an elder or a experienced actor would have been a perfect choice for his role. Nawazuddin Siddiqui is outstanding in this film. Remove him and you will find a huge vacuum in the film. Every small nuance of Nawazuddin Siddiqui is worth appreciating. Huma Qureshi and Radhika Apte will be seen in a bold avatar. They both perform their part with full integrity. Divya Dutta, Vinay Pathak and Kumad Mishra lend good support. Yami Gautam, Ashwini Kalsekar and Murli Sharma are fine in their parts. Zakir Hussain and Gopal Singh were wasted.Final Verdict: So bol meri "FILMI KHOPDI" iss film mein kitna hain Dum?
Dum? Well, the movie has lots of dum for all those who love slow and dark thrillers with a good amount of hard hitting violence, power packed performances and the bold content attached to it. Though, it fails to end on the satisfactory note and had the full potential to surpass Shriram Raghavan's best work 'Jhonny Gaddar' and 'Ek Hasina Thi'. Many might find the movie too slow or bland for the genre, whereas few might find it too dark and bold as per the level of Indian films. Nevertheless, good cinema lovers will love to see 'Badlapur' for attempting something different, which also marks a mild evolution of our desi revenge drama type of films in our Hindi cinema.Ratings - 3.5/5