Badlapur Reviews Thread


Director Sriram Raghavan strikes the hammer of genius with BADLAPUR for he buys your eyes and makes you stay glued to the screen right till the end. 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. The makers have aptly labeled this film as a ‘Twisted Entertainer’. Yes, the film is dark, gory and violent, but, at the same time, it’s also cerebrally stimulating and entertaining. The artistic values are top notch but it’s meant for a select audience that patronizes sensible, sensitive, meaningful cinema.

Misha (Yaami Gautam) and her son Robin are killed by a bank robber Laik (Nawazuddin Siddiqui). Misha’s cheerful husband Raghu (Varun Dhawan) is devastated and shattered. He tries every possible means to get even with Laik, including forced sex with Laik’s prostitute girlfriend Jhimli (Huma Qureshi) to humiliate him. Laik is sentenced to twenty years prison term where he makes several unsuccessful jail-break-attempts. Fifteen years later, Raghu ‘facilitates’ Laik’s premature exit from the jail. The twists-in-the-plot continues, ensuring a roller coaster thrilling ride.

BADLAPUR, which is reportedly based on a true story, sees Sriram Raghavan and Arijit Biswas write a wonderful screenplay. Sriram Raghavan navigates the film in a non linear format, thus, keeping you guessing at many a juncture. The viewer is foxed when the narrative floats between Raghu’s ‘lunch’ with Harman (Vinay Pathak), Koko (Radhika Apte) and Shobha (Divya Dutta).

Nawazuddin Siddiqui is indeed God’s gift to cinema. You hate him as if he’s a stench and then he changes colours and floors you with another peculiar shade. His character Laik is an extremely deceptive character with a distinct body language that makes him look weak, even though he is as wily as a fox. He becomes a different person when he’s interacting with Raghu, Jhimli, policemen and his old mother. Some of his interactions with fellow jail inmate Murli Sharma are hilarious. He will also turn your eyes moist.

Varun Dhawan is a very ambitious actor and his manic energy does full justice to this ambition in BADLAPUR. His transformation from an impressionable teenager and a caring husband to an eerily quiet middle aged lonely-disgruntled-man is simply legendary, to say the least. He gives you an ample display of class as an actor. The fidgety memories, ready-to-roll-tears gradually becoming a parched tsunami of desolateness, the friendship with relentless rage and effortlessly getting infested by cold bloodedness. With this film, Varun emerges as one of the finest actors that we have today, across all age groups.

Yaami Gautam and Huma Qureshi have small roles, which they portray competently. Radhika Apte and Vinay Pathak impress in their cameos. The scene where Varun asks Radhika to lose her inhibitions is devoid of undue salaciousness and that’s laudatory on the part of the director. Pratima Kazmi as Nawaz’s mother is very good.

Anil Mehta’s cinematography is brilliant. Mostly, the film has been shot in dark or indoors, but there’s always the right amount of lighting to give it the realistic tinge. The only problem is that while the film grips the viewers in the solid first half, it gets loosened up in the stretched second half. Pooja Ladha Surti’s editing is good but had the film been crisper in the second half, it definitely would have propelled up the film’s fast-paced-thriller format. 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.

After a tepid AGENT VINOD, spoilt by needless item numbers, Sriram Raghavan is back to his non-compromising style with BADLAPUR. There’s a clear stamp of his wicked humour, objective, no frills-attached take on human relationships and absolutely no compromise on how he wants to tell the story. Sriram is back with vengeance. Quite literally!

On the whole, BADLAPUR offers you cinematic excellence with a rider that there’s violence and gore, which may not be everyone’s cup of bitter coffee. You shall be treated to truly unforgettable performances by Nawazuddin and Varun Dhawan. It is a film that will find patrons amidst the multiplex crowd. And yes, it is a film that will continue to live-on in the minds of cinema lovers for a long time to come.

Rating: 3.5/5


  1. Author
    aryan 8 years ago

    Badlapur Movie Review by Mohar Basu/TOI

    Story: Raghu’s (Varun Dhawan) indefectible life is devastated, when a robbery episode kills his wife and son. The culprit Liak (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) refuses to let out the truth and is imprisoned for 20 years. Refusing to move on, Raghu harbours in him the tryst for truth. Can he avenge the deaths of people who meant the world to him? And, is being devoured by the feeling of revenge as gratifying as his volcanic rage had promised?

    Review: Badlapur is a gobsmacking movie that suffuses on screen – a deftly written story, spectacular performances and an intelligently layered screenplay. What works best here is the film’s unpredictability. From the minute it begins, you’re latched to your seat with your heart throbbing in your mouth and your throat frequently choking up. For the sheer impact the movie conjures up, writer-director Sriram Raghavan deserves a bow!

    Mixing grit and suspense in the right measure, Sriram allows his film to take the risky path in keeping you invested, ably playing his motley bunch of characters. While the layers smoothly unfold in this vendetta affair, Raghavan’s clarity of vision keeps the narrative seamless. The wicked humour sprinkled abruptly in the sequences draws one further into this movie. The excessive gore might be considered superfluous but is vital for the impact it has.

    The driving force here are the actors who evolve the story. Varun’s measured acting and sincere eyes draw empathy. With each scene, the intense hues he brings to Raghu, unravel. Nawaz is superlative as Liak, bringing a sinful streak of twisted comedy, teaming it with unabashed swagger. The ladies deliver adequately, but it’s Huma Qureshi who brings more to her role than what it holds.

    Though the film’s second hour meanders and is a tad long, the compelling climax and memorable scenes, like the one where Liak reveals the truth that Raghu had desperately been seeking, trivializes these flaws. Added to it, Sachin-Jigar’s haunting music adds a piercing quality.

    Brisk and absorbing, concluding differently than expected, Badlapur is an inspired film that dangerously attempts to change the landscape of the thriller genre in Bollywood.

    Rating: 4/5

  2. Author
    aryan 8 years ago

    Badlapur Movie Review by Raja Sen

    Badlapur is a dark, unflinching, fantastic film

    adlapur is all fury and fog, a revenge saga that plays out with great eyebrow-singeing intensity, says Raja Sen.

    Let the right one sin.

    Right, of course, depends entirely on where we’re standing.

    Is this character in the right, or is he merely stage-right?

    Or should we be standing here instead, where we can see what he’s holding behind his back, an anniversary present or a bloodied knife?

    In the world of noir, Right is less a fact and more a perspective — a shifting perspective, even — and one that must ideally be questioned.

    No Hindi film director treats noir as finely and uncompromisingly as Sriram Raghavan, making the most of each shadow and each secret, feeding us lies and making us read between them, his films unfolding with the stark alacrity of well-thumbed graphic novels.

    Badlapur is all fury and fog, a revenge saga that plays out with such eyebrow-singeing intensity that I could imagine a gravel-voiced narrator filling us in on dames and dreams and dark, stormy nights.

    The absence of this all-knowing narrator — or one, at least, made wiser by hindsight — cleverly obscures Raghavan’s own position in the whole affair: Is he showing us a simple good-versus-bad tale? Is he taking a side at all? Is he shifting allegiances from performer to performer nimbly, like a tightrope-walker with a roving eye?

    Raghavan, like the film’s leading man Raghu, plays his cards close to the chest and lets the audience simmer in anticipation as he slow-cooks the meaty, meaty plot and lets the story unravel.

    As a premise, Badlapur appears simple enough.

    A young man shockingly loses his wife and child, and is hellbent on revenge — revenge that is hard to come by because he isn’t sure exactly where to look — and helplessly wrings his hands in despair as his world falls to shreds.

    It is a fascinating, frightening origin story, in a way an antithesis of the Batman origin, where a child sees his parents shot dead; here Raghu, who fancied himself Batman, has his son, named Robin, snatched away.

    The superhero threads run strong as the father emotionally tinkers with his son’s Thor figurine.

    By the time the film winds down, Raghu, who was struggling to grow a moustache when he became a father, has gone full-Thor: he wears a heavy beard and wields a heavy hammer.

    On the other end stands Liak, a slimy criminal imprisoned for twenty years, the only man who knows who killed Raghu’s wife and child.

    He’s a bristly one, making his way into many a jailyard scrap, but he holds his ground and continues to dream ambitiously — often absurdly — of escape.

    What he lacks in terms of hope or future, he makes up for with swagger.

    Razor-tongued, brusque, packed to the gills with suicidal bravado: say what you want of him, Liak is a character.

    So much so that while this film might well be Raghu’s story, the first half has a lot more Liak — he gets more narrative heft, if not more screen-time.

    Raghavan hides both their endgames very effectively, weaving a murky tapestry of femme fatales and false leads and fat policemen, the ever-intriguing narrative taking turns being sharp, funny and brutal.

    There are ruthless scenes in Badlapur, moments where the background score is as hushed as the disbelieving, squirming audience in the theatre, and there are scenes dripping drily with the tense humour the director played with so wickedly in his Johnny Gaddar.

    That film, in fact, is a fine companion piece to this one; that was sexy and relentlessly stylish while this is a moody, less aesthetically overt tale, and three Johnny actors shine bright amid the brilliant Badlapur ensemble.

    Like in the new film, Johnny unravelled tightly, its protagonist almost always ahead of the audience, but only the last few frames of Johnny are about vengeance; Badlapur, as the superbly chosen name suggests, is a roaring rampage.

    The acting is exceptional.

    Varun Dhawan, playing Raghu, sheds his easy-breezy charm — but, crucially, not his slightly hapless natural likeability — and bubbles up volcanically, his eyes frequently doing the talking.

    There are moments in which he single-handedly commands the film, scenes where we have no idea how far his character is willing to go, and Dhawan handles these with just the right amount of inflammability.

    This is the kind of performance that opens up a career, and given what he did in Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhaniya last year, Dhawan looks to have the kind of range his contemporaries should fear.

    Nawazuddin Siddiqui, meanwhile, coats his Liak in oil and desperation, creating a powerful yet slippery character — one hard to get a handle on — with a reckless, go-for-broke energy.

    He might be a villain, but in his eyes he’s the wronged hero making the most of it, and the balance Siddiqui strikes between loathsome and irresistible is striking.

    You can’t take your eyes off him.

    There are some terrific women in Badlapur.

    Yami Gautam looks lovely but doesn’t quite get enough material to shine. Huma Qureshi (who also played Siddiqui’s love-interest in the second Gangs Of Wasseypur is hauntingly good as a call-girl, especially when she distances herself while dancing for a customer she doesn’t like, gyrating but disconcertingly enough avoiding all eye-contact with him.

    Ashwini Kalsekar is super in a small role as a female private-eye — the kind of character that demonstrates how everyone in a Raghavan script could well deserve their own spin-off movie — and Divya Dutta is characteristically perfect as a woman who looks tired of knowing better than the men she talks to.

    Radhika Apte is sensational as a wife willing not just to go out on a limb, but to kill herself doing it.

    One particular scene where her character is forced into a corner shows her dig deep and give us an uncomfortably stark and superb moment, possibly the film’s finest.

    Alongside Apte, a major part of the scene-stealing is done by Kumud Mishra, playing a portly policeman who sums up the last decade and a half as 3 promotions and 2 bypass-surgeries.

    He’s clever, canny and almost alarmingly credible, and there are moments he quivers with apoplectic rage, fit to burst, where he’s fiercely good.

    Raghavan — who kicks off this movie with a thank-you note to Dirty Harry director Don Siegel, and has a character reading Daphne DuMaurier’s Don’t Look Now on a train — makes it clear Badlapur is less of a thriller (his earlier characters read James Hadley Chase on screen) and more introspectively chilling.

    It is a film where a husband and wife, each innocent of their crimes, weep vainly to convince the other that nothing happened.

    It is a film where an alert policeman spots something through an eye-hole but, a few inches below it, is another opening that could well be a glory-hole.

    It is a film that broods, and one that refuses to put a fun spin on things, Raghavan preferring instead to put the ‘dead’ in ‘deadpan.’

    The last one-third of the film drags a bit — the final lines of dialogue are jarringly laboured, especially compared to the rest of the film’s flawlessness — but overall this is a stunning, beautifully crafted film.

    Like an expensive, gorgeously made revolver you just want to run your hands over even if you don’t dare shoot it.

    As the curtain falls on Badlapur, any argument on rightness feels both moot and muddy.

    This is a noir world, its aftertaste like chocolate with 85% cocoa, and the answer is deceptively simple: Who gets right of way? The one in a greater hurry.

    Rediff Rating:4/5

  3. sputnik 8 years ago

    Badlapur Movie Review by Rajeev Masand

    Rating: 3.5

    Cast: Varun Dhawan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Huma Qureshi, Vinay Pathak, Radhika Apte, Divya Dutta, Pratima Kazi, Zakir Husain, Yami Gautam

    Director: Sriram Raghavan

    The sheer thrill of watching a film and not knowing what will happen next is one of the great pleasures offered by director Sriram Raghavan’s unpredictable and deliciously twisted revenge thriller Badlapur. The film stages a chilling battle of wits between hero and villain, but nothing here is plain black or white.

    Varun Dhawan is Raghu, an average Joe in Pune, whose life is turned upside down when his wife (Yami Gautam) and young son are killed in a bank robbery gone wrong. One of the two men involved in the incident, Laik (Nawazuddin Siddiqui), is arrested and promptly sentenced to 20 years in prison. The other, who Laik won’t identify, has taken off with the loot. Consumed by a cocktail of grief, anger and helplessness, Raghu retreats, aptly, to a small town named Badlapur where he simmers with revenge-fueled hate.

    Seizing your attention from the moment in, the film’s crisp narrative seldom loosens its grip. You’re on the edge of your seat for virtually the entire first half of Badlapur, as Raghu and Laik’s parallel storylines unravel over the next 15 years, the promise of a volatile confrontation looming large. But, as anyone who’s seen Ek Hasina Thi and Johnny Gaddar will agree, Raghavan isn’t interested in violence for the sake of violence, and unlike last year’s similarly themed Ek Villain, this film is more psychological thriller than bloody blast.

    Which is not to say that there’s no gore in Badlapur. There is. It’s a pretty brutal film, in fact. But Raghavan uses violence economically, and mines these scenes for maximum impact. It’s the unexpected moments of humor though, that catch you completely unaware. Laik’s repeated taunting of a prison bully inspires chuckles, as does a scene in which a detective introduces herself to Raghu when he shows up at her home. The script gleefully shatters clichés and rejects conventional plot turns to surprise us at every available opportunity.

    Raghavan toys also with our traditional expectations from heroes and villains, by turning the accepted template on its head to blur the line between the two. The film’s key wisdom – that ordinary people are capable of extraordinary cruelty – is demonstrated in Raghu’s carefully orchestrated takedown of every single person he holds responsible for his misery. And in a climax that is both stunning and underwhelming at the same time, he uses the film’s most unlikely character to make a point about the futility of violence and revenge.

    An ensemble of fine actors is assembled to breathe life into the film’s terrific plot, and each is integral in their own way, despite the length of their parts. Huma Qureshi and particularly Radhika Apte, both playing selfless women who will go to great lengths to defend their men, stand out with impressive turns. But the heavy lifting, expectedly, is left to the two leads.

    Varun Dhawan, the star of mostly light-hearted romantic and comedy films, convincingly gets under the skin of the cold, calculating vigilante protagonist, displaying an intensity he hasn’t revealed before. Transforming not merely physically to play the older Raghu, he even somehow brings a distinct world-weariness to these portions. Then there is Nawazuddin Siddiqui, who walks away with all the best lines, and leaves his stamp all over the film. Alternating nicely between maniacal, cunning, and vulnerable, he delivers a performance that is at once internalized and yet playing to the gallery.

    Despite all its strengths, Badlapur isn’t a perfect film. The pace slackens post-intermission, plot contrivances are many, and you might say the film is misogynistic in its treatment of women. These are relatively small problems in the larger picture, though. For the most part, the film keeps you on your toes, curious to see where its twists and turns will lead.

    I’m going with three-and-a-half out of five for Badlapur. Welcome back, Sriram Raghavan; Agent Vinod has been forgotten!


  4. sputnik 8 years ago

    Badlapur Review by Anupama Chopra

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