Badlapur is the third film by Sriram Raghavan. His previous directorial endeavors, Ek Hasina Thi and Jonny Gaddar were lauded for their stories and thrill factor in addition to the performances by the protagonists.
Raghavan has a trend of focusing on the Anti-Hero character and has continued that trend with this flick as well. Although I’d like to think of them as human rather than Anti-Heros because honestly virtuous beings are more fiction than fact. Dhawan does a bang up job as someone who doesn’t consult a moral compass to make decisions. His scars have made him apathetic to the pain of not only others but his own as well.
The trailers give you a fairly good idea of the premise of the movie and so it became apparent that the merit of the movie would have to be the perfoamces of the actors and perhaps a plot twist. Badlapur gives you both, albeit in varying proportions as well as effectiveness.
Nawazuddin Siddique doesn’t need to prove that he is a great actor. He has done that time and again in every movie that has had the good fortune of casting him. Even in a movie like KICK. So raving about his gritty portrayal of a convict in this movie will not be newsworthy. However the person who does impress audiences is Varun Dhawan. His transformation within the first half of the movie and the intensity that follows throughout the remainder of the movie is superb. There are times when you are genuinely terrified of what he does. And therein lies the charm of the movie.
From a narrative stand point the movie felt a tad incoherent. Either the editing table marred the flow of the story or the script wasn’t penned with fluidity in mind. Nevertheless the story does progress logically for the most part. Although certain potential sub plots seem unexplored or unwarranted. The supposed plot twist towards the climax seems almost forced and out of place. But it does offer a slightly rosy ending to the story.
Badlapur is also quite explicit in its tone and is definitely not for the weak hearted. Not so much for the violence (which is quite gory in pieces) but mostly because of the sexual overtones that are rampant throughout. However if you’ve grown up on a staple of Hollywood thrillers (or a viewing of Game Of Thrones) you won’t feel out of place.
Overall the movie doesn’t seem stellar. The story is nothing out of the ordinary or doesn’t seem to make an effort to stand out from the usual revenge thriller genre. What is worth praising about the movie is the performance by Varun Dhawan. Purely because he has managed to prove critics wrong time and again with his ability to get act in a serious movie.