Criticamit reviewed Badlapur
Revenge is a dish best serve cold.
Badlapur believes in this statement, which was made famous by Don Corleone in Godfather. All the characters have a darker side and you'll empathize with and hate every character as the film progresses. Director Sriram Raghavan is known to make violent films. This time he gave a psychic twist of goriness along with violence. I liked Director's attempt to create something new not seen commonly in Bollywood.
How can you not love acting prowess of Nawazuddin Siddiqui, who struggled for 10 years before coming to limelight in Kahaani and GOW. You'll love the shrewdness of Nawaz when he talks to Inspector (Kumud Mishra) or his passion of a love struck romeo when he talks to Huma Qureshi. But, he has done such roles of poor-guy-getting-beaten-up umpteenth times and have mastered it by now. I would like to see him excel in a non-violent film.
Varun Dhawan has shrugged off his chocolate boy image and has tried something totally outside his comfort zone. He didn't fare too well portraying character of grief-stricken Raghu. I missed his eyes seething with anger. I missed sorrowfulness on his face when he remembers his lost ones. I wish he could have done what Shahid did in Haider. He still has a long way to go. But, I'll appreciate his efforts much more than Nawaz for trying something different.
Kumud Mishra as Inspector and Divya Dutta as NGO worker have performed well within their limited roles. Huma Qureshi, Radhika Apte and Vinay Pathak were below average. Music is boring except Jee Karda song.
Watch this film if you like watching dark films with violence and goriness. Strictly for adults.
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On the spur of the moment I went to see the last showing of Badlapur last night before the end of its run, and my neighbor Nish came along.

Man is this movie DARK! Raghu played by Varun Dhawan is a loving husband and father that embarks on a years long quest for revenge after his wife and child are brutally killed.

My neighbor pointed out something interesting about the name of the movie. Badla can mean revenge so revenge - place (City) OR it can also have the meaning of Change. The double meaning of the word applies to both main characters. (It's also a real place, named for where people used' to change horses.)

To me what was interesting was the parallel track of the two characters, as we don't often get almost equal time for the criminal's POV. Here LIak, one of bank robber/car jackers is the criminal from the beginning that you're supposed to hate, you see have this long lasting love with Jhimli the prostitute and he does something selfless in the end. He truly changes.

I had read about the misogyny in the film, but I think particularly the first rape scene shows that Raghu, the grieving husband and father who should be our hero, is now a monster. We are not really rooting for Raghu at that point. He is not Liam Neeson killing all the bad guys, while remaining good. He doesn't remain good. We are shown that his quest for revenge has made HIM the bigger monster (and Liak points that out to him.)

I also thought about that recent rape case in India where an entire town just chased down and lynched the guy. No trial, no jail, just mob justice. In a country where those things can happen, this filmmaker is showing how one criminal was changed and reformed after years, and that "pure" revenge type justice makes someone a monster. A true monster, not just someone who pressed the trigger of of a gun in the heat of a crazy moment.

But, to the point of those who criticize the misogyny in the film, the only woman who escapes Raghu's wrath is the mother of Liak. Because she comes right to Raghu with information. Anyone who shows sympathy with the two criminals becomes the enemy of Raghu. There is a twist where I really thought that he had killed another woman character, too, but he metes out his own version of justice on her.

Badlapur is not a movie I'd sit through again, but I truly admire the acting. I looked up the amazing guy who plays Liak, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, and he's been in so many things that I've seen! He was the young guy in The Lunchbox, and I think the Intelligence agent in Kahaani. What a great character actor. It was worth it just to see him act. And Varun! This is the darling boy from Humpty Sharma and Student of the Year? What a transformation, and my hat's off to him for being willing to go this dark to show his range as an actor.

Nish's reaction was interesting because she said, "Indian movies aren't supposed to be like that. This is something really new. The hero always remains the hero. If he does something bad, a surprise is revealed that justifies his actions." She seemed even more shocked because it really subverted her expectations of what an Indian film would show and be. Frankly, it's interesting to see a film that subverts your expectations and shows people with shades of gray. It reminded me of Baazigar in a way --- another revenge film where our view of the "hero" keeps flipping, Yes, SRK had reason for revenge, but who was the bigger monster in the end?
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Seems like Varun Dhawan got inspired by Alia after her Highway success. Its a good acting lesson for Varun. He would definitely have learned tricks of the trade working with Nawaz, who has put another masterclass performance.
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Nice movie. But, there was no gradual building of the plot. It was put before you right from the beginning itself. They focused more on burning in revenge.
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the titular character is a twisted phychotic fuck....
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Karan rated Badlapur
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Liana rated Badlapur
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