Film noir is a genre of films “primarily describing stylish crime dramas marked by cynical attitudes” and dear Sriram Raghavan is simply one of its finest exponents in Bollywood.Raghavan,whose deftness in his craft has been amply proven in the much acclaimed EK HASINA THI and the cult JOHNNY GADDAR (his third film being the little less special AGENT VINOD) takes us on a tour of revenge, with a hundred twists and turns enroute- in BADLAPUR.
The film also marks the maturing of Varun Dhawan into a very fine,young actor,who plays his character from early twenties into late thirties,most intensely and almost flawlessly.On the other hand, the brilliant Nawazuddin Siddiqui,as the slimy criminal,Layak,would have stolen the thunder from anyone with his trademark nuanced treachery,but in total analysis, just matches strides with this new,astonishingly mature Varun,who,at times, speaks a very forceful language, with his eyes alone.The so-pretty Yami Gautam,alas! has a very short role.Huma Qureshi gives all that is required of her as Jhimli,but it is the dusky,sensuous Radhika Apte as Harman’s wife,who is the real dark horse in this dark tale.The director,teasingly,makes the audience wait for her to provide sensuality to the proceedings,expecting her to probably undress,but she scores in more ways than just that-a triumph of both-the character and portrayal.The entire ensemble cast,comprising of Vinay Pathak(as Nawazuddin’s accomplice),Murali Sharma(as the jail inmate),Divya Dutta(as the social worker),Ashwini Kalsekar(as private detective)and Kumud Mishra(as police officer) is more than adequate.The music does ample justice to the mood of the film and the song ‘Jee Karda” stands out.
BADALAPUR,may not have the pace and ‘ab kya hoga’ factor of JOHNNY GADDAR,but we must remember that,after all,it is a different tale,needing a different treatment and approach by the film-maker.Varun Dhawan’s unforgiving character,Raghav,to an extent,provides the intensity to REVENGE,what Devdas gives to UNFULFILLED LOVE.So,here is a film,which will be- sort of a darling of the critics and is bound to be appreciated by the audience,hungry for good,different cinema.Box-officewise,it may not click in a big way,because of its starkly dark theme and Varun’s transformation into the antithesis of what his image is-ironically,the very reasons that makes this film special.
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