Badlapur Movie Review



Average Bollywood revenge dramas thrive on predictability. They rarely, if ever, tamper with the bad guy-good guy construct. Badlapur is an exception.

Sriram Raghavan’s neo-noir crime thriller is about vengeance and forgiveness all right, but one thing that the film isn’t is conventional.

Not everything that Badlapur comes up with clicks into place without a problem. There are several elements in it hat stick out of the frame rather awkwardly. But overall the film packs quite a punch.

The screenplay (Arijit Biswas, Sriram Raghavan) does not resort to the standard practices of the genre, and the principal characters aren’t black and white cardboards.

Badlapur toys with many shades of grey, significantly enhancing the effect of its pivotal dramatic conflict.

The plot hinges on an angry young man on the trail of a fugitive bank robber who he believes killed his wife a decade and a half ago.

The jagged framing and lighting by cinematographer Anil Mehta and the elliptical cutting by the editor, Pooja Ladha Surti, add to the unusual mood and tone that underlines Badlapur.

The film does have its share of flaws. Many contrived passages tend to slow down the pace of the narrative.

A couple of scenes in which the vengeful protagonist turns upon women with the intention of humiliating them border on the cheesy.

One question that must certainly be asked: why are the women in Badlapur treated with such contempt?

If one can ignore the overt misogyny on show all through the film, Badlapur throws up enough surprises to hold the viewer’s interest right until the bitter end.

Badlapur has a tagline that exhorts the audience not to miss the beginning. But it is in its final five minutes that the film delivers the biggest twist of them all.


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