There has been a refreshing bunch of movies coming out of Bollywood lately - Shamitabh and Roy, in the last few days itself - and Badlapur keeps the trend going with a fantastic crime thriller, an excellent cast, great music and some awesome editing and screenplay!
Badlapur is about a young man's revenge for the murder of his wife and child in the course of a botched bank robbery. Nothing extraordinary in that - but where Badlapur differs is that the focus isn't on mindless physical violence. There are no blazing guns and the angry, bloodied hero taking on a dozen monster-sized goondas. It's a revenge on the mind, it's a revenge that takes 15 years to be completed, and even then, at the end, you aren't really sure it's over. You aren't sure who wins. Is it the perpetrator of the crime who gets redemption and release through death, or the victim and perpetrator of the revenge, who has to live with some uncomfortable questions. It's the mental violence, the mind games, the raw human feelings that tug right at your heart, and refuse to let go, long after you have left the theatre. The scene after Varun comes back to his empty home, as the camera pans across the toys and the clothes, every single item reminding him of his beautiful family, lives shattered in a terrible twist of fate... Vinay Pathak's reaction when he has to let his wife sleep with Varun... the scene in the morgue...
The cast is absolutely top notch. Varun Dhawan takes a huge risk early on in his career, and comes up with flying colors. As the dark, brooding anti hero, Varun leaves his Student of the Year act far behind. Nawazuddin Siddique is absolutely a delight as the bank robber and murderer who gets caught, and spends 15 years in jail, waiting for an opportunity to get out and live his riches, never losing hope. Huma Qureshi and Vinay Pathak have small but incredibly memorable roles, while Yami Gautam, as always, is absolutely stunning on screen. Radhika Apte is smoking hot, and delivers an astonishingly brave scene by Bollywood standards. Watch out for this girl in the days to come!
The locations, the screenplay, the cinematography, the sound track - absolutely top notch. And yes, don't miss the beginning... an opening shot on MG Road in Pune, a car parked in a no parking zone, a cop tow truck pulling up, a simple every day scene on Pune's streets plays in the foreground, until suddenly you realize, there's a bank robbery going on... the subsequent events are conceptualized and shot absolutely brilliantly.
Overall, definitely a must watch, but keep your kids at home..