Movies like Badlapur are the reason why I haven’t completely given up on Bollywood. It’s a consummate thriller. Suspense, crime, plot-twists, nail-biting moments, few comedy scenes, Badlapur has all of it. Movies like Badlapur is what separates us from all the other movie industries in the world, because this specific type of thrillers can only be written by writers who’ve lived a considerable time in the dynamic and sometimes rustic Indian society. Badlapur is a must watch.
In the movie’s title itself it says “Don’t miss the beginning” and you must not. Arrive at the theatres half an hour early but do not miss the beginning. The entire movie is based on what happens in the first five minutes and if you miss it, you won’t fully understand the movie, which just ruins the experience. Well, I’ll go ahead and tell you what happens in the start anyway.
The movie starts with Mishi (Played by Yami Gautam) and her son visiting a place and a bank robbery takes place at the same time, when Mishi and her son, Robin get into their car, the fleeing thieves force their way into the car and drive off with Mishi and her son in the passenger seats at the back and in the front respectively. There are two burglars, the burglar in the driver’s seat has a gun and threatens to shoot Mishi if she doesn’t keep quiet. In a high-speed cop chase, the door of the front passenger seat t flings open and the son falls out and dies. Mishi is in shock and she struggles to subdue both men in the car and in the chaos, the driver shoots her dead. The driver instructs his accomplice to put the gun in the bag with all the money and dive out of the car on his mark. The accomplice dives out and driver leads the police away from him and ends up sacrificing himself hoping he could trick the police into believing he wasn’t the one who committed the homicide. This happens in the first five to ten minutes and the viewer is spell-bound right from the start. Rarely do we see, a movie that starts off with such intensity and this start specifically was huge hit in my books.
Liak (Played Nawazuddin Siddiqui) is the burglar, who is captured and interrogated. He specious description of the events and of his accomplice. He goes onto tell them that he didn’t know the man and was just working with him to make a quick buck for himself. He maintains this stance throughout the movie until he is released from jail. Raghav (Played by Varun Dhawan) was in office when he gets the news of the incident and he is heart-broken. The despair is visible in his eyes throughout the movie. He is filled with rage. He sets on avenging his family, who were murdered for no reason. They were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. He hires a private detective, to find out details about Liak’s partner, who Liak accuses of committing the homicide. The detective, leads him to a prostitute who was also a love-interest of Liak. Raghav tries using her to find out the partner’s name but fails. Liak after this is convicted of the crime and is sentenced 20 years jail-time.
The movie then fast-fowards by 15 years. Liak is shown on the verge of senescence. His white hair locks, haggard look and feeble body just goes onto show how miserable he had been in jail. Raghav has moved to a small exurb that gives the movie its title. He is shown to have turned into a stoic, pragmatic and punctilious man. He is then approached by Shoba (Played by Divya Dutta) who works in an NGO that helps in the rehabilitation of convicts. She tells him that Liak is suffering from Stomach cancer and the court is ready to cut-short his sentence if he accepts the convicted’s apology. Raghav at first rejects Shoba’s request, but he then is approached by Liak’s mother who says she can tell him Liak’s partner’s name, if he condones his crimes. He instantly agrees and starts stalking the partner, who is revealed to be Harman (Played by Vinay Pathak).
Raghav manages to blackmail Harman and his wife into leading Liak on and made Liak believe that Harman was ready to deliver his share of the money they stole 15 years ago along with a passport. Raghav tells Harman that he’ll be giving the money to Liak and he should bring the money to him. Once he has the money, Raghav murders Harman and his wife in cold-blood and buries them, hence removing all physical evidence linking him to their homicide. When Liak realises Raghav had been playing him all along, he assaults Raghav, but Raghav manages to knock him out. When Liak gains consciousness, Raghav tells him about how he murdered Harman and his wife and Liak responds by confessing that it was he who murdered his wife and child and just walks out. Liak goes back home and his mother comments about his behaviour and says he is exactly like his father. He asks her, about something nice about his father, but his mother couldn’t think of anything to tell him. Liak then develops a conscience and confesses to the police that he killed Harman and his wife. I believe he wanted to pay for the crimes he committed in full. The movie ends with Liak’s love-interest, the prostitute approaching Raghav and screaming at him and saying that Liak died in a jail for the crimes Raghav committed and asking in rhetoric, what was he going to do now, that he had taken his revenge.
By the end, the viewer starts to wonder who is the protagonist of the movie, Raghav or Liak? The writers have done an exceptional job with writing two parallel stories and converging them into a masterpiece. I have never seen any of Varun Dhawan’s films with a lot of interest, I felt his films used to be very platitudinous. But in Badlapur, he convinced me he is a versatile actor and can do justice to any role given to him. Nawazuddin Siddiqui belongs to the category of actors like Irfaan Khan, not physically attractive, but acting oozes out of them naturally. People like him were born to act. His ability to enact a role with so much dexterity, is very pleasing to the eyes. The writing, the cinematography, the acting, the direction is extremely good and does complete justice to the plot. The actors have done such an exceptional job, that the viewer can vicariously feel whatever the actors are trying to depict. The plot twists are simply mind-blowing and are completely unpredictable.The story does get a little laggy for about 20 minutes post-interval, but it never completely loses its grip on the viewer’s mind. If you’re into crime-thrillers and understand Hindi, Badlapur is the one you want to catch.
My rating for Badlapur: 8.4/10