"Don’t Miss The Beginning" is the tagline of director Sriram Raghavan’s latest venture, Badlapur. Rightly so, the first 10 minutes of the film create a dramatic opening sequence of what promises to be an intense neo-noir drama. If only that was actually the case. Badlapur is filled with dark twists and an unpredictable end, but is somewhere lost on logic.
Raghu (Varun Dhawan), is a family man whose life takes a tragic turn after his wife Misha (Yami Gautam) and son are killed during a bank heist for no particular rhyme or reason. What then transpires between the protagonist and the killer Layak (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) for the next 15 years will leave you puzzled and intrigued. The film has a brilliant plot, but is haunted by the slow pace of events and some sub-par acting by Varun. Despite his brave attempt at being the angry young man, Dhawan lacked the maturity that was required to get into Raghu’s character.
In fact, it is Nawazuddin who steals Varun’s thunder, delivering a crisp performance yet again with his effortless portrayal of the bad guy. Yami Gautam’s role lasts as much as the bank robbery. Huma Qureshi plays Jhimli, a prostitute and Layak’s love interest. The supporting cast includes Ashwini Kalsekar as the private detective, Kumud Mishra as the inspector, Divya Dutta as an NGO worker and Vinay Pathak as Layak’s partner-in-crime. Each of them does justice to their respective roles in the film. Even then, you get an unsatisfactory feeling at the end of the film, after a promising trailer that raised our hopes.
In spite of a plot that defies logic, Badlapur has its moments thanks to Siddiqui’s comic timing and funny punchlines that crack you up occasionally. The film progresses at a snail’s pace, but picks up after the interval to deliver an unforeseeable climax. Varun Dhawan may have come across as a miscast, but deserves a round of applause for stepping out of his comfort zone. Siddiqui is a class apart and has mastered the art of playing the cheeky villain. It is about time he takes up newer challenges in Bollywood.
Why should you watch the film?
If you’re tired of seeing Varun Dhawan play the boy-next-door, Badlapur is a refreshing change. Watch it for Nawazuddin’s flawless performance. And yes, do not miss the beginning!
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