Badlapur grabs you by the neck in its opening scenes and barely lets go thereafter. It's an astonishing film in the thriller genre, I am still replaying it in my mind, 12 hours post the matinee show.
There is brutality, slyness, love, humour and a surprising vindication in the mix. Finally, this is cinema, a palette on human nature and circumstance. A universal underlining strain - how much as a species we alarmingly sway towards the primeval, animal side.
Storytelling & performances
Applause for steady pace, intense performances, cut-sharp editing and unexpected yet logical scene-flow. But the story and its atmospheric, mirroring real life treatment outdoes all other departments. Nawazuddin Siddiqui is excellent, but you can't undermine Varun Dhawan. It is a valiant, tight act, the actor's tightrope walk. Dhawan has made his mark. Kumud Mishra, Huma Qureshi, Vinay Pathak, Radhika Apte, Divya Dutta and Yami Gautam make a great ensemble cast.
This is an A rated film, so expect to be engulfed by some stark, sexual elements and disturbing violent scenes. For those who have been to Pune or are a denizen, they will get a local, intimate feel of recognition in the proceedings. But Badlapur could have been set in any other city and still hit you hard.
It's best not to be know the plot before you watch this one. Let it unfold before you so. When the film's tagline says 'Don't miss the beginning', they damn well mean it.
Take a bow, Sriram Raghavan.