Raman Raghav 2.0 (2016) Movie Review

Friday, June 24, 2016

Raman Raghav 2.0 (2016) Movie Review

Raman Raghav 2.0 (2016) Movie Review

It was real and great... Say to a Hannibal or Fincher Fan to rate it more than that, I will talk to the critique in you!

First thing first, India has gone beyond the traditional boy meets girl love story to embrace the crime thrillers. This is the call of the time and the film implores the dark-side in each one of us who buy the ticket and watch the film.

The movie was disturbing, and it was an Anurag Kashyap film, so no dearth in filth or grim there, that guy has more brutality than art in his disturbed brain and gruesome rendition, as his previous endeavors would suggest and it has been explored, but not completely.

In an attempt to preserve the doubt, strategic chaos was employed, but was far from convincing, which shows the lack of craftsmanship to handle suspense.

Scene selection too real to be real and character building was good, but not great. Nawazuddin was as always impressive, but it is time he plays something other than a Mumbai lowlife or a schizophrenic bad guy it is getting old. This was probably one of his best performance, but it kept taking me back to Miss Lovely and Badlapur. Timeline was completely screwed. From the blackberry of the early 2010s in a 2015 time-line that too for a young girl showed the lack of attention to details.

The story-line was good, first it reminded me of the usual suspect and then it reminded me of Se7en and then it took me back to Dexter Season 3. And yes, I forgot the pinch of salt. Side actors were flat and character building was compromised and flimsy. Continuity tag-line was violated on few occasions. it felt like the 90s film in a 2015 set! Though there was an underlying simile in the flick, it is far from convincing and did not at all felt grand or terrifying leave alone thrilling, if at all, it was grim- the Anurag Kashyap trademark. A word for the AK fans, you really wish to see what 'real' in films is, go and watch Salam Bombay, 1947 Earth and Fire, those are true blue quality, artistic, 'grounded in reality' films, grim is only a part of it, not the entire suit.

Outstanding and Unconventional Psychological Thriller
I had two reasons to watch this movie, one was Anurag Kashyap and the other my own preference for Psychological thrillers. 

The movie begins with a disclaimer that it isn't about the real Raman Raghav but in spirit he is present throughout the movie. Ramanna's (Nawazuddin) past is quite unknown and neither does the movie delve much into it, quite like the real psycho Raman whose early life and incidents were unknown to the world. Again the episode of his abusive relation with his sister is inspired by real Raman Raghav's abuse of his sister.

Ramanna is portrayal of an emotionless serial killer, who goes about his business quite nonchalantly. But there is more to him than that, he has a perception of Raghav (Vicky Kaushal) in his own twisted head and most of his actions in the movie are guided by the same. Raghav is again not your typical angry young cop, he has too many issues of his own and by the end of the movie he is more of a character in black than Raman. He has deep running flaws but chooses to deal with them in his own way.

This movie is obviously not the run-of-the-mill cop hunting serial killer story, rather there is a reversal of role with respect to that. The actual interaction between the two title characters comes towards the end. Yet, the viewer never gets the feeling that the scenes involving the two are not related. 

There are quite a few well-etched sequences, the one where Simmy reminds the double standards of Raghav with respect to murders and his own personal life, the final scene between Raman and Raghav. Vicky Kaushal holds ground well and is quite good in his portrayal of the angst-ridden Raghav. Sobhita Dhulipala had a limited role due to the needs of the story but is able to do justice to it and Amruta Subhash has a small yet memorable role. 

But Nawazuddin takes the cake here, giving his best performance to date. He seamlessly portrays a calm, cold- blooded serial killer, with underlining mental frailties. He can appear to be the weakest person in the entire scene, easy to dismiss him off merely as a psychopath but there is a method to his madness.

Needless to say the music was incredible and added flavor to the movie, making it richer. Acting is quite good and natural overall. For me this is one of Anurag Kashyap's best works to date.

P.S. Good to see some of the members of Wasseypur team returning back in acting department, Murari Kumar (Guddu in Wasseypur and was also seen in Ugly) and Mukesh Chhabra.

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