Cast: Varun Dhawan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Huma Qureshi, Divya Dutta, Radhika Apte, Yami Gautam, Kumud Mishra, Vinay Pathak
Direction: Sriram Raghavan
Duration: 2 hours 5 minutes
Critic’s Rating: 4/5
Avg Readers’ Rating: 4/5
Story: Raghu’s (Varun Dhawan) indefectible life is devastated, when a robbery episode kills his wife and son. The culprit Liak (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) refuses to let out the truth and is imprisoned for 20 years. Refusing to move on, Raghu harbours in him the tryst for truth. Can he avenge the deaths of people who meant the world to him? And, is being devoured by the feeling of revenge as gratifying as his volcanic rage had promised?
Review: Badlapur is a gobsmacking movie that suffuses on screen – a deftly written story, spectacular performances and an intelligently layered screenplay. What works best here is the film’s unpredictability. From the minute it begins, you’re latched to your seat with your heart throbbing in your mouth and your throat frequently choking up. For the sheer impact the movie conjures up, writer-director Sriram Raghavan deserves a bow!
Mixing grit and suspense in the right measure, Sriram allows his film to take the risky path in keeping you invested, ably playing his motley bunch of characters. While the layers smoothly unfold in this vendetta affair, Raghavan’s clarity of vision keeps the narrative seamless. The wicked humour sprinkled abruptly in the sequences draws one further into this movie. The excessive gore might be considered superfluous but is vital for the impact it has.
The driving force here are the actors who evolve the story. Varun’s measured acting and sincere eyes draw empathy. With each scene, the intense hues he brings to Raghu, unravel. Nawaz is superlative as Liak, bringing a sinful streak of twisted comedy, teaming it with unabashed swagger. The ladies deliver adequately, but it’s Huma Qureshi who brings more to her role than what it holds.
Though the film’s second hour meanders and is a tad long, the compelling climax and memorable scenes, like the one where Liak reveals the truth that Raghu had desperately been seeking, trivializes these flaws. Added to it, Sachin-Jigar’s haunting music adds a piercing quality.
Brisk and absorbing, concluding differently than expected, Badlapur is an inspired film that dangerous
Direction — 3.5/5
Story — 4/5
Music — 4/5
Action — 3.5/5
Spoiler alert! Please do not read the following plot summary if you have not seen the film.
The film begins with Misha (Yami Gautam) and Robin crossing the road on a regular day but the two become victims of an unfortunate bank robbery. Liak (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) and his friend Harman (Vinay Pathak) are on the run after a bank robbery and use Misha’s car to flee. An agitated Misha resists them and Liak in a fit of anger throws the child out the car and shoots Misha dead. Allowing Harman to escape with the loot money, he surrenders himself to the police. Liak is now in police custody and he maintains one story that he wasn’t the murderer. He was just the driver who was trapped into this because he wanted a job in the Gulf. He claims the name of the murderer is Jayu. Misha (Yami Gautam) and Robin crossing the road on a regular day but the two become victims of an unfortunate bank robbery. Liak (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) and his friend Harman (Vinay Pathak) are on the run after a bank robbery and use Misha’s car to flee. An agitated Misha resists them and Liak in a fit of anger throws the child out the car and shoots Misha dead. Allowing Harman to escape with the loot money, he surrenders himself to the police. Liak is now in police custody and he maintains one story that he wasn’t the murderer. He was just the driver who was trapped into this because he wanted a job in the Gulf. He claims the name of the murderer is Jayu.
Misha is taken to the hospital but by the time her husband Raghu (Varun Dhawan) comes to see her, she is critical. She dies infront of him. Raghu then goes to the morgue only to find his son Robin lying cold on the post-mortem table.
Raghu is devastated and keeps playing in his head the last moments with his wife. Shattered with the loss of the two people who meant the world to him, he immerses himself in seeking revenge.
Raghu goes to meet the cop in-charge of the case and asks to meet Liak, who again dishes out the same story to him. Raghu gets into a scuffle with Liak. Losing faith in the police investigation, Raghu approaches private detective Joshi (Ashwini Kalsekar) to find out about Liak’s background. She befriends his mother on a trip back from jail and finds out about Liak’s love interest Jhimli, a hooker. Raghu goes to Jhimli for help and Jhimli, given her fondness for Liak, ends up telling him about Raghu’s visit.
Raghu realizes Jhimli has let out the secret and he doesn’t spare her either. He ends up defiling her. The court decrees 20 years’ imprisonment for Liak. Raghu is hell-bent on hurting Jhimli but soon realizes that his revenge won’t be complete till he gets even with Liak. Raghu moves out of Pune to Badlapur and waits for Liak to get released.
15 years later, Shobha (Divya Dutta), a social worker, lands at his doorstep seeking help for Liak, who is then a stomach cancer patient and dying. His last wish is to die outside jail. The only person who can get him out is Raghu, if he agrees on relaxing his jail term. Raghu flatly refuses but on second thoughts he decides to pay him a visit in jail. He is no mood to forgive him but makes Liak feel even more miserable.
Liak’s mother pays Raghu a visit and she reveals to him that Liak called him and told her the name and address of his partner. Harman, the partner, has Liak’s share of money from the loot. Raghu agrees on relaxing his jail term so that he can come out and meet his partner.
Liak goes to meet Jhimli after being released. She now lives in a flat provided by her goon-politician lover. The two share a warm moment thinking of old times and Liak borrows some money from her. Meanwhile, Raghu tracks down Harman. When his wife Kanchan (Radhika Apte) is stranded on a lonely road at night, Raghu even volunteers to drop her home. With his eyes affixed on Harman, he even visits their restaurant. He tells Harman that he is aware of his involvement in his wife’s murder. Raghu self-invites himself to their place for lunch where both Harman and Kanchan try to buy off his silence. Raghu says the only way he will be quiet is if Kanchan sleeps with him. Raghu and Kanchan go to the bedroom where he makes her put up a mock show. He asks the couple to inform him when Liak gets in touch with them.
On the other hand, Liak is being followed by an undercover cop. Liak goes to the brothel, he follows. Liak goes to the theater he follows. The cop investigating the murder wants to find out about his partner. Liak sneaks out a sex worker’s phone and calls Harman from there. He wants to get his passport and his share of the money and the two decide to meet at the bus-stand for it. Kanchan forces Harman to inform Raghu about it.
Raghu comes to Pune the next day and it is decided that he will meet Liak with the passport and money, instead of Harman. He first visits Harman’s place where Kanchan is alone. He apologizes to her with a bottle of wine. Pushing her to sleep with him, he hands her a negligee and ask her to take a bath and wear it. Kanchan calls Harman from the bathroom and asks him to come soon. She takes a bath but when he comes out the room, there is plastic sprawled all over the room. He hits her with a hammer and she falls down injured. When Harman comes home, he kills Harman too with a hammer.
Raghu then goes for a lunch date with Shobha and the two play scrabble and end up having sex with each other. The same day, he takes the bodies to Khadakwasla and buries them.
Liak meets Raghu at the place where he was supposed to meet Harman and Liak realizes that Raghu knows about Harman. Raghu tells Liak that he will never get to live the last few months of his life happily. Liak joins the dots and realizes that his mother had told Raghu about Harman. His mother admits to it and he plots a new way of getting to Raghu.
Liak breaks into Raghu’s place looking for the money at his place. He tries to strangulate Raghu and Raghu punches him down. Liak becomes unconscious. When Liak wakes up, Raghu tells him that he wants Liak to suffer. He also tells Liak that he will never get the money because he stole the money from Harman and then killed both him and his wife. In that stark moment, Liak realizes that pain has changed Raghu. He tells Raghu how he accidentally shot Misha because she was screaming and his son fell from the car. It was a mishap that he hadn’t planned on doing.
Liak goes to meet Jhimli and he discloses to her that he has cancer. Liak has a face-off with Jhimli’s lover. Later, when she tells her lover about how ill Liak is, he allows her to help him monetarily. She comes down to see him, the two talk of how things could have been different and part ways.
Meanwhile, police investigates the disappearance of Kanchan and Harman. The cops figure out Raghu’s involvement. The cop in-charge of his wife’s murder case is retiring in a few days and demands the money Raghu has extracted from Harman.
Liak comes home late one night and his mother blurts out how he is like his father. Liak quizzes his mother whether his father was all bad and his mother indeed has no kind words to say for the man.
Liak undergoes a change as he surrenders to the police. The officer is aware that Raghu is the culprit but Liak admits to the cops that he had murdered Harman and his wife because they refused to give him his share of the loot. On the day of his retirement, the cop is a star to have solved an old case.
Liak returns to jail and lives his last days in rehab. When he dies, Jhimli comes to meet Raghu and tells him that he is one of rare few who is getting second chance in life. Liak’s repentance gave him a new lease of life and he must use it well.
1. Sriram Raghavan made Varun watch grim films like 21 grams and Dead Man Walking.
2. The film was shot primarily in Pune.
3. A long sequence of the film was shot in Nashik Jail.
4. Varun and Nawaz had to eat 7 days of jail food for the film.
5. The film’s first trailer was actually seen by the team on Dinesh’s phone at Varun’s home.
6. Badlapur is Varun Dhawan’s smallest budget film. It is made on a budget of just Rs 25 crore. Before this, Varun Dhawan was a part of only big banner films like – Student of the Year, Main Tera Hero, Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania.
7. CBFC objected to the use of two abusive words in the film. The ‘F’ word had then been changed to ‘hell’ and was muted the second time.
8. Badlapur is Varun Dhawan’s first non- comedy film.
1. The last shot before interval ends with Varun and Vinay in the lift. But the scene doesn’t see a conclusion. The first shot post-interval is of Radhika Apte stranded on the road.