Raman Raghav 2.0

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Raman Raghav 2.0
Raman Raghav 2.0
“RAMAN RAGHAV 2.0” is intriguing and exceptionally designed, but extremely grisly!
Based on the notorious serial killer Raman Raghav, who operated in Mumbai during the late 1960s, this psychological thriller directed by Anurag Kashyap is propulsive and bloodthirsty with a brash use of music and a jangling energy which rarely mellows. However, resting heavily on Nawazuddin’s bravura performance, the film gets too convoluted and dark for ones liking in his absence. Watch it only if you’re ready to see some gloomy action mixed with black humour. This is realistic Indian cinema at its best, but a strict NO for family audiences.
Set in present day Mumbai, this psychological thriller follows the life of a serial killer Ramanna (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) who is inspired by an infamous serial killer from the 1960s, Raman Raghav. His strange obsession with Raghavan (Vicky Kaushal), a young cop, keeps growing as he closely follows him without his knowledge and often creates situations where both of them come face to face.
Quirky doesn’t even come close to describing what this film and its lead character are. I would call it a shockingly repellent psychotic thriller. Director Anurag Kashyap loves to play with grim themes that reflect our society, and genuinely displays the emotional journey of his characters. He does it yet again here, but with excessive focus only on his lead character. The character of Ramanna played by Siddiqui turns out to be iconic in more ways than one. Firstly, the detailed adrenalized intensity that it contains within itself is inexplicably superb. Then, the honesty with which it is portrayed is unforeseen. It’s this character that forms the body and soul of the film.
Right from set pieces, to dialogues and visual presentation to performances, each aspect is true-to-life. Kashyap uninhibitedly opens himself up and brings to you a product that’s definitely of International standards. By far the most honest film ever made in Indian cinema. The treatment is veridical and even the expletives sound totally real. The use of black humour is smart and it melds well with the theme. Also, the screenplay, which is uniquely narrated in chapters, somehow seems fulfilling. The use of music is unconventional yet Olympian to say the least. You’ll surely love the way Kashyap blends it in the most bizarrely impressive ways. The camera work is also top class.
Talking of the negatives, Kashyap gets carried away in the second half and goes a step too far with his second lead Vicky Kaushal’s character. After a disturbing, but absorbing first half, Nawazuddin’s character is absent for a long period of time in the second half. While this gives Vicky Kaushal a chance to shine on his own, it also unearths his immaturity especially in a subject so complex and that while performing opposite an industry stalwart. The film goes through a drab phase of half an hour post interval, where nothing seems to make a point. Thankfully, eventually the film ends on a strong note, thereby making it worth the while.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui literally forms the film. His unblinking intensity, coupled with immaculate timing, soaks your attention completely. His appearance is terrific and his scary performance matches International standards. No wonder he got a standing ovation at Cannes. As mentioned earlier, this will definitely rank among the most iconic and memorable roles in Indian cinema yet. Vicky Kaushal on the other hand tries hard, but emerges as the weak link in this otherwise strong film. A more mature actor in his place could’ve elevated the film immensely. It isn’t about lack of talent, but lack of maturity that causes the fall. All others are ill-written an inconsequential.
To sum up, RAMAN RAGHAV 2.0 is dark, yet impressive and top class. Watch it for Nawazuddin’s mind-blowing performance and some refreshingly real cinema. Just don’t take your family along.
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