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Raghav Raman 2.0

Release Date: 24-06-2016
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Raghav Raman 2.0

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Deepali Chugh

From Cheeni Kum, to X-Men to any movie one might think of, when movies are on the table, I ought to be a part of it for the passion for movies has never been anything les ... Read more about Deepali Chugh

RAGHAV RAMAN 2.0 REVIEW/

 

41 people bludgeoned to death, dreadful nights in fear, making the blood run cold at the brutal killings in the dark hours of the night. When a suspicious psychopathic killer ambulates liberally on the streets of Mumbai with the least fear of the law with sheer contentment and bliss to kill while he feigns innocence, you can’t be sure you in your confined walls of your home are anywhere close to safe and sound.

 

Terrorising the wits out of people, Raghav Raman, alias ‘Sindhi Dalwai’ was India’s most dreaded, horrifying killer scaring the daylights of people. Well, Raman (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) idealizes him and generates his inspirations from this real life criminal. He is also shown patronizing another lead character “Raghav’ (Vicky Kaushal) a coke sniffing cop in whom he finds affinity. Quite interestingly, from ‘the Man who knew infinity’ to ‘Mary Kom’, I have watched more than a dozen biopics and movies inspired by the legendary lives of the greatest and awe-inspiring personalities of the world who made the difference with the way they served the people. Little did I know, sooner or later, would there be a movie in the memory of the most ruthless, petrifying and terrorizing murderer of India-Raghav Raman whose mere reminiscence increases the adrenalin rush and bring jitters in the mind of the audience.  

 

The movie ‘Raghav Raman 2.0’ is a murder mystery, unravelling the mind-set of a serial killer Raman who saw himself as the alter ego of Raghav Raman and quite interestingly, drew inspiration from him.

 

Never could you see ‘Raman’ the movie’s antagonist shying away from the fact that he is killing people. He takes pride in manslaughter, never twitching his eyes for a moment and shows no remorse to his actions, but finds pride in his doings. He has an unshakeable firm belief which he puts forth in his argument about the fact that what he did was nothing less than what police are authorized to do while the only contrast lied in the fact that the police do it in disguise under their uniform and he does it unabashedly on the streets, other than his stance that he was nothing, but an aid to Yamraj. The personification of the Yamraj’s messenger or the killer is very appropriately done by Nawazuddin by always showing him dragging a long car jack behind him as if it is a tool for soul emancipation.

 

While I read somewhere about Raghav Raman 2.0 to be one of the most romantic films made by Anurag Kashyap, it felt rather queer, but the depiction of two lead roles played by Nawazuddin, the killer and Vicky Kaushal a tainted, drug sniffing Police Officer is spot on to the figment of imagination of Anurag Kashyap as it discerningly showed Nawazuddin (Raman) as an ardent follower of the police officer, Vicky Kaushal (Raghav).

 

Strangely, Nawazuddin’s character, namely Raman, is very aptly portrayed being fascinated by Raghav, from the very first scene when Raghav goes on to kill a stranger in cold blood to safeguard himself. Raman finds an abstract bonding in the deviant cop, and from thereon he follows him for whatever he does. It depicts a true fellowship and a twisted idealisation. The viewers are captivated by this follow of affiliation which Kashyap is trying to convey as a romantic allegiance.



The spine-chilling and captivating performance of the antagonist Raman with a gleam in his eyes, a long scar running down his forehead, calling himself a fox can be experienced from the very first scene.



The humour in this Phantom film lies when he shows his love for his chicken dish overpowering his affection for his sister. The sound of the bent rod of metal against the ground conjecturing his next victim gives you jitters for it is difficult to fathom the extent of lunacy of the character.

 

Its acting par excellence giving so much exuberance to the actor’s profuse portrayal of character that you emote for Raman when he’s being pursued by cops in a slum. One gets carried away with the unpretentious innocence when he fails to make some basic calculations. The surprising element of the movie was how our lead character captivates the viewers when he narrates his crimes and finds pride in his acts. He confesses to his crime to strangers and even Police but no one is ready to believe him to be the criminal. The honest depiction of such characterisation by Nawazuddin speaks volume for his acting skills. His portrayal of a demented killer is the only reason that one can watch this film ignoring the gory acts of the killer.

 

Kaushal did his best to catch up to his co-star’s talent, but failing head-on to turn Raghav into an equivalently captivating protagonist. He has quite a presence, but his performance as a corrupt cop had some hollowness and lacked the captivating execution.

 

While Phantom Productions could raise the bar to quintessential movies like Masaan, Udta Punjab, NH10 or Gangs of Wasseypur for that matter, Raghav Raman couldn’t really manage to add a feather in its cap. It shows a drug- sniffing police officer who does all he can to have things against him for he has done what law sees as an offence. While you see a Raman in the movie, you also watch his unending quest for his Raghav for the two, once together can make Raghav Raman come alive. It isn’t a delightful watch as it couldn’t manage to bring forth anything unique to the table but a psychopath on hunt. It might get some people to witness the sadistic pleasures of Raman for the deceased, but it doesn’t account for an extraordinary movie.

 

While my review doesn’t count much good for the story, I can’t keep away from mentioning about Nawazuddin 'the scarred man' as he shows himself to be on screen in this movie. It is nowhere short of a splendid performance in his sachet of his movies.

 

The protagonist (Vicky Kaushal) has done a decent work, nothing extraordinary to count the blue in the red blood. In all, the movie has been an average watch except for the timeless performance of Nawazuddin Siddique.

 

I would give

3.5 Stars to Anurag Kashyap for his prodigious Direction and

4.5 Stars to Nawazuddin Siddique for his tremendous portrayal of a psychopath.

 

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Special Comments

While there are tonnes of other stories and plots that might show a murder mystery, the need to make a movie showcasing sadistic pleasures of killing people barely finds us a logic at all. Only if the logic was to beware of such people, it calls for a much distinct portrayal. Documentaries on the life of the murderer need to be made, I understand, but what strikes them to make a movie inspired from the most wanted murderer defies my sense as there is barely anything from it to get motivated about. Legendary movies such as Bajirao mastani, Mary Kom, Neerja or Bhaag Milkha Bhaag earn their appreciation for every ounce of it leaves us in awe of their valour. I would rather like to know if anybody could still help me out and comment below with the answer to my question striking my head time and again, ‘What did you draw after watching this psychotic not-so-thrilling murder movie?’

Other Film Critic Reviews

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June 24, 2016

Cast: Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Vicky Kaushal, Sobhita Dhulipala, Amruta Subhash

Director: Anurag Kashyap

The brutal murders in Anurag Kashyap’s serial killer film Raman Raghav 2.0 happen off camera for the most part. Yet I found myself flinching and turning away each time the screen went black, or the distinct sound of a metal rod making contact with flesh filled the room.

Kashyap’s film is not an easy watch. Nevertheless, his exploration into the mind of a killer, who, by his own admission, kills for no reason other than the fact that he wants to, is deeply fascinating.

Raman Raghav was a serial killer who operated in Mumbai in the mid-1960s, and subsequently confessed to having murdered 41 people. But Kashyap’s film is not about him, we’re told right at the start. It focuses instead on a copycat modern-day killer, played by Nawazuddin Siddiqui, who holds up the notorious 60s psychopath as his inspiration, and feels a kinship to a coke-snorting police officer, Raghavan (Vicky Kaushal), whom he thinks of as no different from himself except that he kills from behind the privilege of a uniform.

In an interview he gave a few weeks ago, Kashyap said Raman Raghav 2.0 is the most romantic film he’s made. In a strange way, he’s right. Nawazuddin’s character, who goes by the name Raman, becomes instantly captivated by Raghavan, from the moment he first sees him, killing a stranger in cold blood and for no apparent reason. Raman has found a kindred spirit in the twisted cop, and from hereon he kills to feel close to Raghavan. Can there be a more pure and selfless love?

The film then is about the cat and mouse chase between cop and criminal, although like in Sriram Raghavan’s Badlapur, Kashyap too subverts the hero/villain template until the line begins to blur. The cop character is anything but a straight arrow, unable to so much as function without a hit of cocaine, and routinely abusive to his live-in girlfriend Simmi (a terrific Sobhita Dhulipala).

Siddiqiui is appropriately creepy as Raman, a long scar running down his forehead, an unmistakable glint in his eyes, and almost always dragging a long car jack behind him. In one of the film’s best scenes, you watch transfixed as he coolly cooks chicken curry in a home that he has forced himself into, while the family, trapped and terrified, await their fate.

It’s a testament to the actor’s abundant talent that you root for Raman when he’s being pursued by cops in a slum. Or you find his simplicity endearing when he can’t seem to make even a basic calculation. He reveals childlike pride while casually confessing his crimes to complete strangers. His delicious turn as the possibly demented killer is easily the biggest strength of the film.

Kaushal, meanwhile, never quite matches up to his co-star’s brilliance, squarely failing to turn Raghavan into an equally compelling protagonist. He has presence, but his performance as the morally bankrupt cop feels hollow and lacking in real feeling.

The film itself benefits from a propulsive music score (by Ram Sampat), some unexpected moments of humor, and an energy and pace that seldom dips. Kashyap is in good form, but ultimately Raman Raghav 2.0 doesn’t bring anything blazingly new or original to the serial killer genre.

I’m going with three out of five. It’s consistently engaging, but doesn’t get under your skin like some of Kashyap’s other films, particularly Black Friday,Gangs of Wasseypur, and the criminally overlooked Ugly.

(This review first aired on CNN News18)

 

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Rajiv - on 'Friday 22nd of July 2016 01:41:33 AM

Very Good acting of Nawazuddin Siddique

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