Saturday, June 25, 2016

Review of Raman Raghav 2.0

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Cast: Nawazuddin Siddiqui (Ramanna), Vicky Kaushal (Raghavan), Vipin Sharma (Raghavan’s father), Amruta Subharsh (Lakshmi), Sobhita Dhulipala (Simmy), Mukesh Chabra (Loan Shark), Anuschka Sawney (Ankita), Ashok Lokhande  
Directed by: Anurag Kashyap
Produced by: Anurag Kashyap, Vikas Bahl, Vikramaditya Motwane, Madhu Mantena
Written by: Anurag Kashyap, Vasan Bala
Production Company: Phantom Films
Distributed by: Reliance Entertainment
Music by: Ram Sampath
Cinematography: Jay Oza
Edited by: Aarti Bajaj
Release date: 24th June, 2016
Language: Hindi
Duration: 2 hours 07 minutes

Raman Raghav 2.0 is a thriller by Anurag Kashyap. This film is based on the notorious psychopath serial killer Raman Raghav. It was during mid-1960s that a series of murders happened in the suburbs of Mumbai. The murders were committed using a hard, blunt object. The murderer Raman Raghav was caught by Police, who confessed about his crime of 41 murders. He was sentenced to death penalty, though later the death sentence was forgiven and he was sentenced to life imprisonment. Anurag Kashyap has not tried to make a biopic on Raman Raghav. His character is shaped on Raman Raghav. It is a dark film. Anurag Kashyap has indeed made dark films in the past and with this latest one, it even gets darker. I can’t find entertainment elements in such films, but that is my personal opinion.

The film begins with the scene of Raghav (Vicky Kaushal) snorting drug and dancing in a club. Raghav is a cop. Ramanna (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) surrenders himself before the cops, confessing about committing 9 murders. Raghav and his colleagues just allow Ramanna to go free since they find him mentally unstable and feel that Ramanna is lying. Slowly when the investigations of the murders move further, Raghav realizes his mistake of setting Ramanna free.

Ramanna  is very much inspired from the serial killer of mid 1960s Raman Raghav. He kills people in the same style as that of Raman Raghav. Wheel changing wrench and Iron rod are the weapons of Ramanna to kill the victims. Ramanna feels that without Raghav, he is incomplete.

Anurag Kashyap has tried to convey that Raman and Raghav are two sides of the same coin. Even the poster conveys the same message. If Ramanna is a hardcore criminal, can rape and kill his own sister, Raghav is also not less. Raghav is projected as a drug addict. Raghav’s misogynistic attitude is difficult to tolerate, but then, that is how Raghav’s character has been shaped up: a drug addict, non-empathetic, mistreats his girl friend Simmy (Sobhita Dhulipala), and even kills people. The difference is that Ramanna does not have license to kill, whereas Raghav has the license to kill as a cop.

The film is about various killings and the cat and mouse race between Ramanna and Raghav. Is Ramanna able to find his soulmate Raghav? How does Raghav’s character shape up in the film? Who wins in the end – Raghav or Ramanna or neither of them? Background score adds to the dark tone of the film.

Both the major characters Ramanna and Raghav are very well played by Nawazuddin and Vicky Kaushal respectively. We have seen this Nawazuddin earlier too, but definitely, he has played even darker character this time. For Vicky, this is absolutely a u-turn character when compared to his roles in Masaan and Zubaan. Both of them have given great performances as Ramanna and Raghav, projected the grey shades so convincingly.      

But what was the motive of Anurag Kashyap behind making this film? He did try to convey that anyone can kill anytime. He made the law-breaker as well as law-maker look all the same. The characters as such are not developed properly. Why and how did Ramanna become a serial killer, a psychopath? How did Vicky’s character Raghav become a drug addict? Why Raghav’s relationship with his father is so strained? Why does Raghav end up ill-treating or sexually abusing his girl friend ? What used to be the motive of Ramanna behind his murders? These questions definitely go unanswered.

Raman Raghav 2.0, a dark film by Anurag Kashyap, is based on 1960’s psychopath serial killer Raman Raghav. Watch it for two reasons: One, in case, you like dark films and second, for performances of Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Vicky Kaushal.

Rating : 2 / 5 (Average)