What's New: A film which delves in the dark abyss of human mind
Popcorn Refill: Strictly Interval
Plot: Anurag Kashyap's latest offering opens with real facts about the notorious serial killer, Raman Raghav who hunted on the streets of Mumbai in the mid-60s. This is followed by a tongue-in-cheek statement which reads, 'This film is NOT about him' in order to set the tone of the film. (Must say that's pretty smart now!)
Anurag presents his gruesome thriller in the form of seven chapters revolving around two main protagonists- the psychopath Ramannna (Nawazuddin Sidddiqui), a deranged soul who is a reckless killing machine and the drug snorting, sleep-deprived cop Raghavan (Vicky Kaushal) who has his own inner demons to battle with.
Ramanna believes that he carries out the cold blooded murders on behalf of God. At one point of time he even mutters, "I am God's own CCTV camera." He doesn't flinch when he strikes a blow on his random victims with an iron rod or bludgeons them to death. He believes killing comes naturally to him...like you eat, shit, sleep...On the other hand Raghavan too is no saint and his lover Simmi aka Smrutika (Sobhita Dhulipala) bears witness to that. He heads a faltering investigation of a series of ghastly similar murders.
As the chapters unfold the line between the hunter and the hunted gets blurred. Will Ramanna's dark quest to find his 'soulmate' Raghav who he believes to be his mirror-image ever come to an end? Will there ever be yet another 'Raman Raghav'?
Performances: Nawazuddin Siddiqui is a complete show-stealer here. He sinks into his role so deeply that you shudder in fear each time he strikes a blow! His menacing act crawls into your skin, at the same time his sense of dark humour provides much needed relief from the tension in the air. Watch out for the scene where he pays a visit to his estranged sister (played by Amruta Subhash). Trust me, that scene will haunt you for a long period of time!
Vicky Kaushal suffers from an underwritten character. In fact in the first half of the film he leaves you in a dilemma with the way his character tends to shape up. Despite of all this, the actor comes up with an honest performance and makes sure that you remain glued to his character. The way he goes from being vulnerable to intimidating within a fraction of seconds will completely blow off your mind.
Debutante Sobhita Dhulipala puts up a good act. Though one wished that her role had more layers and transition to it.
The rest of the cast lend a good support to the film.
Direction: Anurag Kashyap's 'Raman Raghav 2.0' is a deadly beast with a mind of its own. The murky and twisted tale is not for the faint-hearted! This time there is no 'velvetiness' in Kashyap's world. Instead you have the dingy roads and shacks with a serial killer on a prowl. Jay Oza's effective cinematography and Arti Bajaj's slick editing makes the film a compelling watch. Ram Sampath's music and the song blends seamlessly with the narrative.
On the flip side the film moves at a sluggish pace in certain places which might induce a few yawns. Not everyone would be comfortable stomaching so much gory and killings! (Thankfully the makers refrain from making any ghastly representations of the deaths). Anurag and Vasan fail to make Vicky's character as gripping as Nawaz.
Combo-on-offer: This time there is death and wickedness looming in every frame! STAY ALERT!
Verdict: We give 'Raman Raghav 2.0' 'THUNDEROUS CLAPS' for Nawaz's psycho act which promises to give you sleepless nights. However steer clear of this killer tale if gore, violence and grim stories ain't your thing!