Bloodthirsty, adrenalized but an empty thriller
Set in present day Mumbai, this psychological killer models himself upon the dreaded, real-life ‘Psycho Raman’, who committed a spate of murders in Mumbai during the ‘60s.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui the character actor, known for his chameleon-like performances in films poles-apart is back with a gruesome thriller ‘RAMAN RAGHAV 2.0’. This psychological-thriller stars Nawazuddin Siddiqui as the notorious serial-killer alongside Vicky Kaushal, who plays a cop. Directed by Anurag Kashyap, this flick was completed in span of 21 days.
The story follows the life of a serial killer from the 1960s, Raman Raghav. His strange obsession is seen in the trailer that opens with a long exposition by Siddiqui, who explains why he likes walking on a chessboard. As his speech goes on, you get the feeling something isn’t quite okay with Raman. And when the visuals start showing him dragging along a heavy iron rod, you know nothing good is going to come out of this. Filled with eerie blue lighting and actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s perfectly mad gaze gets you gripping. Committing around 40 murders he is in the most wanted list of a young cop Raghavan , who closely follows him without his knowledge and often creates situations where both of them come face to face. A simple tag that would describe this cop is ‘whatever he does is beyond the law –drugs, women, and guns.’ What happens when this madness meets mayhem? Watch it out in theatres tomorrow.
Keeping the director’s trademark violence and bloodshed more or less offscreen, it’s far less unpleasant to watch than the child kidnapping story Ugly, though it shows a similar level of cynicism towards the Mumbai police force. Upping the ante, the question here is not police incompetence or even corruption, but their license to kill that tempts a coke-addled officer into very dark waters. With eerie glowing eyes and a scarred forehead, Ramanna is easy to pick out in a crowd, especially after he dons his dead sister’s gold earrings. For sound effects, just so he won’t pass unnoticed, he trails a long car jack behind him. He’s also prone to casually confessing his crimes to passing strangers.
Moving forward with no point of reference, the viewer can be excused from trying to side with the imaginative, wonderfully off-the-wall Ramanna — until he pays a visit to his sister and offs her entire family, including his big-eyed, 6-year-old nephew. And this is just the beginning of his rampage. While the song lyrics gleefully sing about worms crawling up his filthy skin, he searches for new victims and weapons with which to kill them. Each time Raghavan’s detectives nab him, he slips away and murders some more. And he always keeps one eye on Raghavan, who he sees as his doppelganger, even though he’s dressed in the uniform of respectability that gives him a moral right to kill.
Ram Sampath, is the music director behind the eclectic soundtrack of Anurag Kashyap’s Raman Raghav 2.0. The soundtrack’s first song is a trance-fusion ghazal of sorts, ‘Qatl-e-aam’ crooned by the extremely talented Sona Mohapatra.
Together Varun Grover and Ram Sampath have created a song in ‘Behuda’ that is most resonating of the tone of the film. It makes you feel like you’re sitting in a jazz club with a glass of smooth whiskey, listening to a seductive woman tell you a story of a murderer.
Siddharth Basrur’s breathtakingly moving vocals in ‘Paani Ka Raasta’ start off as a ballad about remorse and despair, another way to interpret the darkness with which the film is laced around.
Raghav Theme’ catches you by surprise with its constant fluctuations, and i’m guessing this is in tandem with the plot of the film. It dazzles you, captures your attention, and it seduces you into entering a world of grey where it’s okay to make music about the darkest societal elements.
Variety and depth of character are badly lacking on the female front, weakening the whole film. Anurag Kashyap riffs on a grisly episode of Mumbai history in his luridly absorbing serial killer thriller. It’s a propulsive and bloodthirsty thriller with a brash use of music and a jangling, adrenalized energy which rarely flags off! Neither character is developed into much more than an assortment of base urges, which is one of the reasons that, bracing fun as it is to watch; the film is rather an empty thrill.