Raman Raghav 2.0:
Evil Meets Evil and They Lived Happily Ever After!
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Reviewer’s Thumb Mark
Anurag Kashyap’s Raman Raghav 2.0 is dark, disturbing and bloody. It is episodic and spreads through eight chapters with the last chapter titled as Soul mates. Inspired by the menacing criminal of the 1960s with a similar name who bludgeoned 41 innocent victims to death, Raman Raghav 2.0 is a contemporary avatar represented by two people – 1. Psychopath Ramanna played by the super talented Nawazuddin Siddiqui and 2. Raghavan a drug snorting, aggressive and sexually violent cop played by the ‘Masaan’ boy Vicky Kaushal.
Raman Raghav 2.0’s trailer had generated the required level of curiosity to watch this movie and it tries to live up to an extent to the expectations but falls short in developing the characters under question to authenticate the reasons behind their act of indulging in gruesome and merciless killings.
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Nawazuddin has set his benchmark in acting and it seems this man is on a mission to be the top notch actor of this generation. He is already hailed for his innumerable characters he has played on screen. From a small role in Sarfarosh, this man loaded with talent and skill has become a trailblazer. To watch Nawazuddin as Ramanna a psychotic killer, who likes to be known as Sindhi Dalwai because he knows it was the name of the infamous killer of 1960s Raman Raghav, is frightening and disturbing. He is remorseless, unapologetic and believes that he is the CCTV camera of God who identifies people through him to be bumped off. He being locked in an abandoned building, his encounter with his sister and he squatting in front of Raghavan’s house having a steady watch on his balcony are some of the high octane thrilling performances in this movie by this incredible actor.
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Vicky Kaushal from his debut in Masaan, then Zubaan and now Raman Raghav 2.0 is keeping sturdy steps to ensure to have a strong footing in this volatile and highly competitive industry. His Raghavan is a surprising above turn in comparison to what he played in Masaan and Zubaan. From a small town (Banaras) lower caste lover boy in Masaan, to a stammering young ambitious boy in Zubaan, Vicky Kaushal’s Raghavan appeals to all. Raghavan as an angry, drug addicted, sexually abusive young cop is good but then his agressive act as a cop, lover and son is not fully justified. Therefore, the viewers are left to fathom the what, why and the how of his character.
Sobhita Dhulipala as Smrutika Naidoo the woman in Raghavan’s life has nothing much to do except to watch him helplessly and plead to marry her. Hope she gets a much meatier role soon to prove her abilities and skills as an actor.
The film begins to nose dive when the filmmakers try to turn a menacing killer Ramanna spout philosophy, for instance the dialogue – “Sabko kisi na kisi ko marna hota hi. Koi dange ke aadd mai apni baddass nikalta hai to koi wardi ki aadd mai to koi Syria jaake. Mai logon ko marta hun kyunki muje maarna hai. Mujhe issi mai mazaa aata hai”. The political awareness of a serial killer and his search for his soul mate is a bit uncanny out here.
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Varun Grover’s lyrics for the song ‘Behooda’ depict the true nature of Raman Raghav and successfully conveys the feel of the film. The song is composed by Ram Sampath and sung by Nayantara Bhatkal.
In short, Raman Raghav 2.0 is less story and more of chronicling of brutal murders done by Raman Raghav and it fails to develop the characters so as to make the audience understand their reasons of being anti-social in there on way. Nevertheless, one can still go and watch for Nawazuddin’s and Vicky Kaushal’s sincere and flawless effort to bring the characters they play to stay in your mind.
Life Connoisseur Movie Rating: 2.5/5
Cast: Nawazuddin Siddiqui (Ramanna), Vicky Kaushal (Raghavan), Shobhita Dhulpala (Smrutika Naidoo), Vipi Sharma (Father of Raghavan), Amrutra Subharsh (Lakshmi), Anushka Sawney (Ankita), Ashok Lokhande, Mukesh Chabra
Genre: Crime Thriller
Director: Anurag Kashyap
Producers: Anurag Kashyap, Vikas Bahl, Vikramaditya Motwane, Madhu Mantena
Written by: Anurag Kashyap, Vasan Bala
Music by: Ram Sampath
Cinematography: Jay Oza
Edited by: Aarti Bajaj
Production: Phantom Films
Distributor: Reliance Entertainment
Release Date: 24th June, 2016
Duration: 127 Minutes