‘Raman Raghav 2.0’ Movie Review


In the 1960s, a serial killer rocked the nightlife of Mumbai. He eventually confessed to around 41 murders. This film’s character, is inspired by him, in today’s times.

From the opening sequence, you know you are in for a psychedelic, gory tale of 140 minutes which will leave you squirming in your seats. But Anurag Kashyap has mastered that art by now.

The film shows you the underbelly of Mumbai, in its truest, ugliest form. Presented in Tarantino inspired Chapters, the film has 8 Chapters, starting with a prologue, giving you a feel of reading a pulpy graphic novel.

The film is held together by some truly terrific performances, for which the credit should go to Kashyap and Mukesh Chabbra. The latter himself in a brilliant cameo does a brilliant job and has made it his mission to play a role in all his movies.

Ashok Lokhande, often seen in TV shows and films in supporting roles, portrays the role of the brother in law very well.

Debutante, Sobhita Dhulipala, a Miss India winner, does well in this all guy bromance, but her character needed more flesh and screen time, to balance the acts of the 2 Rs. So inspite of being a family girl, controlling her dad via telephone for his drinking habits, somehow there is no justification for her to be in an abusive relationship.

Amruta Subhash, Balak Palak, is a scene stealer. She holds up the entire scene in front of Nawaz brilliantly and makes you cringe at what he is capable of by the fear expressed by her.

Vicky Kaushal as the druggie ACP, is the most poorly written character in the film. Somehow besides the one scene with his father Vipin Sharma, there is no reasoning / justification of why he is such a slob. Because of this, even his professional behaviour is under circumspect. He does do a decent job, but somehow cant hold it up in towards the climax, wherein the entire burden of the story is on him.

Nawazuddin is making a habit of doing these creepy roles and making us cringe each time he does it, proving his superiority in the field.  From his first shot, confessing to the cops he has you eating out of his hands. From there on, as the chapters progress, his manic desperation keeps on increasing. Just like Christoph Waltz, in the Tarantino Basterds, Nawas has you in fear during the entire cooking sequence, where you know the fate of the family, but still are afraid of whats he gonna do now?

His childlike excitement while boasting about his crimes either to the random stranger at the tea stall or laughing at the cops, is as eerie as it can get.

The background score by Ram Sampath is good, but inconsistent, but it somehow makes up by the brilliant cinematography by Jay Oza. The film is killed by its poor editing by Aarti Bajaj, which makes the long screenplay seem longer and this 140 minute movie seem as if it was a 3 hour marathon. The film could have been easily chipped off by a good 20 minutes, in order to give it a more edgy feel, something which would have gone with the title too, highlighting today’s lifestyle.

The film by Anurag is a brilliant concept, no doubt about it. But as it happens quite often, creative people get so involved in their product, that objectivity is lost. Like in this otherwise realistic film, continuity seems to be a major issue. From the first scene where Nawaz’s cigarette keeps changing size to the climax where the gloves keep appearing and disappearing from Vicky’s hands. Barring this, the film, though definitely inspired by Tarantino’s way of presenting, lacks its depth in narration.  The chapters are too long and at times some scenes seem unnecessary. A movie like this where the majority play is between 2 characters, needed to show that urgency on screen too. Also, the portrayal of the Mumbai Cops does seem a bit too caricaturish.   How can a commissioner of police miss out that one of his ACPs, is a druggie, something his father deducted in 2 minutes. The cops seem to lose Nawaz as easily as a potato peeler in the kitchen. How come Raghav is never doubted by his associates and juniors about his drug abuse, when he is doing it on crime scenes.

All in all, this is brilliant presentation style and a wonderful concept, but the length of the movie somehow takes the sheen away from the final product.


By: Yusuf Poonawala