In the Indian cinema of the recent years, there has been a recurring trend of biopics, particularly those made on controversial figures. It is not new for an avid cine-goer to not stumble across propagandist and ‘all things flowery’ kind of biopics now and again. I despised the idea of wanting to spend a weekend at the theatre, spending a bomb to watch a gooey gangster biopic about infamous criminal Raman Raghav, when the trailers initially came out. Though, the saving grace here was the end credits of the trailer which flashed Anurag Kashyap as the man behind this story. I was somehow hopeful of watching a “story” or some real content, instead of just another glamorizing gangster biopic set in the 70’s, showing how flashy and exciting would it be to wear Gucci and mating with the biggest of the stars despite being the man on the wrong side of the law. Sounds like the script of the 2017 release Raees, doesn’t it?
Well, Kashyap as always, did not fail to restore my faith in truthful and innovative storytelling, by painting a relatable picture of the darker side of human existence. He still doesn’t fail to intrigue you by making you enjoy the darker side of a character. THAT here is the author’s tone.
Raman Raghav 2.0 is not a biopic in the first place. It isn’t a story of the ill-famed killer but the story of a man who is inspired by the original psycho killer. It is the story of a man who proclaims to have loved killing people all is life and seems to have no remorse of about his misdeeds. On the contrary, he seems to be proud of the fact that he is sent by God to wipe off the mistakes that the Almighty himself did by creating certain people. Calling himself the descendent of the God of Death, the protagonist (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) goes on killing people he is told to kill by the supreme power.
Cine world has never been scarce on crime stories, but what makes RR 2.0 stand out is the out of the box writing. The police officer in charge of investigating the murders, committed by the antagonist, is himself a law breaching goon, deeply indulged in substance abuse. It shows a gritty picture about the sad state in which the current day police force is itself the most non-law abiding community. The most surprising element is the parallel that this film draws between the protagonist and the antagonist when both of them kill people due to different reasons. Kashyap and Bala make a big statement by reflecting about the human nature where a sleuth and a saint have similar intentions and dark desires. Unfortunately, power and position makes one get away, whereas the other suffers for his deeds.
This film speaks volumes about how every human being has a flip side. Most of the people tend to subdue their dark desires to kill or beat someone they despise, where as some rare creations, like the antagonist in the film, give away to their inner desires and head out on a journey of satisfying their inner self by killing for the sake of it, or for that matter committing any crime for the sake of it.
Vicky Kaushal, playing the role of the cop does a fantastic job by creating the image of a man as psychotic as the killer he is chasing when he is seen snorting cocaine, while being amidst a crime scene with three dead bodies piled up around him. What also makes this film worth watching is the surreal work by Nawazuddin Siddiqui, who locked himself in a room of a small village to prepare for this character. The performance comes out and gives you spine chills when you see a monstrous Siddiqui going on to kill his own sister for absolutely no reason. It is a film heavy on dark writing as well as its neon-ish colour palate, which is obviously the signature style of Kashyap. Shot on real life locations where the lowest strata of the society resides, using non-actors in the film, having completely realistic clothes as costumes and its highly psychedelic music makes you perceive the dark film in a very different way.
Speaking of the impact this film might have had on me, it makes think of how criminals are the ones tagged as wrong doers most of the times, only because they have no societal influence or monetary capacity to conceal their indulgent wrong doings. Raman Raghav 2.0 makes a bold statement on crime, criminology, human tendency and also the state of executives in the country. With great cinematography, decent editing, extremely powerful characterisation, decent background score and extremely powerful actors like Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Vicky Kaushal and Shobhita, the narrative floats the boat in the most interesting and convincing way possible.
Contributed by Dhyanesh
Picture Credits : medium.com