Director Sujoy Ghosh, connoisseur of the thriller genre, strikes again with a psychological murder mystery that’s bound to leave you with nerve-racking nightmares and firing neurons!
Rating – 4 / 5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Thrillers are the new trendsetters, right? A genre that holds a great deal of potential that definitely deserves to be extracted, is finally beginning to gain a lot of attention by an Indian audience after unexpected blockbusters such as AndhaDhun and Stree in 2018. Expert director Sujoy Ghosh, who’s already well-established in this niche (with films such as Kahaani and Teen), takes it a step further and paints a unique, well thought out puzzle that’s impossible to figure out even in your wildest dreams. And what better combo to send a chill down your spine than the deadly Pink duo, Amitabh Bachan and Taapsee Pannu?
Primarily set in the cozy apartment of the allegedly accused businesswoman Naina Sethi (Taapsee Pannu), Badla is based on the interaction between almost-retired top advocate Badal Gupta (Amitabh Bachhan) and Naina, as she narrates a twisted tale of events that led to her being framed for the murder of her boyfriend, Arjun (Tony Luke). As the film progresses, Badal patiently and persuasively proceeds towards the truth, by tying up all loose ends and letting perspectives fall into place. Is Naina guilty? Or simply a victim of an intelligently planned revenge trap? I guess you’re gonna have to keep guessing right till the end!
“Badla lena har baar sahi nahi hota, lekin maaf kar dena bhi har baar sahi nahi hota…”
Apart from having a majorly compelling story, Badla remains a winner for more reasons than one – the film peaks in the first 15 minutes or so, after a smooth and transient climb, and maintains the high till the very end. Not a single minute is superfluous or wasted; every dialogue, every action contributes in some way or the other to plot development or character complexity and sets up a flawless stage to captivate and prepare the audience for a killer climax. Everything comes back together and makes total sense and no matter how hard you try, it’s impossible to trace back to any loopholes or loose ends.
And do I even need to talk about performances when we have two such supremely talented artists sharing the same space? Taapsee Pannu, once again, pulls off the role of a frustrated yet determined victim with utter perfection! The way she simply moulded into Naina Sethi’s character and delivered such a convincing and emphatic performance is truly commendable. And of course, then we have Big B, who played the complex and challenging character of Badal Gupta with so much ease and certitude – the expressions and style with which he interrogated Naina formed the crux of the film and left the audience intrigued and impatient. But the real surprise package was Amrita Singh, who essentially gives the film its unpredictability with her role as a helpless, troubled mother, which she carries off in a cogently effortless manner.
Altogether, a film that leaves you stuck to your chairs (even after the end credits), with dropped jaws and trembling limbs, just can’t be missed! That being said, good luck getting sleep at night guys!
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