Right at the beginning of the movie, there is a disclaimer stating that the movie is not about the infamous serial killer of the same name, however, the inspiration of the movie is a serial killer. The textbook definition of a serial killer says that the murders occur in a series for instant psychological gratification of the killer, for reason whatsoever. Probably the best description comes from author Ann Rule about ‘Ted Bundy’, where she says that a serial killer is a sadistic sociopath who derives pleasure from another human’s pain and the control he has over his victims to the point of death and even after.
Raghavan aka Raghav is a cop with a nefarious affinity towards the white powder. It’s evident from the beginning when at a crime scene, he picks up a plate and snorts cocaine. He has a live-in girlfriend but is commitment-phobic. He has huge daddy issues and per the deleted scenes, his character is supposed to have gone through a rough childhood. All in all, a character too violent to be in the law and orders. He gets assigned to the case of serial killings occurring around the city. All through his investigations, he feels somebody is breathing down his neck, watching each step of his, like a CCTV.
Ramana aka Raman is a vile, filthy human being with near-zero concern about his victims. He arrives with a lingering sound of the rod, grinding on the ground as if making a point that your life might seem unending, but your death will be swift. He does not have a clear vision about his reasons to kill but has a philosophy supporting it. His philosophy ranges from walking on chequered pavements to the invention of planes due to Raavan abducting Sita. But as with many serial killers, he derives outright pleasure from it. He might be an incorrigible swine, having raped his sister in adolescence but he expresses his anguish when he gets to know that her family doesn’t know anything about him. After all, he’s family, isn’t it? During one of such expeditions of his, where he gets on merrily bumping off people, he meets the love of his life. The one, who complements him in each aspect of his life. You know the kind, soulmates are supposed to be. So he keeps watching the love of his life and dreaming about his own “Ménage Deux”. He likes to call himself, God’s own CCTV camera !!! Ladies and Gents, one of the finest storytellers of our time is back. He’s back with a bang or should I say, a whack on the forehead with a rod !!! ‘Raman Raghav 2.0’ is an absolute delight to watch and here comes the disclaimer – Strictly not for the faint-hearted.
Nobody shoots Mumbai like Anurag Kashyap does. He did the same in ‘Black Friday’ and he does it again with ‘Raman Raghav 2.0’. The way he captures the bylanes, the slums and the suburbs of Mumbai, is simply amazing. The chase sequence in the film is a throwback to the chase sequence in ‘Black Friday’. He builds his story scene by scene. Just like ‘Black Friday’, he presents the movie in an episodic narrative. And each of the episodes, though a part of the bigger tale, has its own story to tell. The fact that the movie is about how evil draws evil towards itself, is the biggest takeaway from the film.
The actors remain faithful to the script and literally blow your mind with their individual depictions. Nawazuddin Siddiqui is one of the most exciting actors of our generation and he proves it time and again. Vicky Kaushal, of ‘Masaan fame’, delivers the good. But in front of a terrific Nawaz, he pales in comparison. Even the actors with minimum screen time (A brilliant Vipin Sharma as Raghav’s father ), leave a powerful impact on the viewer. A mention should go to the newcomer Shobhita Dhulipala for her intense part as Raghav’s girlfriend. Music plays a defining role in shaping the story further. Ram Sampath does a wonderful job with Qatl-Ae-Aam and Behooda. Especially, right after a heinous killing of an innocent kid, Behooda amps up the macabre with its music and equally disturbing lyrics written by Varun Grover. Don’t watch it, if you don’t appreciate the likes of blood and gore. Or as Ramanna puts it –
“Bada boring aadmi hai yeh yaar, baatcheet ka ras hi maloom nahi isko !!!”
‘Raman Raghav 2.0’ is rated Adult for violent content, strong language and sexual violence. Runtime is of 127 minutes.
The Cinemawala Rating: 3/5