Anurag Kashyap loves to focus on characters who lack a moral compass. The two main characters in Raman Raghav 2.0 too, lack a moral centre. One is a serial killer because he loves killing, the other kills ostensibly for keeping law and order and also to feed his drug habit. One is the scum of earth, somehow surviving; the other is respectable in a police uniform. But beneath the veneer of education, and especially under the influence of drugs, is a man no different than the serial killer. Whatever little conscience he has, he drowns in drugs. Essentially, the policeman and the serial killer are two sides of the same coin.
Raman Raghav 2.0 may be inspired by the serial killer of the sixties, but the film is not about him. It is a film about the cat and mouse game between the hunter and the hunted, of the devil that can possess a man’s mind or the depths to which humans can fall in order to survive.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui as the serial killer Ramanna is, as always, spot on. He proves you don’t need garish makeup and screaming dialogues to instill fear. Even a smile, if delivered the right way, can hit home hard. Vicky Kaushal as the coke snorting police officer Raghavan is decent. This role gives him the opportunity to get out of the good boy image of Masaan.
Anurag Kashyap tells the story in a way where you keep wondering what’s going to happen next. This is no mean feat, considering you can tell how most films will end after a few minutes. The film is not a thriller in the traditional sense either. Right in the beginning, the viewers get to see how depraved Ramanna is when he murders his sister and her family for no apparent reason. However, at over two hours, the film feels too long. Also, we have seen similar films from Anurag. Even the recent Ugly would fall in the same genre. The story also seems a bit far-fetched. For Ramanna’s plans to work, there could be no deviation from his planning. And the explanation that Ramanna gives for following Raghvan seems unrealistic. The film is a fantasy in the garb of realism.
This film is way darker than Anurag’s previous films. I am afraid it could be depressing for some. Mr. Kashyap, we have seen your grip over disturbing human psyche, how about something on life’s sunny side?
Rating : 3/5
Starring: Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Vicky Kaushal, Vipin Sharma, Amruta Subhash, Sobhita Dhulipala, Ashok Lokhande
Director: Anurag Kashyap