WATCH THE TRAILER HERE
First, the Recap:
The mind of a killer. When we hear the stories behind some of the most notorious serial murderers in history, it makes the skin crawl and the conscious reel, trying to even ascertain how a human being can act out with such singular, violent intent and feel no sense of remorse. It is a cold evil that yet finds a way, in some morbid fashion, to peak our curiosity while haunting our very souls. Such is the warped intellect within Ramanna (Nawazuddin Siddiqui), a man possessing a penchant for unleashing brutal instincts with an eerie and unfeeling precision that now torments the slums and streets of modern-day Mumbai. Considering himself patterned after real-life Indian killer Raman Raghav from the ’60’s, nothing is safe from Ramanna’s devilish proclivities.
In the midst of this disturbing mayhem is young, upstart cop Raghavan (Vicky Kaushal), who while certainly competent at his given profession, displays and enacts an entirely different persona in his private life, battling the demons of drugs, women, and unhealthy expectations he cannot seem to live up to. Drawn to Raghavan in some deluded way, Ramanna soon has the young officer ensnared in a deadly game of cat and mouse, even as murder after murder so often leads the two men to encounter each other directly, yet remain at large in their respective endeavors. But, as more time goes by, and Ramanna’s actions become more and more unhinged, his diabolical hold over a despairing cop tightens. Raghavan suddenly finds himself at a crossroads. Will he take down Ramanna–or become his own worst nightmare?
Next, my Mind:
With its seriously mind-jarring and savage intensity, director/co-writer Anurag Kashyap presents a fearless, unfaltering, unwavering, and decidedly unflinching look into the psyche of a serial killer with this 133-minute, tension-filled effort sure to keep audiences squirming in their seats. Filmed with intentionally gritty tones, searing visuals, and invoking a constant state of edge-of-your-seat anticipation, it is also the calm, collected sequences within the chaos, thanks to Ramanna’s twisted games, that resonate just as abrasively on the senses as the blatantly cruel ones do. The violence is visceral, the mood is harsh and spine-chilling, plus the mindset brought about through Ramanna’s smartly calculated, sinister actions will leave one shell-shocked without question. Yet, this is the aim and successfully delivered intent of Kashyap’s and co-writer Vasan Bala’s narrative.
For this reviewer anyway, Nawazuddin strongly proves why he is arguably one of the most incredible character actors Bollywood has to offer with his determined, focused, and frightening portrayal of Ramanna, whose often calm outward demeanor and unassuming stature hide a heartless, freakish, completely vicious, lethal, and revolting human being within. Additionally, his ability to manipulate others and seem so overtly blasé about it is scary in itself, and Nawazuddin totally embodies these attributes for the role, quite convincingly I might add. Likewise, Kaushal’s excellent turn as damaged and volatile cop Raghavan is very well presented, bringing the picture of a man pushed to the edge by factors both in and out of his control, only made worse in his pursuit of Ramanna and the killer’s nasty habit of being able to get into his head so deeply. Watching Kaushal take the character down the warped path he trods is a treat.
Supporting efforts from Sobhita Dhulipala, Amruta Subhash, Vipin Sharma, Anuschka Sawhney, and others add their own well-acted takes on integral characters as well. In summary, “Raman Raghav 2.0”, with its ruthless violence, superb acting, and uncompromising themes, most certainly stands as another example of the quality writing, superior production, unique takes on genre movies, and the overall entertainment value Bollywood offers, even when the subject is as foreboding and menacing as this one.
As always, this is all for your consideration and comment. Until next time, thank you for reading!