Film Review: Nawazuddin Makes ‘Raman Raghav 2.0’ Worth Your Time

Kashyap’s latest is a detailed exploration of evil and the inner workings of a twisted mind, with excellent casting.

2 min read

Raman Raghav 2.0</i> is a grisly account of a psychopath’s search for a “soulmate”. (Photo: Official Poster of <i>Raman Raghav 2.0</i>)

When critics and audiences alike panned Bombay Velvet, little did we realise it would make Anurag Kashyap so wild and furious. All that pent-up anger has been channeled into Raman Raghav 2.0!

His latest venture is a full-throttle exploration of evil and the inner workings of a twisted mind. Kashyap gets points for his determined eagerness not to please.

But pleased we are. Mr Kashyap ditched social niceties and didn’t go around giving meaty roles to fellow directors to butcher! (Remember KJo as Khambata?)

The casting is top notch. Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Vicky Kaushal, Shobhita Dhulipala and even those in small but significant roles like Vipin Sharma, Amruta Subhash and Ashoke Lokhande make a lasting impression.

As Nawaz walks down a pavement nonchalantly carrying an iron rod, the sound of the rod scraping the ground will definitely send a chill down your spine.

The film opens will a brief history of Raman Raghav – Bombay’s very own Jack the Ripper of the 60s. It also informs us that this film is NOT about him.

Still from <i>Raman Raghav 2.0.</i>
Still from Raman Raghav 2.0.
Budget constraints didn’t allow the makers to make a period film about the killer, but Ramanna – the film’s central character – definitely shares the same inhuman sentiments that shackled Raman Raghav’s soul to darkness.

140 minutes long, it is a grisly account of a psychopath’s search for a “soulmate”.

In a typical Kashyap universe, this translates into bone-chilling sequences full of blood and fright, a foreboding tone and an almost sinister background score by Ram Sampath.

However, post interval, cracks begin to appear in the narrative. The pace falters and the writing seems less nuanced, but the tone remains unflinching and that is all thanks to Nawazuddin Siddiqui.

Ramanna is the kind of role that defines an actor and Nawazuddin gives a stellar performance. Squatting on his haunches as he recounts how he preys on his victims, or when he gloats about his exploits to random strangers, Nawazuddin almost seems to melt into his role.

After Masaan, Vicky Kaushal once again proves he is one of those rare actors who knows how to work the silent moments brilliantly.

Raman Raghav 2.0 is not for everyone but if you are a fan of Anurag Kashyap’s brazen style of story-telling, you might forgive the predictable second half and still come out happy! It falters, but Nawazuddin Siddiqui makes it worth your time.

I give it 3.5 QUINTS OUT OF 5.

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