Badla

Director- Sujoy Ghosh

Writer-Sujoy Ghosh, Raj Vasant

Cast- Amitabh Bachhan, Taapsee Pannu, Tony Luke, Amrita Singh

Is a crime suspense thriller by Sujoy Ghosh who has given us the likes of Kahani and has helmed Teen.

True to the expectations, he has given us a superlative film that is a perfect mind boggler.

The plot revolves around a renowned businesswoman Neeti Sethi( Tapasee) who has allegedly murdered Arjun Joseph( Tony Luke). She hires a top notch criminal lawyer Badal Gupta( Amitabh) through her lawyer friend Jimmy ( Manav Kaul) to defend her case.

Whodunnits we have seen aplenty in bollywood but what sets this thriller apart is the format.The entire film is in the form of some very engaging conversation between Neeti and Gupta. To be able to defend her, he needs to get the facts to the minutest detail. His grilling interrogation is absolutely riveting.

The narrative is in the form of flashbacks interspersed in their dialogues. What’s awesome is that its very layered where in we keep getting facts in bits and pieces like a puzzle.

The Sherlock Holmes in most of you would keep working out the probable outcome and you might even vaguely guess at some point but there’s always a doubt gnawing your mind as to something missing somewhere.

The barrage of versions or probable versions that we keep getting keeps us in twist.

What’s most exciting is that the so-non-linear narrative would force your mind to keep trying to place the events in a linear way to get the facts straight. And when you finally think that you have solved it, the story would manage to be one up on you in a superb climax.

The script (Sujoy Ghosh) deserves an aplomb to be able to engage the audience in just conversations in almost half the film. Some might find that slow but for me those mind games like dialogues (by Raj Vasant) were a treat with great performances thrown in by Amitabh and Tapasee.

Manav Kaul and Amrita Singh gave befitting support. Arjun Luke was impressive, more so with his accented hindi.

Cinematography was by Aveek Mukhopadhyay who gave us the superbly shot October and also has Pink to his credit. He captured Ireland’s frames in his own way that gave just the right atmospherics of grey and mystery. Even during conversation in interiors, his camera focuses superbly on faces and other minute aspects to set the right tone and mood.

The film is an acknowledged adaptation of a spanish thriller “Invisible Guest “. Those of you who are not aware of it or seen it are at a supreme advantage. It’s the utter suspense and the twists that are the best things about the movie.

If you love suspense thrillers, If layered and non-linear narratives are your thing, this superb film should be a must and an immediate watch before the buffoonery of social media starts circulating spoilers.

Score 8 on 10.

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