With Sriram Raghavan And Varun Dhawan
Making a film is not a meek man’s task. We have discussed this before but treading a noir genre and coming out unscathed is one forte that is developed over the years. It’s easy to understand Hitchcock and Tarantino but difficult to mould their thoughts into a film which is likely to be a cult. One auteur from Hindi cinema who has proved his prowess in this field is Sriram Raghavan. He gave an edge to the noir cinema with his ace touch. Thinking of his Ek Hasina Thi still gives you creeps. How can it not? The film was emotional, sympathetic, empathetic, relentless and brutal all at the same time.
His next films although failed to appease the audience yet he retained his rank with his recently released Badlapur. The film not just garnered accolades for the filmmaker but also for the diversified macho-man avatar of Varun Dhawan. Sriram who had hit an all time low after Agent Vinod rose to power with Badlapur. So how did it happen for Sriram? “Like the first stop should be for any filmmaker, I started sourcing for a script. I was reading a lot about crimes across the world, and I came upon this incident that happened in Europe. I, of course, made it a lot more Indian and adapted it to the Indian audience, but the crux of it, is that incident…” Who would have thought that a crime committed in one corner of the world could be a source of inspiration for Raghavan!
This penultimate master of crime-thrillers weaved in the tale and was all set for the cast. As is usual with him, he cast a chocolate hero in this film as well. Saif Ali Khan, who had never attempted to change his glamorous image, was Raghavan’s debut trial. And then came, Varun Dhawan. Dhawan was as much prepped up for this role. His enthusiasm just dribbled. “I’ve always loved the thriller genre. It’s a genre that I loved watching, and always wanted to do a film in. There are not many thrillers that have impressed the audience, and I thought that Badlapur will surely be one.” Varun can’t stop chirping about the film, “the film has given me a good platform. In fact, if I wanted to do a serious role, I would have done it earlier. But my role in Badlapur is a little different from my previous roles.”
On his choice of the chocolate actors, Raghavan says, “It is not like I am casting them with an agenda, I am casting them as actors. I approach them as actors and believe me; most of them want to do different kinds of cinema. When I approached Varun for the film, I met an actor who was open to doing something radically different from what he has done thus far- that in itself tells you that you are on right track.”
In Dhawan’s view revenge is a universal emotion but Badlapur isn’t a run-of-the-mill revenge drama. To that we agree but the film passes the women characters as just another glitch. The characters of Divya Dutta, Radhika Apte, Huma Qureshi and Yami Gautam are glamorized and moulded to add the oomph factor to the film. They play a mere insignificant speck in the film. Responding to that Raghavan says, “These are all brilliant actors who have really enhanced the film. It is extremely important that we don’t judge what an actor does by the length of their roles; instead see the way they have morphed the character they are portraying.”
This role was a tough nut to crack, Varun although didn’t have much to be prepped up about yet observation of the different facets of life was an integral and a pivotal part of the character that he portrayed. “My preparation was not specific, but there was a lot of observation to be done. I had to look and act like I’m 40. More than anything else, this role challenged me not only physically, but also mentally and emotionally. I had to change my body language to play a 40-year-old man. I had to trim my hair and grow a beard for two-and-a-half months to get the desired look.” He had to de-glam his role yet he doesn’t regret doing it, “I’m taking a lot from Badlapur in terms of knowledge and experience. No award, no amount of money can give me what Badlapur has given me,” he signs off.
Did you like watching this revenge drama? Write to us your reviews of the film in the comments below.