Raman Raghav 2.0 (2016) Movie Review
Even though this psychological thriller begins with a disclaimer that it’s not based on the life of the infamous serial killer Raman Raghav who terrorized the city of Bombay in the 60s, the director borrows heavily from the life and times of the doomed psychopath. [ Read: Kriti (Short Film 2016) Review ]
Ramanna alias Raman [ Nawazuddin Siddiqui ] is a Serial killer on the loose and targets anybody at random to satisfy his thirst for cold blooded brutal murders. Almost parallel to this track there is an young investigating officer Raghvendra Singh [ Kaushal ] who has his own personal issues to face whilst on the move to track down the serial killer. As the cat and mouse game progresses the death count also increases. [ Read: Udta Punjab Movie Review ]
Kashyap who impressed with Ugly  and disappointed with Bombay Velvet  has got it all wrong this time too. It’s an impressive way of presenting the movie in 8 episodes almost like visualizing an episodic novel, but overall the movie appears like a documentary screening rather than a feature film. The usage of loud club music during serious sequences is a big turn off. Kashyap could have easily made a 90 minute gripping thriller rather than extending the length to an unimpressive torturous 140+ minutes run-time.
On the acting front it’s an Nawazuddin Siddiqui show all the way. As expected he gets into the skin of the psychopath killer and performs with aplomb but then we have already seen his dark side in Badlapur and this is only an enhancement of a similar characterization. His act is so menacing and realistic that as a viewer you have no time to sympathize with his victims on screen. On the other hand Vicky Kaushal disappoints, comparatively Varun had performed better in Badlapur opposite Siddiqui. Kaushal has a straight emotionless face and a shrill voice that doesn’t go well with the dynamic role he’s playing. Worse, as a police officer he’s into drug addiction and abuses his partner physically and has a dramatic confrontation with his father in a scene, hence it’s difficult to comprehend his character which is layered with too many complications. [ Read: TE3N (2016) Movie Review]
Out of the 8 episodes of Raman Raghav the two are directed very well; one involving the killer’s sister and the other between the police officer and his father. The cold blooded brutality of Nawaz’s character in Raman Raghav is well explained when he confesses to the officer that murdering is just like eating or carrying out any daily chores. Some scenes are impressive and prove Kashyap’s excellence. After brutally murdering his sister and her husband the killer follows up with a casual chat with his 6 year old nephew and eventually murders him too. The scene not only reveals the inhuman murderous Instinct of the character but also highlights the bravura acting prowess of Siddiqui. Another scene involves a brilliant dialogue scripted between the police officer and his girlfriend after the latter’s maid is murdered by Siddiqui.
The supporting cast of Raman Raghav has restricted screen presence and actors like Ashok Lokhande, Rajesh Jais, Anushka Sahni, Deepali Badekar and Vipin Sharma do not get much scope. Tall and elegant Sobhita Dhulipala makes her presence felt as the Officer’s girlfriend and exudes the required sensitivity and sensuality required for her role. After Siddiqui the most brave and praiseworthy performance is delivered by Amruta Subhash who appears in only one episode but performs with generous credibility, she’s perfect in portraying the dilemma faced by her character in some of the most disturbing and difficult scenes involving her. [ Read : Phobia (2016): Movie Review ]
There is no doubt Kashyap’s basic idea was fantastic and his presentation in episodic format also deserves appreciation but he’s missed the point by conceptualizing a very weak and unimpressive character of the Police Officer and a lengthy run-time which is a major letdown for a racy psychological thriller. Bollywood has witnessed Serial Killers rarely and they’ve never been taken seriously like Rajesh Khanna in Red Rose  or Ritesh Deshmukh in Ek Villain  but to give due credit to Kashyap and his penchant for being offbeat the Serial Killer in this movie doesn’t target only the fairer sex instead he’s one of the most cold blooded and unpredictable Psychopath who doesn’t discriminate when it comes to his serial killings and targets victims irrespective of their gender / age / sexual orientation / caste/ social status.
Watch Raman Raghav 2.0 Official Trailer here: