“Raman Raghav 2.0? is Director’s Anurag Kashyap’s take on the psychotic serial killer Raman Raghav, who terrorized Mumbai during the late 1960s. He had apparently bludgeoned 41 people to death using a bent iron rod.
The movie however is not a biopic but a twisted fiction that encapsulates the life of the two leading movie characters; the scar-faced serial killer Ramanna (NawazuddinSidiqqui) who also called himself Sindhi Dalwai, and the addicted to drugs Police Inspector, Raghavendra Singh Ubbi or Raghav (Vicky Kaushal) who was initially investigating the killings.
The killer obsessions, belief that he is commanded by Yamdut himself to kill, cold hearted murders, and stone eyes come alive on the screen with spectacular performance done by Nawazuddin Sidiqqui.
Movie does not follow the path where it provides a certain cause for which a boy turned into a psychopath killer. It broadly deals with the morality of killing, which is seen from two aspects; that of an unhinged killer and the other from the view of a lawkeeper. The movie shows the demented, broken side and mindless killings. His wild affection for the policeman chasing him, so much that he agrees to the take the blame of the murder done by Raghav.
Narrated in a linear fashion and set in 2013, the story is set in a dystopian corner of the city’s slums. That’s where Raman finds most of his victims – a hapless housemaid, an uncle who abused him as a kid, his own sister. The references to the original serial killer’s life are overwhelming. The narration begins in a nightclub with pounding music and free flowing drugs. The police man, high on drugs, leaves the nightclub with a woman he picked up that night.
Much is not known of the childhood of the serial Killer Raman except the fact that he had an insecure and poor upbringing. His only relative was a sister with whom his relationship is shown for a brief in the movie giving a glimpse of their hardships during childhood. Raghav on the other hand is a drug addicted Police Officer who is hanging with a loose thread on the good side. He is mean, disrespectful to woman in his life and presses trigger without a second thought. He is similar to Raman, brought up in a house controlled by a reckless father.
The story, written by Anurag Kashyap and Vasan Bala, is typically Anurag’s overture. Their plot is packed with grisly crime, dark characters in forbidding territory and dialogues that humorously engage the audiences. The movie towards the climax blurs the line between the good and the bad, leaves one thinking which one of them is on which side.
It is Nawazuddin Siddiqui as Ramanna and Vicky Kaushal as Raghavendra who bring life to the writing. Nawazudin Siddiqui is by far the finest actor present in the industry. The mere strength of the character when he kills and feebleness in weak moments sends a shiver down the spine, Nawazzudin keeps one on nerves even though there is no suspense in the story.
The movie is also efficiently supported by the performances of Sobhita Dhulipala as Smrulika Naidu, Anuschka Sawhney, Amruta Subhash, and Ashok Lokhande as they all manage to evoke sympathy with their effective portrayal. The movie is also astutely mounted with fine production qualities that make the entire setting appear ordinary and regular. Overall, this cleverly crafted and compelling film is a must watch for thrill lovers.