Sujoy Ghosh directorial 'Badla' this week will keep you hooked to the screen. Stellar performances by Amitabh Bachchan, Taapsee Pannu and Amrita Singh will keep you gripped to your seats. A 'chakravyuh' unravels, and Sujoy has definitely packaged it well.
The movie begins with lawyer Badal Gupta, played by Amitabh Bachchan, visiting Naina Sethi, played by Taapsee Pannu to help her win the case in the court. Why? Because Naina has been accused of murdering a young man, Arjun Josephy, played by Tony Luke.
What begins as a prepping-up session turns into a complete interesting and intriguing ride as Badal and Naina shows us two sides of the same story.
A young married businesswoman Naina Sethi finds herself trapped in a hotel room, injured, with her boyfriend Arjun's dead body. She's the prime suspect as there are no signs of anyone entering the room except the two. She hires a well-known lawyer, Badal Gupta, to help her solve the mystery.
The movie runs between flashback and the reality. Badal Gupta gives Naina Sethi three hours to open up and tell him the entire truth so that he can save her from going to jail. Why? Because he hasn't lost a single case in his 40 years of career and he doesn't want to lose his last one before retirement.
'Badla' is an adaptation of a Spanish film, 'The Invisible Guest (Contratiempo, 2016), written and directed by Oirol Paulo. While the original revolved around a businessman Adrian Doria, who is out on bail after being accused for the murder of his lover, Laura Vidal, 'Badal' revolves around Taapsee Pannu in the same situation.
With references from Mahabharata, this film is engrossing, spectacular and thrilling.
'Badla' starring Amitabh Bachchan, Taapsee Pannu and Amrita Singh, is an intense crime-mystery thriller, fast-paced with fine performances and gripping twists.
Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Taapsee Pannu, Amrita Singh, Tony Luke, Manav Kaul, Denzil Smith, Tanveer Ghani and Antonio Aakeel.
What works: To begin with, the picturesque locations of Scotland are captured beautifully. Coming to the performances, Amitabh Bachchan's aura, his baritone, the way he kept his 'details' on point is just smooth. Taapsee Pannu is a natural actress, an effortless performance by the lady. Her character evokes empathy and intensity. Every single frame between Naina Sethi and Badal Gupta is worth a clap. But the one person that was outstanding was Amrita Singh. Her performance was at par with the other two. A touch of humour in the dialogues kept the balance and suited the situation.
The editing by Monisha Baldawa is on point and doesn't waste audience's time with anything extra. It's definitely sharp. The cinematography is breathtaking, kudos to Avik Mukhopadhyay.
And to top it all, the background score goes really well with the genre of the film.
What does not work: The climax could have been executed better. For some reason, Tanveer Ghani's act was disappointing and felt 'rehearsed'. The chemistry between his character and Amrita felt off.