STORY: Raman (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) reveres Raman Raghav, a pyschopath killer who terrorised the Mumbai in the 1960s. He is looking for Raghav; his other half. Raman finds his ‘soulmate’ in ACP Raghav, the cop investigating the murders committed by him.
REVIEW: Director Anurag Kashyap treads familiar ground with Raman Raghav 2.0. It is overwhelmingly dark with deep macabre undertones. Kashyap gets the moral pendulum oscillating between his prime characters – one a cold-blooded murderer and another who has all the makings of becoming one. He subtly draws parallels between the personalities of his men who stand on opposite sides of the spectrum. Raman beautifully puts it in one of the film’s early scenes that after all, he and Raghav are the same people but the police uniform validates or criminalises their actions.
Anurag sets his story 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 is overwhelming. There is a scene in which Raman tightens the screw of his weapon as he cooks chicken curry and tells his sister’s husband how he would rape her. The film has its quirks laced with the unmissable dark humour but the writing lacks depth. The characters are uni-dimensional and back stories are weak.
Raghav, a coke snorting, careless cop is repeatedly blamed by his girlfriend for the three abortions she undergoes. He has his cruel daddy issues to blame for his own warped behaviour. Nawaz wears his nonchalance in style but he fails to deliver. Don’t be surprised if you see glimpses of his character from Kick laughing hysterically at us. Vicky Kaushal is good but suffers from a poorly sketched character. The biggest problem with Raman Raghav 2.0 is that it glorifies the gore. The climax monologue will run your patience thin. Can you buy the logic that killing for insanity is better than killing in the name of religion? It is crude, callous but in trying to whip up suspense, it loses sight of vulnerability.