You are known for your achievements, not your failures.
Such a metaphor isn’t true for veteran film maker Anurag Kashyap. Best known for his failures, Anurag never gave up the spirit of cinema within him. Many of his movies not only failed at the box office but also failed to release all together.
Black Friday was ready in 2004, but didn’t release until 2007(when almost everyone saw it on pirated copies) Paanch was banned by the honorable censor board, no one(including me) understood No Smoking. Gulaal came and went before we could blink and the way Bombay Velvet flunked at the Box Office was long time coming and destined to happened. Only by the grace of Gangs of Wasseypur and Dev D, Anurag has managed to survive in the industry despite the hindrance.
After the appalling failure of his dream project Bombay Velvet, it must have been difficult for the director to recover. He also conveyed his dismay and stated he might leave the country and practice his profession in France where the audience is more open minded and acceptable to many styles. But anyway his threat was never a bona fide one and as he said “ I’ll be back”, he is.
A brief look at the Story
Coming to Raman Raghav 2.0, I wasn’t sure if Raman Raghav will be the redemption of Anurag; turns out I was right as Raman Raghav 2.0 managed to earn only 5-6 crores in its one and half week span. Raman Raghav 2.0 as we know it, is a story ‘based on’ the infamous serial killer who became popular in the 60’s for killing almost 41 people. It is not an adaptation of his story but a derivation of his character. The story fixate upon two key characters Ramanna(Raman) and Raghavan(Raghav) and their quest for finding each other. As it is evident in most of his movies, almost every male characters of Anurag’s movie are Anti heroes.
No one is a protagonist, every character has dark shade more or less and qualifies to be antagonists. Most of them are murderers, women abusers or substance abusers. Same is the case for Ramanna and Raghavan, both are murderers, women abusers and substance abusers. The only difference among them is their position, Ramanna is a stray killer with no power or control whereas Raghavan is the same but with power and control.
Another difference b/w these 2 characters is their motive for killing. Raman is an aimless killer who kills for sport, who claims to have every murder on his conscience and that he never killed anyone accidentally but intentionally. Whereas Raghav is just a pissed of cop who kills out of anger or fear. The movie revolves around the idea of how Raman and Raghav are soulmates despite their differences. Strange as it may sound Raman Raghav is technically a love story, whose breadcrumbs or Easter Eggs may have been laid by Anurag way back in a TVF video.
The Inspiration behind Raman Raghav 2.0
The style of the film is a constitution of styles of famous directors like Quentin Tarantino, David Fincher and Christopher Nolan. The dark, gritty and merciless tone of the movie reminds you of David Fincher’s crime thrillers, even the opening sequence looks inspired from Fight Club and Girl with a Dragon Tattoo.
The movie is carved into various chapters, hinting you of any Tarantino movie. The story somehow will remind you of a Christopher Nolan movie – Insomnia. Insomnia also revolves around two murderers becoming acquainted and building a strange relationship. Apart from the climax the foundation of the story is almost same as Insomnia.
Reflections of Thoughts
The movie puts some thoughts into your minds of how desperate we are to kill someone, but never had the guts to; How killing comes naturally. Most of the brilliant dialogues to ever come out of an Anurag Kashyap’s movie belongs to Raman Raghav 2.0. The climax of the movie doesn’t qualifies to be a climax however it is satisfying. It states how people in recent time wanted to expend their blood lust and killed in the name of religion or riots, how people travel across the world to join rebel groups so that they could murder without any consequence. Also an unexpected great deal of finding a soulmate has been expressed and also how women changed the world.
Though movie’s run time is 133 minutes, it seems terribly long in pace. It has insane long takes that goes on to validate the extent of acting dedication of every actor in the movie. The movie bestowed in 8 chapters may seem a strange move in realms of editing but it was required in order to let the audience know the cards each character might end up playing.
It is very brave move by Kashyap in order to address murder as a concept of nature. It is almost as brave as a concept of movies based on sex. Question that arises is, what do we take from this movie? To which I think is nothing, but we do get to fit in the shoes of killers for a time. So that we can despise their lives and prevent it from infesting our’s too. I think that’s the whole point of Anurag’s characters, he puts all these believable, dark characters so that the audience can relate with them and find similarities, so that they can put their personality and mind set in check.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui (Raman) has brought another layer of his acting skills on the fore front. It is really difficult to guess or judge what his character might end up doing. Vicky Kaushal( Raghav), brought the same old, cliched, antagonist character( with great grace and justice) that Anurag has been recycling ever since Dev D.
Raman Raghav 2.0 isn’t a bad movie but it is also not a brilliant movie. The only thing that matters on the prospect of likability is the perspective and the connection you have with the movie. Some had a great connection with it and some didn’t and that’s what led to the downfall of this movie. The movie could have ended on a really predictive and cliched climax, but instead it had a simple and yet shocking one.