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Raman Raghav 2.0 review: A brute tale of two deeply disturbed individuals
For those of you who were expecting Raman Raghav 2.0 to be a biopic of the 1960s serial killer Raman Raghav, who had left behind a trail of about 41 murders before being finally arrested, are in for a surprise. As if at all, the film is only metaphorically linked to the real life serial killer Raman Raghav.

Cast: Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Vicky Kaushal, Sobhita Dhulipala, Amruta Subhash
Director: Anurag Kashyap

Genre: Crime / Drama / Thriller.

IMDb rating: 7.7/10

Run time: 2 hours 21 minutes

The movie is the story of two brute serial killers, one a poor man named Ramanna (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) and the other a policeman named Raghav (Kaushal). Raman Raghav 2.0 is set in the backdrop of present day Mumbai, hence the "2.0" in the title. 

There is a world of difference visible between the two protagonists in the beginning of the film. While Raghav, the cop has a charm and sophistication around him, enabling him to target his victims in higher circles of the society, Ramanna is a scar-faced, crude street dweller who is seen moving around streets at night, dragging a car-jack along.

But as the film progresses, one realizes that both Ramanna and Raghav are no different from each other. The film is a portrayal of two serial killers who indulge in mindless killings, purely for pleasure, rather than for a political, monetary or sexual motive. You are compelled to think that aren't the two reflections of each other?

Raman Raghav 2.0 is dark, gloomy and spine-chilling. The mere sound of Ramanna dragging the car-jack and making that screechy noise is enough to bring you to the edge of your seat and wonder, who's he going to kill now?

Both Ramanna and Ragahv are creatures who are products of a patriarchal society, and in a way also its victims. One is compelled to hate them, and yet feel sorry for them at the same time.

The film is about murders, but thanks to some excellent camera work, the murder scenes have been shown in a much diluted manner and you actually don't see the crime happening. There is only one shot in the entire film in which the victim's face has been shown post the crime.

Nawazuddin's rendition of Ramanna is a picture perfect psychopath, with glowing eyes of a night-crawling cat. He is sometimes seen wearing his sister's earrings and singing "aadmi musafir hai". He plays a totally cold hearted pervert, who scouts for his victims, not even sparing children. 

Nawazuddin's performance left me speechless, as the actor packs a punch in his lean frame. It is another one of his characters that shall be remembered for a long time to come. What's even more impressive with Nawazuddin's performance is his comic timing. The film is a prime example of how effectively black humour can be used in a film.

One would expect a method actor like Nawazuddin to walk away with the film by overshadowing every other character. But, here's the catch in Raman Raghav 2.0, as the new kid on the block Vicky Kaushal stands tall, despite Nawazuddin's giant screen presence. His portrayal of Raghav, a trigger-happy drug addict cop is impressive and leaves an everlasting impression. Anurag Kashyap's unflinching direction is also worth a mention, which tightly holds together the entire plot.

The movie is gripping and everything including Ram Sampath's background score and the gloomy scenes shot in twilight perfectly fit into place. Raman Raghav 2.0 is entertaining and engaging from the word go. The movie is also a stark reminder of the times we are living in. Anurag Kashyap has finally got it right this time, it seems.

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