Director: Sujoy Ghosh
Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Taapsee Pannu, Amrita Singh, Tony Luke
Badla is an engrossing mystery thriller that revolves around the murder of Arjun Joseph, a photographer. The film is cleverly written with lots of twists and turns. Adapted from the 2017 Spanish film, ‘The Invisible Guest’, Badla is written and directed by Sujoy Ghosh.
The film is primarily a 3-hour conversation between a lawyer and his client. The story introduces us to Naina Sethi, a successful businesswoman and entrepreneur. She is accused of murdering Arjun Joseph, her lover. Badal Gupta, the lawyer, interrogates Naina to find evidence that can help him defend her.
The suspense around the identity of the murderer stays intact until the climax. The film is engaging and immersive. The screenplay never fails to surprise me as newer details are slowly revealed. Many questions arise and as the film pans out, each of them is answered. Being fairly new in the arena of thriller films, I was constantly amazed and the climax did flabbergast me.
The whole concept of the movie which is thankfully untouched and taken from the original film is intriguing. The makers stay faithful to the original writer’s vision. Sujoy who has also written the screenplay presents a world that is real and convincing.
Cinematographer Avik Mukhopadhyay shows us the gorgeous and sinful world of the United Kingdom. The city is not just a random location but a prop for the story. The close-up shots are well done and the film as a whole is aptly shot.
The extramarital affair of Naina Sethi and Arjun Joseph is not convincing and seems imposed. The length of the film is perfect. The makers don’t waste time beating behind the bush and come to the point swiftly.
Taapsee Pannu has established herself as a solid actress and her performances have been appreciable. But Badla comes across as a disappointment. Amitabh Bachchan is the quintessential successful lawyer. His performance is satisfactory. Amrita Singh as Rani Kaul is stunning and convincing. She delivers an impeccable performance. Newcomer Tony Luke needs to work on his craft. Manas Kaul’s guest appearance is plausible.
The movie is definitely a step in the right direction but lacks in execution and scripting.
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