Vicky Kaushal, Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s Raman Raghav 2.0 is a masterpiece. On Throwback Thursday

Released on June 24, 2016, Anurag Kashyap’s Raman Raghav 2.0 completed five years of release today. The film stars Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Vicky Kaushal in lead roles.

After debuting as a naive and innocent boy in Masaan in 2015, Vicky Kaushal was seen in the role of a psychopathic druggie cop Raghavan in the 2016 film Raman Raghav 2.0. But it was not just Vicky who impressed the audience with his impeccable acting talent. Nawazuddin Siddiqui was equally brilliant as Ramanna, a psychotic killer. These two together completed Raman and Raghav and thus Anurag Kashyap was able to make Raman Raghav 2.0 a reality. Based on the infamous serial killer Psycho Raman from the 1960s Mumbai, the film traces the life of a fictional psychotic killer Ramanna (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) who is inspired by Raghavan.

Released on June 24, 2016, Raman Raghav 2.0 turns five today. On Throwback Thursday this week, we dissect the film and find out what makes it a masterpiece.

People who have not seen Raman Raghav 2.0 might mistake it for a film inspired by the murders of the serial killer Raman. But it’s not what you think. “This film is NOT about him,” it clearly said in the disclaimer right at the beginning. The film is about Ramanna and Raghavan, who are both psychos in their own ways. While Ramanna is aware of his eccentricities and calls himself Sindhi Dalwai, another name of the popular serial killer of 60s, Raghavan doesn’t know how big a devil he is. But Ramanna finds a partner in Raghavan. Just at the right time, Ramanna says of Raghavan, “Apni mukti aurat mein dhoondh raha hai (He is looking for his redemption in a woman),” implying quite kinkily that it is he who is his salvation.

Anurag Kashyap used his mastery as a marvellous storyteller and presented this dark film in the most palatable way. While Raman Raghav 2.0 is no Bollywood-style revenge drama, and is just pure sadism, not for a single moment do you see actual violence happening on screen. One doesn’t see anyone killing. It is all in your head and that’s what scares you the most – your own capacity to imagine evil. Anurag and Vasan Bala make no attempts to justify the behaviours of the lead characters, which makes it even more beautiful as a film. There were several moments where the director could easily resort to certain devices popular in the genre: the ominous sound of a metal pipe being dragged over a hard surface, for instance. Yet, none of them is used in a cliched, predictable fashion. Anurag is inspired by one of his favourite filmmakers, Quentin Tarantino, and uses his style to present the film in eight chapters – Locked Man, The Sister, The Policeman, The Hunter, The Hunted, The Son, The Fallen and Soulmates.

The characters are built into tall shadows that frighten the audience severely. How gory can the characters be, you ask? “Maara iss liye kyuki maarna tha. Ek dum naturally” – this one sentence defines Raman Raghav 2.0’s Ramanna, and gives a peek into the mind of a serial killer. Through Ramanna, you also get one of the best observations of our society. He says, “Sabko kisi na kisi ko maarna hota hai. Koi dange ki aad mein apni bhadas nikalta hai toh koi wardi ki aad mein toh koi Syria jaa ke. Main logo ko maarta hoon kyunki mujhe maarna hai. Mujhe isi mein mazaa aata hai.” And it leaves you to introspect and see which devil you carry in yourself.

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