Reliance Entertainment and Phantom’s Raman Raghav 2.0 (A) is inspired by the story of eccentric serial killer Raman Raghav who wreaked havoc in Bombay in the 1960s.
Ramanna alias Raman (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) is an eccentric serial killer who hacks his victims to death with an iron rod. The instigation for killing could be anything. The police, led by investigating officer Raghav (Vicky Kaushal), succeeds in nabbing him once but doesn’t believe him when he admits to having killed nine people. He soon escapes from police custody. After a few more cold-blooded murders, including those of his own sister, brother-in-law and nephew, the police once again nab him but he gives them the slip again.
Raman feels that Raghav is also a messenger of Lord Yamraj, the God of Death, just like himself, because his (Raghav’s) job is to also kill people. Although Raghav is a police officer, he snorts drugs. He has a girlfriend, Simmy (Sobhita Dhulipala), whom he has physical relations with but does not want to marry.
One day, Raghav brings Ankita (Anuschka Sawhney) to Simmy’s home and gets physical with her (Ankita). He then accidentally kills Simmy in a fit of rage. Ankita is shocked at the murder of Simmy at Raghav’s hands. What happens thereafter?
Do the police finally nab Raman? Does Raghav pay for the murder of Simmy? What happens to Ankita?
Vasan Bala and Anurag Kashyap have written a very grim, dark, depressing and disturbing story of an eccentric serial killer and an eccentric police officer. There is so much gruesome violence in the drama that it shakes the audiences. Womenfolk and the weak-hearted will actually feel repulsed by the horrifying action although it must be added that a lot of the murders are suggestively depicted rather than actually shown. The sound effects of hacking the victims to death are enough to make a large section of the audience squirm in their seats.
Besides, the pace of the drama is so slow that it often tests the viewer’s patience. No doubt, fans of this kind of cinema will enjoy the realistic drama but their number is very limited. What adds to the audience’s depression is that there is no happy character in the film at all. Even if someone (like the maid servant of Simmy or the money-lender) is not unhappy, he/she meets with an end that’s sickeningly depressing. Even the ambience is one of poverty and squalor. Dialogues, written by Vasan Bala and Anurag Kashyap, add to the realism quotient.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui is simply outstanding in the role of the eccentric Raman. His performance is just too brilliant and could fetch him critics’ awards. Vicky Kaushal is very good in the role of police inspector Raghav who is also a drug addict. It is enjoyable to see his professional side and his dark personal side. Sobhita Dhulipala makes an impressive debut as Simmy. Amruta Subhash is splendid as Raman’s sister, Lakshmi. As Lakshmi’s husband, Ashok Lokhande has his moments. Mukesh Chhabra makes his presence felt as the money lender. Vipin Sharma shines in a special appearance as Raghav’s father. Anuschka Sawhney is effective as Ankita. Sona Mahapatra (as the club singer), Donald Burman (as Chacha), Anik Ram Verma (as Chacha’s neighbour), Hitesh Dave (as constable Kamble), Harsh Singh (as the sub-inspector), Rajesh Jais (as ACP Farid Haq), Atul Arora and Raj Kumar (both as constables), master Saksham Sudhija (as Raman’s nephew), Deepali Suryakant Badekar (as Simmy’s maid), Hirabai Tambe (as the old lady at the home of Simmy’s maid), Ashok Verma and Harshan Kumar (both as constables with Raghav), Arun Singh (as Swamiji), Tara Chand Chhabra (as Raghav’s teacher) and the rest lend adequate support.
Anurag Kashyap’s direction, like the script, caters to a thin section of the city audience only. Ram Sampath’s music is in synch with the genre and mood of the film. Of course, the songs are not of the popular variety. Varun Grover’s lyrics are appropriate but not easy on the lips. Ram Sampath’s background music is effective. Camerawork (by Jay Oza) is nice but since the film has often been shot in the dark, the strenuous viewing does get on the audience’s nerves. Action scenes, choreographed by Parvez Shaikh, are gruesome. Tiya Tejpal’s production designing is good. Aarti Bajaj’s editing is sharp.
On the whole, Raman Raghav 2.0 is too grim, dark, violent and depressing to entertain. It will appeal to a very thin section of the audience but will face rejection otherwise.