Starring two mega stars- Amitabh Bachchan and Tapsee Pannu, Badla, an official remake of a Spanish murder enigma, carries out an essentially enthralling thriller, a very rare genre by Bollywood.
Naina Sethi (Pannu), a successful businesswoman is a murder suspect, with all averment mutilated against her. Due to her extramarital affair, her husband and child have turned their back on her, and every aspect looks blank, till a guardian arrives in a shape of the ace lawyer Badal Gupta (Amitabh Bachchan), who has never seen a defeat in his long career of being a lawyer.
Major parts of the movie are shot within a room, with the two main characters steadily deviating positions, physically as well as morally. Slowly and steadily each layer pans out, with Badal Gupta coaxing Naina to bring out nothing but the truth. With each reveal, the viewers are forced to scrutinize the facts: who is telling the truth? who is the victim? etc.
The viewers who are very observant when it comes to movies will get to know where Badla is headed, as sometimes the title of the movie is the biggest and hushed spoiler alert. Nonetheless, for a movie which confides mostly on its actors’ performance chiefly to vary mood and delivery in a confined space, Badla does presentably enough. If both Bachchan and Pannu take off in a constrained manner, it is quite represented that they are strangers. Bachchan’s recognizable orations, become bold hoaxes, after a while, and you start warming up to him, and the film. And Pannu’s, all nude make-up and strained face, starts settling down too. It is in this reclining that the film becomes intriguing because certainly, things are not what they seem, and people are not who they say they are, and everyone has dark, mystifying pasts and gaudy secrets.
Some bits take us outside. A rendezvous between two furtive lovers takes place in a snow-laden hut far out of town. The hotel where a body is found is on an artistic hillside. But we circle back every time to those two people, in that room, one interjecting, the other anticipating. And keeping us with them, despite a few flat exchanges, and some tangled bits.
Another cast members like Amrita Singh and Manav Kaul have proved their characters in a very accomplished manner, doing full justice to their respective roles. Its pleasure to see them in the role of some substance. There was a reason why Tapsee and Amitabh were cast together in this movie. The duo again proved that they can pull a great story in the best possible ways. After pink, the Movie is again a suspense thriller and is one of the best in the genre. Great twists and turns in the plot make it even more interesting. Tempo is fast, cinematography conveying the same events through various perspectives is marvelous. It’s just a tour de force performance, something that few actors ever would have been able to pull off making the watching experience mesmerizing.