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Nawazuddin Is Chilling As Raman Raghav

Raman Raghav 2: 0

There is no one quite like Nawazuddin Siddiqui. He takes possession of the characters he plays  and chews up the screen like a famished cannibal constantly in search of a meat.

In  Raman Raghav Nawaz plays  the repugnant serial killer from Mumbai who bludgeoned  more than 40 people to death. How does a  mind as diabolic as this work? Nawaz gives us a roadmap into the workings of this evil mind. In the trailer we see him as cunning and compelling.  The way he preys on his unsuspecting victims is not only chilling it is deeply disturbing.

At one point in the trailer Raman Raghav has a little boy tied up and ready to be killed. “What is your  name?” he calmly asks the gagged crying boy, who can’t answer.

“Pocket. I’ll name you pocket, so that when I am accused of killing you I’ll claim I am only a pick pocket,” volunteers Nawaz.

A bad ill-timed joke coming from a character who treats his killings as a impassioned recreation. An occasion to unwind.

The nauseating casualness with which the character treats human life is profoundly disturbing. The trailer opens with Nawaz’s Raman Raghav being interrogated by a cop  Raghav rambles on with his own peculiar logistics, about walking on the black and white squares of the sidewalk until there is no more sidewalk left…

The destructive cleverness of a criminal mind is adumbrated in scene after scene showing the perpetrator exploring his own vicious consciousness with a detached admiration.

There is something exceedingly disturbing about Nawazuddin as Raman Raghav. That he was a psychotic killer is a fact we all know. Nawaz fleshes out details of the character’s inhuman impulses with a shattering equanimity. Tragically Nawaz’s nemesis is  a cocaine-snorting corrupt and out of control cop, played by the very talented young Vickey Kaushal.

I am not too sure how much of a confrontational scenario director Anurag Kashyap  has built between the two actors. This is clearly the psychotic killer’s film. At the end of the trailer we see Nawaz screaming to be let out of confinement. Then when he realizes no one is listening his expression of screaming protest melts into a state of resigned calm.This is killer who got the better of the Mumbai police. Nawaz plays him as a smart-ass rabblerouser.

What oceans of turbulence is secreted under the veneer of what we call civil conduct?! What the trailer ofRaman Raghav 2: 0 tells us is that there is  a sociopath lurking not too far away from all of us. He could be the man in the house nextdoor. Or he could be the guy you see every morning in the mirror.

The macabre tale of bloodshed is buoyed  by a boulder-heavy background score and an expectedly energetic editing pattern that makes the gruesome killings more stylish than healthy.


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