'Badla' review: Moderately gripping whodunit

'Badla' review: Moderately gripping whodunit

Badla is based on 'The Invisible Guest', a Spanish thriller


Hindi (U/A)

Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Taapsee Pannu, Tony Luke, Amrita Singh

Director: Sujoy Ghosh

Rating: Two and a half stars

Revenge is not everyone’s cup of tea.

Sujoy Ghosh manages a pretty strong brew — at least initially — as Amitabh Bachchan and Taapsee Pannu sit across a table and pull out some dirty laundry and skeletons from the closet.

Taapsee, a high-flying-businesswoman-turned-murder suspect, hires legal eagle Bachchan. She pays him by the hour. After all, the veteran has never lost a case in his career. All he now wants her is to tell “the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth”.

So the whodunit, an official remake of Spanish thriller The Invisible Guest (currently streaming on Netflix), starts playing out in snow-covered Scottish flashbacks, where a clandestine meeting between Taapsee and her extramarital lover Tony Luke culminates in two corpses.

A deer, a car, a crash and two murders...the needle points to Taapsee, who recalls the chain of events to Bachchan in two hours, hoping he will put all the jigsaw pieces together. Now, there are different versions of the incident and each reveal brings fresh twists and suspects.

The killjoy here is Sujoy Ghosh’s earlier yarn of crime (the Kahaani series) which prepares the viewer to smell a rat like a master cat. The flashbacks (in breathtaking cinematography) give a zillion takes on the truth and your lie detector instincts kick in immediately, unravelling a few secrets even before the director reaches out for the cork.

Amrita Singh — as a mother with a missing son — takes the proceedings a notch higher, while Bachchan and Taapsee keep things tight. But their alibis aren’t watertight. Which leaves us with a moderately gripping Badla.

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