Amitabh Bachchan, Taapsee Pannu, Amrita Singh, Manav Kaul, Tony Luke
One thing Sujoy Ghosh can do is tell you a good suspense story, though he has already given the audience the biggest clue for this one – ‘Badla is the official remake of Spanish film The Invisible Guest.’ The one and only thing that changes in the film is the gender of the protagonists, otherwise Ghosh sticks to the original script for most part, camera angles included.
Getting to the storyline *no spoilers*: Naina (Taapsee Pannu) is being blackmailed. Right as she was getting ready to pay the ransom, she gets knocked down inside a hotel room. When she wakes up, her lover is dead and she is one of the top suspects. While her lawyer (Manav Kaul) is doing everything possible to bring her justice, Naina is now edgy and worried. Up comes Badal Gupta (Amitabh Bachchan) who specializes in acquiring witnesses. All Badal needs is the whole truth, and then he will give her the best legal defence. Given Naina’s life is in tatters, with her lover dead and marriage in shambles, Gupta is her only hope.
Does Naina get acquitted? How does Badal help Naina, you will need to watch… what we can tell you is how you will feel thereafter….
For those who have not seen The Invisible Guest, Badla will be a mighty surprise, for those who have… you shall be entertained watching how Amitabh Bachchan and Taapsee Pannu morph into their intriguing Spanish counterparts.
Taapsee especially needs to be applauded, there are not many actresses even today who would have played Naina with as much conviction as her. The many emotions that surface on her face, each time she admits to adultery and more, tells you it will be a mistake to underestimate her. She is a fantastic actress who can be strong and vulnerable, in the blink of an eye. It is a pleasure seeing her and her phenomenal chemistry with Mr. Bachchan once again.
Needless to say Amitabh Bachchan delivers a pitch perfect act. He never fails, he never falters. It is a relief seeing him in a film like this again. Amrita Singh needs a special mention, for she stays with you when you walk out of the theatre even though Mr. Bachchan and Pannu dominate the screen time.
Despite the excellent acting from each and every member of the cast, it is the script that works best. The story credits of course go to the original film, but Sujoy Ghosh and Raj Vasant have done an excellent job in getting the pitch perfected for the Indian audience. The style with which Sujoy Ghosh delivers his suspense is fantastic; he has done it repeatedly with his Kahaani series and later TE3N. He is one guy who can deliver the unexpected with elan.
In this film, he had a lot of support from his technical team, National Award winning cinematographer, Aveek Mukhopadhyay certainly is one of the gems in his team. The cinematography brings out the undercurrent between the protagonists, some excellent dialogues by Raj Vasant also helps the cause.
Despite the fact that there are many who might guess the ending, the film is an enjoyable watch. There are moments when you will have the popcorn frozen and forgotten in your hands, just wanting to know what happens next. For me,4that’s a good entertainer. So while the film is not perfect, it certainly is effective.