Raman Raghav 2.0 [Psycho Raman] (2016)

Raman Raghav 2.0
Director: Anurag Kashyap
Writer: Anurag Kashyap, Vasan Bala
Cast: Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Vicky Kaushal, Sobhita Dhulipala, Mukesh Chhabra, Anuschka Sawhney, Vipin Sharma
Part of: Viennale
Seen on: 24.10.2016

Ramanna (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) was inspired by Raman Raghav, a serial killer active in the 60s. One night Raghavan (Vicky Kaushal) stumbles upon one of his killing sites, looking to buy cocaine, apparently unimpressed by the carnage. When Ramanna is apprehended a few days later, he finds that Raghavan is the policeman who interrogates him. After Ramanna regains his freedom, the two men become increasingly obsessed with each other.

Raman Raghav 2.0 is a stylish movie with a great soundtrack and an interesting relationship between the two protagonists. It could have been a little more concise, but maybe it only felt long becasue I saw it rather late in the day.

The film has a lot of neon, pop-colored images and a really awesome soundtrack, making him a visual and auditive feast already before the story ever factors in. But the story, too, has a lot to offer, especially with the realtionship between Ramanna and Raghavan.

Ramanna is convinced that the two are soulmates – and he puts it in those words exactly. That relationship can be read as simply homosocial or outright homoromantic, but in either case it goes against the grain of expectations (though it’s not unheard of, if you think, for example of Batman and the Joker), especially since it’s utterly non-competitive most of the time. It’s quite an intriguing take.

But the film takes its time getting to the point and that wasn’t necessary at all, especially because it was quickly obvious in which direction everything would be going. It was also rather clear in its gender ascriptions: men deal out violence, and women have to take it, with very little to say, nor power to do anything about it.

But I did enjoy watching it. And maybe I would have been more generous about the time it took to get to the point or the lengths in the last third if the film hadn’t been screened so late. In any case, it’s worth giving the film a try.

Summarizing: Brutal, but interesting.


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