Badla Review: A Safe Crime Thriller Suffering From a Kahaani Hangover

Bollywood

Badla Review: A Safe Crime Thriller Suffering From a Kahaani Hangover

Illustration: Arati Gujar

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t one point in Sujoy Ghosh’s Badla, Badal Gupta (Amitabh Bachchan), the defence attorney hired to represent Naina Sethi (Taapsee Pannu), a married entrepreneur accused of murder, mocks the unrealistic scenarios conjured up by his client. “Tumhare kahaani mein jisko jo karna hota hai woh naye naye cheezein aise hi seekh jaata hai,” Badal tells Naina, as if bemoaning the death of logic at the altar of plot twists in every crime thriller.

It’s a delightful meta-moment where Badal behaves like a stand-in for the audience and refuses to buy Naina’s story, which involves her lover – a photographer – waking up as a “bank system expert” one fine day. But what makes the moment even more amusing is that it’s also the stand that explains Badla. Its plot takes multiple sensational detours but ends with circling back to the most obvious – and logical – explanation, albeit with a dose of disbelief.

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