Friday, July 22, 2016

Fantasia '16 Film Review - Psycho Raman

Raman Raghav was a notorious serial killer in Mubai back in the 1960's. He confessed to 41 murders but before doing so made some very unorthodox requests of police. Rajhav was to be the subject of directors Anuraj Kashyap film but the scale of completing a story from the sixties gave way to a modern tale of foils of Psycho Raman. Kashayap gives a wink to his former project at the films opening and there are sprinklings of Raghav facts throughout the piece.

The criminal Ramanna (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) and cop Raghaven (Vicky Kaushal) first meet 2 and a half years before the main story takes place. Ramanna makes his first kill of an "Uncle" of Raghaven who stumbles on the scene reaps the rewards of Ramanna's actions but is forced to silence a witness as Ramanna hides watching sensing an immediate kinship.

The story continues to unfold with the pair circling each other using virtual the same methods but because Raghaven has a badge and is a respected policeman his violent actions and reckless behaviour is accepted if not applauded. Rammana on the other hand wonders the slums dragging a tire iron behind him openly admitting to his growing body count to strangers.

Director Anuraj Kashyap continues his string of high wire violent films with an over decibel soundtrack. However unlike his Gangs of Wasseypur Kashyap keeps the graphic violence mainly off screen. The narrative of a cop and a criminal being two sides of the same coin has been seen before but here Kashyap goes further linking his leading men to a point where they effectively share each others experiences. One of the standout plot points is an old fashion foot chase through the Mumbai slums.

Nawazuddin Siddiqui continues his roll of standout performances as Ramanna. He can communicate full evil with a look or a gesture but the next moment sell himself as a snivelling victim of a group attack. He plays dumb when it serves his purposes, asks questions at the level of a police interrogator when needed but is at his scariest when he calmly and unemotionally takes someone's life.  Vicky Kaushal does a credible job with his material in the film. He's the hotshot police detective that can have his pick of any girl in any club in Mubai. During the day crime scenes are held until he shows up to investigate. Kushal best moments occur when he battles his internal demons especially the continued open disappoint of his parents on how he lives his life.

Psycho Raman is a psychological thriller that shines a different lens on a tried and true storyline. Director Anuraj Kashyap's fingerprints are all over the production. His muse Nawazuddin Siddiqui commands the screen and his bi-play with Vicky Kaushal are worth a look.

*** Out of 4.

Psycho Raman | Anuraj Kashyap | India | 2015 | 133 Minutes.

Tags: Serial Killer, MDNA, Disco, Tire Iron, Mumbai, Detective, Slums, Pedofile, Brother/Sister.

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