Crime thriller is one of the most difficult genres of film-making, and it gets even tougher when it has to rely on minimal action, and mostly dialogues and twists. Badla is one such movie that primarily depends on the conversation between Amitabh Bachchan and Taapsee Pannu's characters, but keeps you hooked constantly to your seat.
Naina Sethi (Taapsee Pannu), who is a successful married business woman, gets charged in the murder of her boyfriend inside a hotel room. While she claims to be innocent, all the first hand evidence work against her.
Badal Gupta (Amitabh Bachchan), who has not lost a single case in his 40 years of career, is hired to fight her case. Badal visits Naina's house and asks her to tell him the "truth". While Naina initially claims that she did not kill her boyfriend, and a blackmailer has falsely framed her, a lot of other shocking details start coming out in the course of their interaction.
While a series of twists and turns follow during their conversation inside the house, the truth ultimately comes out at the climax of the film.
While Amitabh Bachchan was seen playing the character of a smart as well as emotional lawyer in Pink, the actor in Badla portrays a much more cunning and quirky character of a law expert. He simply shines all through the movie with his powerful voice, impactful expressions and his overall personality. It makes no sense to talk about his acting in the film, as he has nothing more to prove in this profession.
Taapsee Pannu plays the other central character in Badla, and she does full justice to her role. She is convincing both while being truthful as well as while being completely a liar. She keeps you guessing till the end if she is actually innocent or she is the culprit. She certainly is one talented actress.
Amrita Singh deserves a special mention in the film. Playing the mother of one of the victims in the movie, Amrita is one of the most essential elements of Badla. She shows how a mother can do anything for the sake of her son, and she shows it with great precision.
Badla is impressive at various levels. If you consider yourself to be someone who is an expert in predicting the storyline of Bollywood movies, this one will surely make your reconsider your opinion. It has a series of twists and turns, but it is the climax that is outstanding.
Apart from the fine performances, Badla is engaging enough to keep you constantly hooked to the seat. The dialogues are witty and powerful. Sujoy Ghosh shows his skills as a director yet again with this one. It also has some exotic views.
The only drawback that one can mention is the fact that majority of the movie runs through Amitabh and Taapsee's characters inside that one house. This might not go down well with some of the audience, but it is justified considering the plot of the film.
All in all, Badla is a very intelligent and engaging movie that shines despite having a lot of limitations, compared to other crime thrillers. It throws many surprising moments, but it is the climax that blows the mind. Like Big B says in the film - 'Maaf karna har baar sahi nehi hota' - not watching it won't be the right thing to do.