No gimmicks in ‘psychological thriller’ Badlapur, says Varun Dhawan

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No gimmicks in ‘psychological thriller’ Badlapur, says Varun Dhawan

Since the release of the first Badlapur teaser, many of his contemporaries have tweeted praise for it and also for his look in the film.

By Enid Parker (senior Sub Editor)

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Published: Wed 18 Feb 2015, 9:00 PM

Last updated: Thu 25 Jun 2015, 7:24 PM

Photo by Shihab/ Khaleej Times

If his recent high-energy performances at award functions and frequent appearances at country-wide events are anything to go by, there’s no doubt that Varun Dhawan has been pulling out all the stops to promote his upcoming film Badlapur, which, judging by its trailer, is dark, action-packed and quite unlike anything he’s ever done before.

Being extremely active on social media obviously helps Varun peddle his latest alter-ego, ‘Raghu’. A teen idol of sorts post his Student of the Year debut, the actor’s posts on Twitter and Instagram seem to strike an instant chord with the female sex, who form the majority of his fanbase. But will this hero worship (based, one assumes, on the light, likeable characters he has played in his three films so far) extend to giving Badlapur a fair share of box office spoils? Only time will tell.

Meanwhile, in a chat with the 27-year-old star, City Times couldn’t help coming away with the impression that Badlapur is a concept very close to his heart.

“It’s a very intense film based on true events. It’s about how the life of a common man living in Pune changes when he loses his family, and the path he chooses to take revenge; I think it’s more a psychological thriller than just an action film,” he said over the phone from Mumbai.

The actor seemed a bit subdued as compared to when he had dropped in to Khaleej Times on two previous occasions, for the promotions of Student of the Year and Main Tera Hero. Perhaps it could have something to do with the serious tone of Badlapur (he admitted in recent media reports to being depressed during the making of the film). 


While he revealed he found it “very difficult” to switch to his latest role, Varun also said the opportunity was well-timed. “I did three ‘happy’ films back to back, but I was kind of ready to move on because I had reached a point where I couldn’t smile anymore. I was, like, ‘smiled out’. That’s why I feel Badlapur came along at the right time.”

Since the release of the first Badlapur teaser, many of his contemporaries have tweeted praise for it and also for his look in the film.

We asked him what sets Badlapur apart from other films. “It’s something new. People are not used to seeing this kind of film. I’m not playing a twenty-year-old for a change - I’m playing a forty-year-old. There are generation leaps not only with me but other characters as well. Plus I’m working with really fantastic actors like Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Huma Qureshi, Yami Gautam, Vinay Pathak, and Radhika Apte. That’s why the promos went viral - I feel people are looking forward to Badlapur because it looks like a good film; there are no gimmicks here. It’s pure. The entire film-loving community, in India, the UAE and elsewhere sense that they are going in for a good thriller.”

The music of Badlapur has also received its fair share of attention, with the intense, soul-stirring track Jee Karda racking up over three million views on YouTube. Varun did not mince words while expressing his admiration for the song.

“Jee Karda is a song about heartbreak, about love and dying in love and it’s got a lot of passion. I’m not just saying this because it’s in my movie but honestly, it is a very superior song not only in terms of lyrics, but also tonal quality and voice.” 


Varun perked up a bit when asked about his co-stars. “Yami is a sweetheart, she is just amazing to work with. She’s got this angelic quality and lights up the screen with her presence. Huma and me interacted more, we fooled around with each other on set; she’s very professional and into the scene and hard working so both of us struck up a rapport very soon. I think we share very good chemistry in the film.”

On his equation with Nawazuddin, he said, “Nawaz is playing the other end of the spectrum and it’s about how when he and me cross paths there is a role reversal… almost. It was pretty cool because even he was out of his comfort zone with the type of character he’s essayed in the film.”


Badlapur is a revenge drama of sorts, but Varun was reluctant to open up on whether Nawazuddin is the film’s villain.

“Yes, but… I can’t reveal much but he’s not actually a villain. He has a lot of humanist scenes, which he’s done quite well. Nawaz and me have three or four pretty hardcore, intense scenes where we come up against each other and I can just say we are almost like a match made in hell.”

He said channelling anger to effectively portray his part was easy enough. “I think you have to feel a lot of anger within. Just the storyline of losing one’s family is enough I think to generate anger. I’ve never felt such anger in real life - the emotions in the film are too strong.” 


In stark contrast to his Badlapur avatar, Varun’s next project is the light-hearted ABCD2, which revolves around dancing.

So is he something of a twinkle-toed wonder?

“I do enjoy dancing in real life but to be honest I’m quite tired - I’ve been dancing a lot and ABCD2 has taken a lot out of me. Plus I’m performing at so many award functions, dancing live on stage, that I’m tired. But I do love it.”

He seemed excited about ABCD2, in which he co-stars with Shraddha Kapoor. “It’s a complete dance film shot in 3D. Shraddha and myself have just come back from shooting in Vegas. We’ve retained the entire cast from the first film and you’ll probably get to see a lot of international dancers who will blow your mind. I’m quite thrilled about it.”

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