Written by Manisha Lakhe on March 8, 2019
To Reinvent The Wheel
Add Mahabharat, Turn Spanish To Indian.
2. 5 stars
Naina Sethi is ‘Businesswoman of the Year’ but she’s implicated in a murder. Her lawyer has sent Badal Gupta who has never lost a case and he’s helping Naina prove her innocence. An official remake of the Spanish film ‘The Invisible Guest’ on Netflix, this film keeps you involved…
Why Reinvent The Wheel?
The Spanish original ‘The Invisible Guest’ is quite dark and threatening and quite a decent watch, but has a huge problem. It doesn’t explain why the suspect is out free and is able to consult lawyers. Let’s say he’s rich, so the cops have let him go. But after having arrested someone from the hotel room where there’s no one but a dead body, there seems to be no plausible explanation why the police let him go. Badla is an official remake, and does try to make up for this huge plot hole by having Tapsee Pannu who plays Naina Sethi wear an ankle bracelet. But then you begin wondering: why reinvent the wheel?
Lawyers Manipulate The Truth
Amitabh Bachchan plays Badal Gupta, a hotshot lawyer who is there to prepare Naina for her day in court. He asks her to tell all, creating and recreating scenarios that happened when the police found Naina over the dead body of Arjun inside a hotel room that was locked from the inside. Naina maintains her innocence, saying that Arjun, her lover, and she were being blackmailed by some unknown person and that’s why they were at the hotel. The person was hiding inside the closet and knocked her down and killed Arjun.
But the lawyer tells her that her story needs to convince the judge and this tale of an invisible killer just doesn’t compute. Over the next two hours, we go over different scenarios with events from Mahabharat used to keep it ‘Indian’. Before I mutter aloud on how we Indians will never really get away from the epic, I smile, because Tapsee Pannu says, ‘I haven’t read it, but I know the outline’…
As the story moves ahead, we are introduced to Rani Kaur who is searching for her missing son. Amrita Singh as Rani Kaur is simply brilliant.
If only they had stuck to the original, we would have heard Amrita Singh play the role of the lawyer questioning Naina about what really happened. Alas, it is Amitabh Bachchan who is a name the audience wants to see on the marquee…
All in all, the film is well adapted, but does feel like the plot is too convoluted, and it goes on and on, even though it lasts only for two hours.
(this review appears on nowrunning.com)