Various Cult Movie References in Shriram Raghavan's 'Badlapur'


I'm mildly surprised that not one movie review of Shriram Raghavan's neo-noir story, 'Badlapur' has mentioned the various apparent, some not-so-apparent, others subtle and the vague cult movie references hidden in this gem of a movie.

To associate this beauty with Bollywood is perhaps the ultimate masterstroke. Because no one will expect what's going to happen in the very next scene, which you rather expect from even an average Hollywood production. You know it in the back of your head, but if what you know happens, that'll be outrageous to pull off in Bollywood! The movie was a simple revenge-crime drama, and it is only the direction, editing and acting behind the execution of the movie, that has turned the table back on against the simplicity of the story. If you've been watching a lot of Korean serial killer movies, you'd perhaps have understood where this was heading. Yes, even the climax, I believe.

Here's a list of all the movie references I found in the movie:

America, Valentine's Day, and the Greatest Show on Earth!

A positive result in the lab was all I wanted on the day preceding the opening day of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, which for me, was on the day before the Valentine's Day. And boy, the Western Blot didn't disappoint me - a little nerdy moment there.

And in the wake of the good result in the lab, I realized that I could suddenly leave earlier than usual. I reached home at 5 and quickly tuned the TV to the streaming of the first game of the tournament. Sri Lanka versus New Zealand. And the first innings of the game was a good example to teach a fellow American (and also the average Indian armchair critic who has never played cricket beyond his own batting in gully cricket) of how a long format of the game can be exciting and extremely dynamic. The game shifted sides so easily, swaying initially towards the hosts in the beginning and rather extremely, towards the end. While Herath and Lakmal tried to wrench it back in the visitor's favor during the middle overs. Aah well, the point is, I called Jason over and he immediately developed a likening for the game, which I was totally delighted about!

After the first innings we headed to Proof (our backyard brewery, where the whole department hangs out on Friday), where the rest of the gang were already schmoozing. We joined in late and the conversation mildly drifted to cricket, which is really a big deal because hello, this is the United States of America where cricket is chugged down like the worm larvae in the mescal. They immediately draw parallels with baseball, which itself is an endemic sport in this country.

This is the explanation that Marina gave me at the pub:

"So.. cricket is like baseball, played on a strip in the park.."
"Pitch. Ground. And no, it's not really like baseball.. but go on.."
"Okay, so there are two sticks, that two hitters guard.."
"Stumps. Wickets. And batsman.."
"Okay, so the batsmen try to hit the ball with their sticks.. or is it called a bat?"
"So, the pitcher throws the ball at the batsmen, who try to hit the ball around the park.."
"Bowler. Bowling. Batsman.. yes, go on.."
"And then you score points, God knows how.."
"Runs, not points.. but.." and that's when I stopped and transfigured into Amitabh Bachchan, only to shout out the famous Kaun Banega Crorepati (the Indian version of 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire') dialogue, "Miss Lauck.. you have created HISTORY!!!"