Raman Raghav 2.0 (titled Psycho Raman outside India), Anurag Kashyap’s noir thriller set in Mumbai, was screened at the Directors’ Fortnight section of the 69th Cannes International Film Festival on Monday. The film, starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Vicky Kaushal, received mostly positive reviews from the international media present at the screening. This is Kashyap’s third entry in five years in the Directors’ Fortnight section, and Siddiqui’s eighth outing at the Cannes in four years.
Raman Raghav, which is inspired by a serial killer who murdered 41 people in Bombay in the mid-1960s, stars Siddiqui as Raman, the psychotic protagonist. Vicky Kaushal, who rose to fame with his role in Masaan, plays Raghav, a rogue police officer.
The film had two screenings at the Cannes Film Festival. Kashyap, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Vicky Kaushal, Amruta Subhash, Sobhita Dhulipala, and Anuschka Sawhney attended the screenings and answered questions from the audience after the screenings.
The global media unanimously lavished praises on the lead actor’s performance. “The story could have turned into one huge cliche, and there are genre elements that are numbingly familiar, was it not for the exceptionally scary performance of Nawazuddin Siddiqui in the role of the villainous, demented serial killer…,” said the Hollywood Reporter. However some media outlets critiqued the film’s portrayal of its central character. “Neither character is developed into much more than an assortment of base urges, which is one of the reasons that, bracing fun as it is to watch, the film is rather an empty thrill,” said the Screen Daily.
— Nawazuddin Siddiqui (@Nawazuddin_S) May 16, 2016
Siddiqui’s earlier films at the Cannes include The Lunchbox, Gangs of Wasseypur, Miss Lovely, and Liar’s Dice, in addition to a short film produced by him. He has been chosen to play the titular role in actress-filmmaker Nandita Das’ Indo-French co-production Manto. This was confirmed by the director at the festival.
Yet another movie from India garnering critical acclaim at Cannes this year is Cinema Traveller, a documentary on rural India’s travelling talkies, directed by Shirley Abraham and photographer and artist Amit Madheshiya.