Psycho Raman (Raman Raghav 2.0) (2016) (NTSC)

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Released 21-Sep-2016

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Crime Drama Deleted Scenes-x 3
Theatrical Trailer
Trailer-x 2 for other films
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2016
Running Time 127:34 (Case: 133)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Anurag Kashyap
Studio
Distributor
Gryphon Entertainment Starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui
Vicky Kaushal
Sobhita Dhulipala
Amruta Subhash



Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI ? Music Ram Sampath


Video (NTSC) Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None Hindi Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Hindi Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 480i (NTSC)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking Yes, and frequent drug use
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     Assistant Commissioner Raghavan (Raghav) (Vicky Kaushal) is a young, violent cop in Mumbai who parties hard, takes drugs frequently and is uncaring towards his girlfriend Simmy (Sobhita Dhulipala). Indeed, on the night in 2013 when Raghavan first picks up Simmy in a club they visit his drug dealer on the way home. However, the dealer has just been brutally bashed to death by Ramanna (Raman) (Nawazuddin Siddiqui), who is still in the house when Raghavan arrives. Ramanna senses in Raghavan a kindred spirit, indeed, the second half of his personality, and for the next two years as Ramanna randomly bashes to death another eight people, becoming a notorious serial killer in the press, he keeps a watchful eye on Raghavan and his activities.

     Finally sated by his killings, Ramanna turns himself in to Raghavan’s team of police and confesses to his murders. However, they do not believe him and Raghavan orders him beaten and locked up for a while. Afterwards Ramanna visits his sister Lakshmi (Amruta Subhash) and her husband and six year old son and recommences his murder spree. Raghavan now realises he had the serial killer but let him go and a manhunt ensues through the Mumbai slums. But Ramanna knows where Raghavan and Simmy live and it is not clear as to who is the hunted and who is the hunter. This is not going to end without further bloodshed.

     Psycho Raman’s alternate title is Raman Raghav 2.0, and a caption at the start informs us that the film is inspired by the serial killer Raman Raghav who murdered 41 people in 1960s Mumbai, although it adds that this film is not about him. The film is co-written and directed by Anurag Kashyap, an experienced Mumbai filmmaker who in the past has delivered films about Mumbai and movies (Bombay Talkies (2013), Bombay Velvet (2015)) as well as the well-regarded violent period film Gangs of Wasseypur (2012).

     Psycho Raman is not your average Bollywood film. It is a chilling look at damaged human beings set in and around the packed slums and alleys of Mumbai. There is no character who is heroic or honourable; the police are uninterested or incompetent at best, at worst like Raghavan, a drug addict, a killer and an abuser of women, played compellingly by Vicky Kaushal with his film star looks. At least Ramanna is not a hypocrite; he is a psychopath, bludgeoning to death his sister and her husband before finishing his meal then killing his six year old nephew who is tied to a chair, but he knows what he is and admits enjoying killing. But there is nothing histrionic about Ramanna; he is calm, mostly controlled and smiling and Nawazuddin Siddiqui puts in a mesmerising performance. If there is a fault with Psycho Raman it is its length at over two hours; some sections, such as the humiliation of Raghavan by his abusive father, feel unnecessary, but while Siddiqui is on screen the time flies past.

     Psycho Raman is a film about serial killing but it is first and foremost a thriller, focussing on the psychology of two damaged men. It is violent but the regular bashing murders, although obviously brutal, occur off camera so those looking for blood and gore will need to look elsewhere. But for a gritty and bleak film which features compelling performances and utilises the sounds, colours and slums of Mumbai, Psycho Raman is well worth a look and the impressive conclusion manages both to be surprising yet perfectly consistent with what has gone before.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     Psycho Raman is presented in the original aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.

     Psycho Raman was shot hand held using Red Epic cameras in the slums of Mumbai and other locations, often at night. As a result while close-ups and most interiors are well detailed, a number of exteriors and backgrounds can look quite murky and grainy, which does affect shadow detail. Colours are mostly subdued although there are quite a few vibrant flashes of colour in some sequences. Blacks varied; long shots of the city and its lights were solid, some sequences in the streets less so. Some scenes under lights also evinced that digital yellowish tinge, although skin tones look fine.

     I noticed no marks or artefacts.

    The English subtitles are in a clear white font and were error free.

    The layer change at 73:23 resulted in a slight pause in the middle of a scene.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     Audio choices are Hindi Dolby Digital 5.1 (448 Kbps) and Hindi Dolby Digital 2.0 (192 Kbps).

     The audio is appropriate for the film. Dialogue is clear. In the club sequences the rears, surrounds and subwoofer get a pounding from the music and crowd noises; otherwise the surrounds add to the environment with engines, voices, the ambience of people, bird sounds and music.

    The score by Ram Sampath was excellent and varied and included disco, Bollywood, orchestral themes and songs used in interesting places, such as to undercut as well as to comment upon the violence during the murder of Lakshmi and her family.

     Lip synchronisation seemed fine.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Trailers (2:21)

     Trailers for Aaaaaaaah! and Cat Sick Blues play on start-up. They cannot be selected from the menu.

Deleted Scenes

     There are three lengthy scenes. The first helps to make sense of a piece of dialogue which remains in the film, the second further explains Raghavan’s relationship with his father, something which is obvious from what is still in the film anyway, while the third is an alternative and more lengthy version of a sequence which remains in the film. The three are:

Film Trailer (3:12)

     A long, old fashioned style film trailer.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     There is no other DVD release of Psycho Raman listed on Amazon.com at this time. As our release is an NTSC All Region, I expect it will be the same as other regions.

Summary

     Psycho Raman, with wonderful Mumbai location photography, is a compelling and complex thriller with mesmerising performances. It is long and for a while seems to lose focus, but when it returns to the calm and smiling Nawazuddin Siddiqui and kicks into its final third it grabs you and does not let go until it reaches its impressive conclusion. If you like your crime with a psychological edge, or are looking for something in the genre that is more than a little different, Psycho Raman is definitely worth your time.

     The video and audio are fine. The deleted scenes are worthwhile.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Thursday, October 13, 2016
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

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