Film Review: ‘Badla’ sinks in a quagmire of plot imperfections

A still from Bollywood flick ‘Badla.’ YouTube
Updated 13 March 2019

Film Review: ‘Badla’ sinks in a quagmire of plot imperfections

CHENNAI: After a few flops, Sujoy Ghosh directed two engaging pieces of work — “Kahaani” in 2012 and “Kahaani 2” in 2016. His genre has been thrillers, and he sticks to it in his latest outing in Scotland, set mostly in Glasgow.

Titled “Badla” or “Revenge,” this is a near-faithful adaptation of the 2016-17 Spanish murder-mystery, “Contratiempo,” or “The Invisible Guest,” by Oriol Paulo, now streaming on Netflix.

Badla is a typical whodunnit with a couple of murders and a pretty suspect, Naina Sethi, played by Taapsee Pannu, who pairs with Amitabh Bachchan once again (as they did in “Pink”). 

Like in “Pink,” Bachchan is a lawyer in “Badla.” As Badal Gupta, he is tasked with defending Naina, whose  fling outside her happy marriage has gone horribly wrong. She finds herself in a hotel room with her lover, Arjun (Tony Luke), killed. She is arrested for murder, but gets out on bail with the help of her close lawyer friend, Jimmy Punjabi (Manav Kaul). Woven into this sticky situation are two more characters, an elderly couple — Nirmal (Tanveer Ghani) and Rani (Amrita Singh) — whose son goes missing, and there appears to be a link between this disappearance and Arjun’s death.

“Badla” looks ethereal, with cinematographer Avik Mukhopadhyay capturing Scotland in all its splendour — its misty mornings adding to the air of mystery. But unfortunately, these picture-postcard images serve as mere embellishments to a plot and performance that are disappointing. Bachchan brings little novelty to his role. As for Pannu, she fails to get her act together as a crime suspect whose position as a celebrated businesswoman and as a mother as well as a wife is in peril. Not much of an effort appears to have gone into developing these characters.

And the plot itself has far too many holes and convenient coincidences. Of course, Ghosh would say that he merely followed the Spanish original. But what stopped him from reworking the story and the script to give us a believable narrative?


Dubai gets a taste of kosher

Updated 58 min 56 sec ago

Dubai gets a taste of kosher

  • The Habtoor Group has partnered with Elli’s Kosher Kitchen to become the first UAE hotel operator to offer kosher meals

When Elli Kriel moved to Dubai from South Africa eight years ago, she was determined to maintain her family’s kosher Jewish diet and quickly sought out shops serving kosher products in the city.

“At the time we thought we were the only family that kept a kosher diet, but when word got out that we were a kosher family living in Dubai, many Jews who were traveling to the UAE would contact me for food,” Kriel told Arab News.

“I started sending food out from my home to help Jewish travelers and as the community started growing so, too, did the need for more kosher food.”

In 2018, a group of rabbis arrived in Dubai for an interfaith conference and the organizer called Kriel in a panic not knowing how to feed them. Once again, she cooked and prepared kosher meals for the numerous attendees.

“At the time the idea of kosher food outside the Jewish community was strange — something unknown,” said Kriel.

After the conference, word of her services spread quickly, and she received requests from hotel managers, concierges and others who needed to serve food to Jewish guests. In 2019, Elli’s Kosher Kitchen was born.

With the UAE normalizing ties with Israel, a number of hotels and restaurants across the emirate have begun preparations to introduce kosher food and beverages. The first is the Habtoor Group, which will offer kosher meals at several of its hotels, including the Hilton Dubai.

Habtoor Hospitality has partnered with Elli’s Kosher Kitchen.

“There has been great demand since the normalization process with Israel started, and we have had several requests for groups that require kosher food, as well as from tourists from Israel and other parts of the world who would like to visit the UAE now,” Fredrik Reinisch, general manager at Hilton Dubai Al Habtoor City, told Arab News.

Hotels offering kosher catering will include Hilton Dubai, V Hotel, Habtoor Palace Dubai, LXR Hotel and Resorts, Habtoor Grand Resort, Autograph Collection LLC, Metropolitan Hotel and Habtoor Polo Resort.

“Kosher food is prepared in accordance with religious laws, the laws of the Jewish religion,” said Kriel. “It has to have kosher ingredients, follow specific methods of cooking and be served in a particular way. But it also applies to the way in which you eat the food. The basic principle is not to mix any dairy or meat products.”

Kriel ensures that all meals are prepared in accordance with OU kosher certification (Orthodox Union), believed to be the most trusted form of certification globally.

Guests with specific kosher preferences will also be able to choose from tailored menus. Meals will be packaged and sealed with an OU certified stamp.

Kosher food is similar to the concept of halal food, which adheres to Islamic law and follows religious rules in production, service and consumption.