The thriller has to be even more careful about how it crafts its trailer than any other genre. It’s the first part of the trick that will reveal itself fully only after we’ve watched the film. Sujoy Ghosh’s Badla sets up its premise, before it starts messing with it.
Taapsee Pannu plays a married woman with a daughter who has been having an extra marital affair; now she has been convicted of murder. She seeks the services of criminal defence lawyer Badal Gupta (Amitabh Bachchan), who has a reputation for ‘creating witnesses’, and hasn’t lost a case for forty years.
Pannu tells her version of the story: blackmail, a murder in her lover’s apartment, plead for her innocence. But she sounds like the unreliable narrator – even more fishily, consciously so.
Meanwhile, Badal Gupta, with his riddle-like witticisms involving the ‘truth’, is playing his own game – the trailer opens with his voiceover played over a shot of him in a trench-coat walking the streets of London, where Badla is set. A mysterious link between ‘Badal’ and ‘Badla’ isn’t lost on us.
The original story is credited to Oriol Paulo, a Spanish filmmaker. Ghosh has written the script himself.
Badla is produced by Gauri Khan, Sunir Kheterpal, Akshai Puri, and co-produced by Gaurav Verma. It will release in theatres on March 8.
Watch the trailer: