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After the disaster that was the crime drama Bombay Velvet, released at around the same time last year, acclaimed director Anurag Kashyap has come up with his latest offering, Raman Raghav 2.0.
Watch the Raman Raghav trailer here:
The film is based on the life of Raman Raghav, a psychopathic serial killer who operated in Mumbai in the mid 1960s. He’s said to have killed at least 35 people in that decade, for which he eventually earned the name, Psycho Raman. His crimes typically involved gruesome murders and assaults using hard, blunt objects.
The series of murders are believed to have begun around 1965-66 in the Eastern suburbs of Mumbai. He attacked 19 people, of which 9 people died. No one could really recognize Raman at the time, largely because the killings occurred in the dark of the night and he was quite an obscure figure anyway.
Another series of murders began in the August of 1968. People living on pavements and in huts had been beaten to death. At the time, Krithika — the relative of a victim of Raman’s from 1965-66 — witnessed the killings and submitted evidence to the Mumbai police. A manhunt was kick started to capture Raman under the leadership of the then-Deputy Commissioner of Police CID (Crime) Ramakant Kulkarni.
On being arrested, Raman admitted to killing 23 people in 1966 and almost a dozen in 1968, the casual nature of his responses suggesting that he may have killed many more.
During trial, Raman was checked for mental instability a few times. While the first time the medical team didn’t find any evidence for mental instability, a psychiatrist of Nair Hospital later revealed that his interviews with Raman led him to conclude that Raman was suffering from Chronic Paranoid Schizophrenia.
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At the end of the trial, although the sessions judge sentenced Raman to death on charge of murder, the judgment was changed to life imprisonment shortly thereafter, as Raman was found to be incurably mentally ill on further medical analysis. He was lodged at Yerwada Central Jail in 1987 and received treatment at a mental health hospital. In 1995, he died at a hospital because of complications with his kidney.
Raman’s bloodthirsty deeds spread a wave of terror in the minds of Mumbaikars, who feared sleeping at night with windows or balconies open at night. Pavement and hutment dwellers were especially at risk, as Raman normally unleashed his wrath upon them.
Given the interest in Raman and his motivation to commit these murders, Indian filmmaker Sriram Raghavan produced a short-film on the life of Raman Raghav. Now, all these years later, Anurag’s feature-length film on who is generally acknowledged as India’s worst serial killer is set to hit the big screen.
The Raman Raghav cast includes Nawazuddin Siddiqui, who plays the title role, and Vicky Kaushal, who plays a cop. Anurag Kashyap confirmed the film’s release date as June 24, 2016 on his Twitter account.
Raman Raghav 2.0 recently premiered at the Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes International Film Festival 2016 and drew a rousing reception there, as it even received a standing ovation. The critics largely praised the film — Screen Daily called it a bloodthirsty thriller — but also called out on some of its limitations (such as on the Hollywood Reporter review), which were largely on account of the film being unoriginal and genre-bound, and the characters being underdeveloped.