Varun Dhawan in Badlapur. Courtesy Eros International
Varun Dhawan in Badlapur. Courtesy Eros International

Varun Dhawan talks about trading his boyish charm for wrath in Badlapur



After playing a succession of fun, romantic roles in films such as Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhaniya (2014), Main Tera Hero (2014) and Student of the Year (2012), Varun Dhawan turns the tables on typecasting with his intense and edgy portrayal of Raghu in the new drama Badlapur. The film, about a man seeking to avenge the murder of his wife and child, is by Sriram Raghavan (Ek Hasina­ Thi, 2014; Agent Vinod, 2012; Johnny Gaddar, 2007) – a director with a penchant for brooding protagonists.

In Dubai last week to promote the neo-noir crime drama, Dhawan, his co-star Yami Gautam and the producer Dinesh Vijan talked about the making of the movie and Dhawan’s transformation from cute boy-next-door to vengeful husband.

Dhawan on portraying an intense character

"My role in Badlapur is completely different from the roles I've done before. When you're doing comedy, you keep it very light-hearted, you just play around, it's all spontaneous and fun. In this film, there were a lot of emotions that were required to drive the performance and it was hard dealing with all those emotions. I've never actually been so intense. At times, it was such hard going that sometimes, to a certain point, it really stopped being enjoyable. But I was committed to the role one hundred per cent and gave it all I had. But in real life, I'm a pretty chilled-out person."

Gautam on working with Dhawan

"He really was one of the most chilled-out and coolest guys on the set. He is exactly the way you have seen him on screen in films like Student of the Year. There is nothing pretentious about him. And he's definitely nothing like the character he plays in Badlapur."

Dhawan on his chemistry with Gautam

“We got pretty close. Yami is so cool, and we used to joke around with each other a lot while shooting. This jovial relationship on-set was very important because it was such an intense film and such an intense character. We had to do what we could to keep our spirits up. One of the incidents I remember – in fact, one of the most memorable incidents for me – was when we were travelling between shooting and it was my birthday. We stopped at a dhaba [street-food stall] and stuffed ourselves with some really good Maharashtrian food. I also ended up cutting my birthday cake there.”

Vijan on Dhawan’s dedication to his role

“I was on set and Varun was working on a shot where he was hammering away. He was screaming and totally in character, and at that point in time, I found Varun so deeply connected to the role that I got scared. This film shows Varun in an avatar never seen before.”

On director Raghavan

Dhawan: "This is the first time I have worked with Raghavan. He has brought out in me what I didn't even know I had in me. I play a father for the first time. I play a 40-year-old. I play such an intense character. For this alone, the film is worth a watch."

Vijan: "Sriram is a truly unique filmmaker – sometimes to the point of being crazy. Through Varun he has channelled some of his best work in an amazing way. This film is unadulterated Sriram Raghavan and it is a must-watch."

Gautam: "From the director of the film to the actors, we've had the finest people working on the film. So that definitely makes it worth a watch."

Badlapur opens in cinemas on Thursday, February 19

artslife@thenational.ae

F1 drivers' standings

1. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes 281

2. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari 247

3. Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes 222

4. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull 177

5. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari 138

6. Max Verstappen, Red Bull 93

7. Sergio Perez, Force India 86

8. Esteban Ocon, Force India 56

The bio

Favourite book: Peter Rabbit. I used to read it to my three children and still read it myself. If I am feeling down it brings back good memories.

Best thing about your job: Getting to help people. My mum always told me never to pass up an opportunity to do a good deed.

Best part of life in the UAE: The weather. The constant sunshine is amazing and there is always something to do, you have so many options when it comes to how to spend your day.

Favourite holiday destination: Malaysia. I went there for my honeymoon and ended up volunteering to teach local children for a few hours each day. It is such a special place and I plan to retire there one day.

EMIRATES'S REVISED A350 DEPLOYMENT SCHEDULE

Edinburgh: November 4 (unchanged)

Bahrain: November 15 (from September 15); second daily service from January 1

Kuwait: November 15 (from September 16)

Mumbai: January 1 (from October 27)

Ahmedabad: January 1 (from October 27)

Colombo: January 2 (from January 1)

Muscat: March 1 (from December 1)

Lyon: March 1 (from December 1)

Bologna: March 1 (from December 1)

Source: Emirates

‘White Elephant’

Director: Jesse V Johnson
Stars: Michael Rooker, Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Olga Kurylenko
Rating: 3/5

KEY DATES IN AMAZON'S HISTORY

July 5, 1994: Jeff Bezos founds Cadabra Inc, which would later be renamed to Amazon.com, because his lawyer misheard the name as 'cadaver'. In its earliest days, the bookstore operated out of a rented garage in Bellevue, Washington

July 16, 1995: Amazon formally opens as an online bookseller. Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought becomes the first item sold on Amazon

1997: Amazon goes public at $18 a share, which has grown about 1,000 per cent at present. Its highest closing price was $197.85 on June 27, 2024

1998: Amazon acquires IMDb, its first major acquisition. It also starts selling CDs and DVDs

2000: Amazon Marketplace opens, allowing people to sell items on the website

2002: Amazon forms what would become Amazon Web Services, opening the Amazon.com platform to all developers. The cloud unit would follow in 2006

2003: Amazon turns in an annual profit of $75 million, the first time it ended a year in the black

2005: Amazon Prime is introduced, its first-ever subscription service that offered US customers free two-day shipping for $79 a year

2006: Amazon Unbox is unveiled, the company's video service that would later morph into Amazon Instant Video and, ultimately, Amazon Video

2007: Amazon's first hardware product, the Kindle e-reader, is introduced; the Fire TV and Fire Phone would come in 2014. Grocery service Amazon Fresh is also started

2009: Amazon introduces Amazon Basics, its in-house label for a variety of products

2010: The foundations for Amazon Studios were laid. Its first original streaming content debuted in 2013

2011: The Amazon Appstore for Google's Android is launched. It is still unavailable on Apple's iOS

2014: The Amazon Echo is launched, a speaker that acts as a personal digital assistant powered by Alexa

2017: Amazon acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, its biggest acquisition

2018: Amazon's market cap briefly crosses the $1 trillion mark, making it, at the time, only the third company to achieve that milestone

GROUPS

Group Gustavo Kuerten
Novak Djokovic (x1)
Alexander Zverev (x3)
Marin Cilic (x5)
John Isner (x8)

Group Lleyton Hewitt
Roger Federer (x2)
Kevin Anderson (x4)
Dominic Thiem (x6)
Kei Nishikori (x7)

Company Profile

Company name: Cargoz
Date started: January 2022
Founders: Premlal Pullisserry and Lijo Antony
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 30
Investment stage: Seed

A QUIET PLACE

Starring: Lupita Nyong'o, Joseph Quinn, Djimon Hounsou

Director: Michael Sarnoski

Rating: 4/5

SPEC SHEET: APPLE IPHONE 14 PRO MAX

Display: 6.7" Super Retina XDR OLED, 2796 x 1290, 460ppi, 120Hz, 2000 nits max, HDR, True Tone, P3, always-on

Processor: A16 Bionic, 6-core CPU, 5-core GPU, 16-core Neural Engine

Memory: 6GB

Capacity: 128/256/512GB / 1TB

Platform: iOS 16

Main camera: Triple 48MP main (f/1.78) + 12MP ultra-wide (f/2.2) + 12MP telephoto (f/2.8), 6x optical, 15x digital, Photonic Engine, Deep Fusion, Smart HDR 4, Portrait Lighting

Main camera video: 4K @ 24/25/30/60fps, full-HD @ 25/30/60fps, HD @ 30fps, slo-mo @ 120/240fps, ProRes (4K) @ 30fps; night, time lapse, cinematic, action modes; Dolby Vision, 4K HDR

Front camera: 12MP TrueDepth (f/1.9), Photonic Engine, Deep Fusion, Smart HDR 4, Portrait Lighting; Animoji, Memoji

Front camera video: 4K @ 24/25/30/60fps, full-HD @ 25/30/60fps, slo-mo @ 120/240fps, ProRes (4K) @ 30fps; night, time lapse, cinematic, action modes; Dolby Vision, 4K HDR

Battery: 4323mAh, up to 29h video, 25h streaming video, 95h audio; fast charge to 50% in 30min; MagSafe, Qi wireless charging

Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.3, NFC (Apple Pay)

Biometrics: Face ID

I/O: Lightning

Durability: IP68, dust/splash/water resistant up to 6m up to 30min

Cards: Dual eSIM / eSIM + eSIM (US models use eSIMs only)

Colours: Deep purple, gold, silver, space black

In the box: iPhone 14 Pro Max, USB-C-to-Lightning cable, one Apple sticker

Price: Dh4,699 / Dh5,099 / Dh5,949 / Dh6,799

Kill

Director: Nikhil Nagesh Bhat

Starring: Lakshya, Tanya Maniktala, Ashish Vidyarthi, Harsh Chhaya, Raghav Juyal

Rating: 4.5/5

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: DarDoc
Based: Abu Dhabi
Founders: Samer Masri, Keswin Suresh
Sector: HealthTech
Total funding: $800,000
Investors: Flat6Labs, angel investors + Incubated by Hub71, Abu Dhabi's Department of Health
Number of employees: 10

The Kitchen

Director: Daniel Kaluuya, Kibwe Tavares

Stars: Kane Robinson, Jedaiah Bannerman, Hope Ikpoku Jnr, Fiona Marr

Rating: 3/5 

CABINET OF CURIOSITIES EPISODE 1: LOT 36

Director: Guillermo del Toro
Stars: Tim Blake Nelson, Sebastian Roche, Elpidia Carrillo
Rating: 4/5

COMPANY PROFILE

Company: Eco Way
Started: December 2023
Founder: Ivan Kroshnyi
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: Electric vehicles
Investors: Bootstrapped with undisclosed funding. Looking to raise funds from outside

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Revibe
Started: 2022
Founders: Hamza Iraqui and Abdessamad Ben Zakour
Based: UAE
Industry: Refurbished electronics
Funds raised so far: $10m
Investors: Flat6Labs, Resonance and various others

THE SPECS

Engine: 3.5-litre V6
Transmission: six-speed manual
Power: 325bhp
Torque: 370Nm
Speed: 0-100km/h 3.9 seconds
Price: Dh230,000
On sale: now

Company Profile

Company name: Namara
Started: June 2022
Founder: Mohammed Alnamara
Based: Dubai
Sector: Microfinance
Current number of staff: 16
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Family offices

Engine: 5.6-litre V8

Transmission: seven-speed automatic

Power: 400hp

Torque: 560Nm

Price: Dh234,000 - Dh329,000

On sale: now

Bio

Born in Dubai in 1994
Her father is a retired Emirati police officer and her mother is originally from Kuwait
She Graduated from the American University of Sharjah in 2015 and is currently working on her Masters in Communication from the University of Sharjah.
Her favourite film is Pacific Rim, directed by Guillermo del Toro

World Cup final

Who: France v Croatia
When: Sunday, July 15, 7pm (UAE)
TV: Game will be shown live on BeIN Sports for viewers in the Mena region

Nepotism is the name of the game

Salman Khan’s father, Salim Khan, is one of Bollywood’s most legendary screenwriters. Through his partnership with co-writer Javed Akhtar, Salim is credited with having paved the path for the Indian film industry’s blockbuster format in the 1970s. Something his son now rules the roost of. More importantly, the Salim-Javed duo also created the persona of the “angry young man” for Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan in the 1970s, reflecting the angst of the average Indian. In choosing to be the ordinary man’s “hero” as opposed to a thespian in new Bollywood, Salman Khan remains tightly linked to his father’s oeuvre. Thanks dad. 

The five pillars of Islam

1. Fasting

2. Prayer

3. Hajj

4. Shahada

5. Zakat