Raman Raghav 2.0 (released internationally as Psycho Raman) is a 2016 Indian neo-noir psychological thriller film directed by Anurag Kashyap. Produced by Kashyap, Vikramaditya Motwane, Vikas Bahl, and Madhu Mantena, the film stars Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Vicky Kaushal, and debutante Sobhita Dhulipala. It depicts in eight chapters the cat and mouse chase of serial killer Ramanna (Siddiqui) by corrupt cop Raghavan (Kaushal). Real-life killer Raman Raghav, who operated in Mumbai during the 1960s, inspired the film.
Kashyap initially wanted to make a period film about Raman Raghav, but after the commercial failure of Bombay Velvet (2015), his previous film also set in the 1960s, he realised that he would be unable to find financing. Abandoning the period-piece concept, he co-wrote the film with Vasan Bala, setting it in the contemporary time. The film’s music was composed by Ram Sampath, and Varun Grover wrote the lyrics. Jay Oza served as the film’s cinematographer and Aarti Bajaj as its editor.
Raman Raghav 2.0 premiered in the Directors’ Fortnight section at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. It also screened at the 2016 Sydney Film Festival, the Singapore International Film Festival, the Fantasia International Film Festival, Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival, and the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne. The film was released in India on 24 June 2016, received a mostly positive critical response, and proved to be a moderate commercial success, grossing over ₹70 million (US$1.1 million).
In 2013, Assistant Commissioner of Police Raghavan Amrendra Singh Umbi, a drug addict, visits a Mumbai drug dealer. However, his plan to purchase drugs is foiled—the dealer and another man have been murdered. Investigating the murders the next day, he receives a hammer followed by an anonymous phone call.
In 2015, a man named Ramanna surrenders to the police and confesses to killing nine people. He is detained and beaten by the police, but manages to escape with the help of a group of boys nearby. Seeking food at the home of his sister Lakshmi, Ramanna argues with his brother-in-law. After leaving the house he quickly returns and kills the couple and their son. Raghavan is among the police who later investigate the family’s murder, where he finds a picture of Ramanna with Lakshmi, confirming Ramanna’s involvement in the crime.
Raghavan is in a relationship with Smrutika “Simi” Naidu, but he is an abusive partner: he beats her and has forced her to have three abortions. Ramanna surveils Raghavan and Simi, suggesting a link exists between the cop and the killer. This surveillance escalates into more murders when Ramanna stalks and kills Simi’s maid and her husband. After these killings, Ramanna is caught by the police with assistance from an onlooker. However, Ramanna escapes from custody again and kills the man who aided his capture. Raghavan proves to be a killer himself when, on a trip to visit his father, he murders an African drug dealer.
On a later evening Raghavan picks up a woman named Ankita at a nightclub and brings her to Simi’s house. Incapacitated by his drug use, Raghavan is unable to perform sexually, prompting mockery from Ankita. In response he assaults her. Still enraged, he searches for the stash of drugs he keeps at the house, but is unable to find it. In this state he confronts Simi and they argue. When Simi demands he leave with Ankita, he strikes Simi; her fall onto a glass table kills her instantly.
Ankita locks herself in the bathroom and tries to call for help, but desists when Raghavan threatens and coerces her. He then clears away incriminating evidence and arranges the scene to implicate Ramanna for the murder. He retrieves a tyre iron similar to Ramanna’s favoured murder weapon and smashes Simi’s head with it. During these preparations Ankita escapes.
The next day Ramanna surrenders to Raghavan and claims a deep connection with him: each man is the missing half of the other. Ramanna also reveals his role in the two 2013 murders that opened the film and initiated this connection. He confesses to one of the killings, but witnessed Raghavan kill the other man, and thus began his surveillance of the policeman. Ramanna offers to accept the charge for Simi’s murder, but only if Raghavan will kill the eyewitness, Ankita. In the final scene Raghavan’s descent into evil matches Ramanna’s when he murders Ankita in her home.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui as Ramanna
Vicky Kaushal as ACP Raghavan Singh Umbi
Sobhita Dhulipala as Smrutika “Simi” Naidu
Vipin Sharma as Raghav’s father
Amruta Subhash as Lakshmi
Ashok Lokhande as Lakshmi’s husband
Harssh A. Singh as sub-inspector
Mukesh Chhabra as Loan shark
Anuschka Sawhney as Ankita
Hitesh Dave as Constable Kamble
Rajesh Jais as Farid Haq
Kalidas Parthitan as Michael
Rhea Pagar as Violet
Arun Singh as Swamiji