Directed by: Rahul Dholakia
Starring: Shah Rukh Khan, Mahira Khan, Atul Kulkarni, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub and Narendra Jha
What’s it about:
Raees is a movie set between the 80s and the 90s. Raees is a movie about the rise of Raees, played by King Khan, from a poor kid to a rich crime lord. He is a golden-hearted mobster who does bad things for a good cause. The movie is rumored to be inspired from the life of the bootlegger Abdul Latif. Raees is a blend of things we’ve seen before: the cleverness of a man who could think on his feet and cart his maal under the eye of the cop (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) who swears to catch him.
In fact, it is Nawaz who shines most. His dry, witty one liners, and he has several, have a zest which SRK’s don’t.
Raees begins well. The director captures the journey of Raees’ interest in crime to his downfall and keeps you fascinated and gripped. The story of his success is a highlight and leaves you spellbound. The scenes and powerful dialogues between him and his mentor are brilliant. The writing is straightforward and effective. The first half of the film is crisp, pacey, action packed and utterly gripping. The fight scene in the meat market is one of the best scenes and most realistic scenes. Atul Kulkarni as Jairaj, Raees’ first boss also does great work. Kulkarni gets the first shot right at the beginning with the film’s most wolf-whistle-worthy lines (which is later quoted by Raees): “Baniye ki dimaag aur Miyabhai ki daring, dono hai iske paas.”
Another positive aspect of the movie is how they have showcased that being a Muslim doesn’t define a person. We are all humans first and then religion comes into picture. This was very much needed to broaden the thoughts of the people in today’s generation.
At the other end of the spectrum is ACP Jaideep Majmudar, an upright cop whose fight isn’t only against Raees and his associates, but also the higher-ups in the police force who subject him to repeated transfers.
No matter where the ACP ends up being transferred to, from Fatehpur to Kutch or Police control room, he is so adamant that he finds some or the other way to be a thorn in Raees’s life. Doesn’t it portray the reality of our country? Sigh!
Recently, in an interview the director, Rahul Dholakia confirmed that Raees was originally only going to be a documentary and not a commercial movie. We believe that the makers of the movie should have stuck with the original thought. The biggest failure of the film is its story. There are uncanny similarities between Raees and the Bachchan movies during the 80s. The storyline is also similar to that of Once Upon A Time In Mumbai. In Raees, Nawazuddin is the clear hero. He has all the lines, the scenes and the wins. The romance between SRK and Mahira has no spark. Sunny Leone’s song which was meant to add a glam factor actually does no good to the movie. The other sad part of Raees is that the heroine, Mahira Khan is just used for her good-looks and has been given a side role. We wished we could see more of Mahira. Post-interval, Raees’ story boasts of limited depth, and tries to camouflage this failing through songs and Nawaz’s witty one-liners. The beginning of the end comes with the song Zaalima mindlessly thrown into the narrative immediately after the interval, and the movie goes downhill from there.
What to do:
Far better films have been made on crime earlier. There is nothing extremely special about Raees. But if you’re a Shah Rukh fan or Nawazuddin fan, you can consider going for it.