Raees - Review

wogma rating: Add to 'must watch' list (?)
quick review:

Crime drama from the 80s, songs like they are from the 90s, slickness and style from the 00s. And story like a thriller should be written.



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Wogma Review

It is so heartening to see the actors on the top take a few risks and go a little away from the norm. None of the themes are new – be it a sports underdog, based on true life story in Dangal or a revenge thriller in Kaabil or a Robin Hood-esque hero taking on the world in Raees. But, they are decently written and don't have the typical formulaic trappings of Hindi films. Also, you see the stars try their best (even if they don't succeed 100%) to be the characters and not themselves. This is truly heartening.

Raees has Shah Rukh Khan play a ragpicker's son called Raees. He has aspirations to be a businessman. Not the suave, stylishly suited, city businessman. He aspires to run a profitable business using his uneducated but street-smart acumen. He wants to do no harm while making his profits. To make him the textbook Robin Hood, the said business has to be illegal, and so it is.

The challenges he faces and the solutions he comes up with make Raees an engaging 2+ hour watch. Every move he makes has a counter-move either by the involved politicians or the honest policeman (Nawazuddin Siddiqui). This makes the web complicated for Raees and claustrophobic for the audience who is egged to support him, even against the honest policeman.

This nexus isn't new to us. We have seen every “star” be a part of this nexus in more than one film. However, the actions and reactions amongst them are relentless through Raees and yet they aren't repetitive. The stakes get higher with each iteration. None of this makes you come to the edge-of-your-seat but you do find yourself taking sides and wondering what the next move will be. You see the ever-so-slight transitions in characters and yet they are consistent with what you would expect of the said character.

Shah Rukh Khan slips in and out of being Shah Rukh Khan, but he is more Raees than Shah Rukh Khan at most times. This is despite some very good yet “film-y” lines. It would have been so easy to get carried away and SRK-ise them. But there's restraint and that restraint doesn't glare at you in the face. The rest of the cast isn't gimmicky either.

The tribute to this genre of Hindi films from the 80s is obvious including the song placement. However, the style of songs reminded me more of those from 90s. Yet, neither of those are jarring as they were in their times because of the writing. Sure, there are loopholes and there are continuity jerks (especially in some of the action sequences). However, it is just a relief not to be taken completely for granted as the audience. It is a relief to see a formula film play around with the formula. For now, that is good enough.

Raees is very unlikely to have a lingering effect, but while you are watching it, you are 100% there. For now, that is good enough.

- meeta, a part of the audience

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: Murders, gun and fist fights
  • Language: Clean
  • Nudity & Sexual content: An item number
  • Concept: An illegal alcohol distributor has to deal with the politics, business, law and order nexus.
  • General Look and Feel: A smart thriller. Blends slick direction and action well with a retro-ish feel.

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

  • Direction: 3.5
  • Story: 3.5
  • Lead Actors: 3
  • Character Artists: 3.5
  • Dialogues: 4
  • Screenplay: 3
  • Music Director: 2.5
  • Lyrics: 3

Raees - Movie Details

Raees - Trailer

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Comments (6)

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Kavya Kapoor:

Raees is one of the gem in SRK's career. His performance is outstanding, especially when Raees is sad or in angry mode.


SRK does well on his part, however I would point this out that his expressions, dialogue delivery and mannerisms have become very repetitive now and somehow you do not see much variety in his approach towards different roles. Whether it is the Kabir Khan of CDI or the Jahangir Khan of Dear Zindagi or the Raees Alam of Raees or even the romantic Raj of DDLJ, SRK's mannerisms and expressions continue to remain within a limited domain. No doubt he's excelled within that domain but its all too repetitive now and as a viewer, even though I admire his acting skills I do find them very very predictable, irrespective of the character he's portraying.

Coming to the film, Raees is a predictable crime drama produced and narrated in a mass entertainer format that hardly offers anything entertaining barring its dialogues. Watch it if you have absolutely nothing else to do or are a die hard SRK fanatic whose idea of entertainment involves watching SRK walking in slow motion for over 120 minutes.



First half of the movie was good, second half of the movie was a total crap.


A bad movie. Nothing that you have never seen. A typical formula based plot.


I'm sorry but I've just lost all respect for this site after seeing this rating for another garbage SRK movie.


You have seen it all before, and many times. Provided you have watched the films produced in the late 70s and early 80s - several times the role being incarnated by no less than Amitabh Bachhan. In case you are not the 70s type, then you still had the opportunity to watch it a few years back with the magnificient Once Upon a Time in Mumbai. And the remake of Agneepath. Despite so many films, if you still feel that Raees had something new and interesting to offer than you are either a hard-core admirer of SRK otherwise welcome to Bollywood. For all the rest, it is just a mashup of several Amitabh films (glimpses of Adalat, Agneepath, Deewar, ...), several mafia films (Dharmatma, ...), Surprise, surprise, even a famous dialogue of Singham has been picked up as-is without any changes.

It is a known fact that SRK suffers from a severe inferiority complex - he would like to do everything that his seniors did and his peers are doing. Thus not satisfied with remaking Dilip Kumar or Amitabh classics remakes, he also makes an Ajay Devgan remake this time round - and also (once again) copies Amitabh in applying kohl to his eyes throughout the film (remember the terrible Agneepath?).

That leaves us with the Pakistani import playing the lead actress. Before having watched the film, I was wondering as to why was an imported face used in this film? After watching the film, and realizing how totally irrelevant and even ludicrous at times the character was - I fully understand that no leading lady from Bollywood would have agreed to take up this role. Needless to say that she is horrible, in every aspect, and I would not be surprised if this is her last Bollywood film.

Nawaz is good, of course. But then he is just being natural, no particular effort to overshine and leave a lasting image.

Overall: Nay Thumbs down.

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