Raees - Review
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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
- 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.
Raees - Movie Details
- Official Sites: YouTube Wikipedia IMDB
- Banner: Excel Entertainment, Red Chillies Entertainment
- Producer: Farhan Akhtar, Ritesh Sidhwani, Gauri Khan
- Director: Rahul Dholakia
- Lead Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Mahira Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui
- Supporting Cast: Sunny Leone
- Story: Ashish Vashi, Harit Mehta, Niraj Shukla, Rahul Dholakia
- Cinematography: K. U. Mohanan
- Music Director: Ram Sampath
- Lyrics: Javed Akhtar
- Running time: 140 minutes
- Reviewer: meeta
- Language: Hindi
- Country: India
- Genres: Action, Crime, Thriller
Raees - Trailer
If you cannot see a video above, click here to see it on YouTube