wogma rating: Watch but no rush (?)

quick review:

What could have been a crisp, engaging narrative becomes a ‘not bad’ thriller because of uneven pace. The 15-20 minutes on song and romance could’ve been used in other ways to highlight sacrifices made by families of honest government employees.

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Director: Raj Kumar Gupta
Running time: 130 minutes
Genres: Social, Thriller
More Movie Info

Raid - Preview

What looked like yet another eyeroll-inducing “Ajay Devgn against the system” film, perked me out of my stupor with, “From the director of Aamir and No One Killed Jessica”. I am suddenly looking forward to the film.

It does seem that tax raids are ever so slightly more interesting than a arrests by a police officer. From the trailer it looks like, this marginal difference is the only thing that the film is banking upon. The rest is one villain being replaced by another, one actress by another and Ajay Devgn by an even more resolute Ajay Devgn. Oh and maybe he won’t resort to violence.

Truly hoping there is something more to Raid than copy-paste of other honest officer versus system films

Raid releases on 16 February, 2018.

Music Reviews:
Movie Talkies - "2/5"

- meeta, a part of the audience

The one thing that sets Raid apart is that it is based on a true life story. If it were not, it could easily be dismissed as yet another idealistic ‘honesty vs. corrupt’, ‘good vs. evil’ story. But, this actually happened. A team of Income Tax Officers showed up at a known corrupt, political goon’s doorstep to conduct a raid based on an anonymous tip. And there wouldn’t have been a story if they didn’t find anything, right? So, there isn’t much of a story to give away. Raid, then does a decent job of building drama while revealing how it all panned out. If only, on its way, it did not fall prey to its misguided effort of doffing its hat to the officers’ families.

It is a shame then that this already engaged frame of mind isn’t capitalised upon.

After you have seen the film, one of the main things that will stay with you is how the music was a let down. Not only is the background music consistently in your face to fulfill its job description of building drama, but the songs too are disappointing in more than one ways. The music and lyrics are generic but what you really wonder about is why the movie had strewn the songs to lengthen it unnecessarily. Especially considering you know the director has made engaging films without them. It is when the end slides roll that the text on them make you realise the family angle was a way of paying a tribute to the sacrifices made by the officers’ families. And that breaks your heart even more – was superficial and misplaced songs the only way the makers could think of to laud these families?

Everything about the relationship between Amey Patnayak (Ajay Devgn) and his wife, Malini (Ileana D'Cruz) is farcical. From the introduction scene where their pillow talk consists of rum-odour, toothpaste and cardamom seeds to her concern about his safety seem forced and extraneous. Without those ending slides, as a seasoned movie-goer, you would know the only reason she is in the film is to fill in as the hero’s weakness. It doesn’t help that Ileana D'Cruz is as monotonous as ever. There’s just no range.

On the other hand, while we could say the same thing about Ajay Devgn, there is this one scene where he has to portray Amey’s vulnerability and there is the slightest variation in how his eyes shift and his forehead crinkles. And that one scene made me question the existence of all his action films. Why bother with that when you can do this? However, other than this one scene, he just holds on to that dead-pan expression we are well versed with. It is a good thing then, that some of us cannot have enough of it. Especially, when he is mouthing some very well written lines.

The show-stealer though is Saurabh Shukhla. His depiction of corrupt politician, Tauji is on spot. His vulnerability though extraneous to the plot makes his character very interesting. You might not fear Tauji for you aren’t shown much of his tyranny and what he is capable of, but you hate him for his arrogance and want him to lose real bad.

This I think is also a win for the choice of subject. You know ₹420 crores in 1981 (approximately $65 million at today’s rates) is a lot of money. But, seeing it pour from all over the place, the sheer volume still shook me up. And then to imagine this is owned by just one family. This is the corruption that seeps into our lives. This is the money that will be misused again after it has been confiscated by the government. The issue of corruption itself has you hooked, has you rooting for Amey evidenced by an applause from the audience watching the film. This is despite the fact that Amey’s in-the-face honesty makes you wonder if he spent all his salary on his wife’s lucknowi saris and dresses and a Rayban for himself. You smile at this and move on because you know corruption is being fought with vigour.

It is a shame then that this already engaged frame of mind isn’t capitalised upon. It becomes a regular Ajay-Devgn-plays-honest-guy vs. bad-guy routine. Except of course, that it is based on a true life story.

- meeta, a part of the audience

32 reviewers(?) - 16 yays 14 so-so 2 nays

Warning: clicking on "full review" will take you to an external website that could contain spoilers.

Thumbs up, Bollywood Hungama : ...On the whole, RAID is a realistic and hard-hitting thriller that keeps you hooked right till the end. A film that is sure to win accolades as well as positive word of mouth. This twisty tale is definitely a must watch movie this weekend. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Ankita Chaurasia, Bollywood Life : ...Raid is a great watch if you want inspiration to file your IT returns on time. Raid is a decent watch, even otherwise. However, don’t expect it to bowl you over. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Rohit Bhatnagar, Deccan Chronicle : ...Ajay Devgn speaks through his eyes. His intense look does enough magic on screen but he almost enacts the same in all his movies. He is undoubtedly a brilliant actor but in today's day and time he should take care of his varied range of performances. Saurabh Shukla is a show stealer. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Rahul Bharadwaj, Desi Martini : ...If you love good old fast paced cinema with well defined characters and sharp dialogues then let me tell you Raid will quench your cinematic thirst like none else in some time of recent Bollywood. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Yatharth Chauhan, Desi Martini : ...Raid suffers mostly where movies of this category struggle. In its attempt to be a more inclusive viewing it forces itself into a league where it doesn’t belong. The timing of most songs in the backdrop is an example of how easily a bump free ride can be made uncomfortable. The background score isn’t too bad though. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Meena Iyer, DNA : ...Watch Raid because despite the corruption around us, we still believe we can win the war against black money hoarders. Also, watch it for Ajay Devgn’s intensity. He is sincere, relentless and doesn’t blink even once. One star in the rating is reserved only for him. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Devesh Sharma, Filmfare : ...In short, the dramatic scenes between Ajay Devgn and Saurabh Shukla alone are worth the price of the ticket. Watch the film if you like manly heroes quitely going about their jobs and villains who can be gentlemen at times. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Anna MM Vertticad, FirstPost : ...This is not the kind of fare you might expect to set your pulses racing, but that is precisely what it achieves in its closing scenes. Raid is not regular Bollywood. What it is though is thoroughly entertaining. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Satish Sundaresan , Free Press Journal : ...The songs in the film are just about average. What impresses the most is the film’s background music by Amit Trivedi. While Alphonse Roy’s cinematography is awesome, Bodhaditya Banerjee does a splendid job with film’s editing. At the Box-Office, Raid is bound to pick up majorly through word of mouth. With a class script and classic performances in Raid, do yourself a favour… do not miss watching the film this weekend! ... full review

Thumbs up, by Umesh Punwani, koimoi : ...All said and done, watch this for an entertaining story, edge of the seat kinda narration and first-class performances by Ajay Devgn & Saurabh Shukla. A Raid you’ll not mind being a part of! ... full review

Thumbs up, by Mayank Shekhar, MiD DAY : ...The same rich politicos—patriarchs for places they're from—are in fact secretly admired by locals for being champs at bending the system. They become the system. Not much has changed since. Only what the crooks look like may have. Raid does an honest job of showing it, almost as is. Hence the Raid Alert: Do catch this at a theatre near you.... full review

Thumbs up, by Joginder Tuteja, Movie Talkies : ...Nonetheless, that is acceptable to an extent as well since the film was always meant to be a realistic entertainer. In that zone, both Ajay Devgn and Saurabh Shukla are in terrific form as they bring their years of experience into play and become the character instead of playing themselves. Same holds good for Amit Sial too who plays an IT officer as well and has an important part to play in the film's storytelling. So yes, if you want to watch a true story unfold on the big screen, go and give Raid a watch. You would come back content with the experience.... full review

Thumbs up, by Saibal Chatterjee, NDTV : ...Mercifully, the film, as a whole, isn't. Raid delivers riveting fare without resorting to too many standard Bollywood tics. ... full review

Thumbs up, by ANISH MOHANTY, Planet Bollywood : ...'Raid' is based on a topical subject and tells a rather novel story in a very convincing manner. The power-packed performances by Ajay Devgn and Saurabh Shukla are the film's highlights. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Rachit Gupta, Times of India : ...Director Raj Kumar Gupta handles the film well. The last 10 minutes seem a little fleeting, but that’s a minor grouse. The music by Amit Trivedi and Tanishk Bagchi isn’t consistent either. But Raid is a film that caters to public sentiment against black money and corruption. All in all, this one’s right on the money. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Subhash K Jha, Zee News : ...Your job, perhaps. But hell, someone has to do the dirty job before another Jessica is killed randomly by a wealthy wayward reveler in a bar. Don't miss "Raid". One of its many pleasures is to watch the two principal actors in full control of their characters, even as the director guiding their exchanges, stands back to let the plot grow hot without burning itself out. ... full review

So-So, by Deepa Gahlot, cinemaah : ...Gupta has stinted on the character development—you are informed that Amay is honest and Rameshwar Singh is corrupt, but nothing more about how they arrived at that point. Instead of a romantic song, the film could have given a peek into the working of the IT department and the implications of a raid. ... full review

So-So, by Avipsha Sengupta, Desi Martini : ...In conclusion, what should have been a raw and crisp political drama suffers due to overdramatization, but is salvaged by the performance by Ajay Devgn and Saurabh Shukla less ... full review

So-So, by T J Reddy, : ...This is Bajirao Singham's bureaucratic adventures and all the soul-crushing mediocrity that comes with that. ... full review

So-So, by Manjusha Radhakrishnan, Gulf News : ...Devgn was dangerously dead-panned and nonplussed even in the most explosive confrontations. Perhaps that’s his signature style of acting that worked in many of his works in the past, but it looked repetitive here. His brand of vigilantism and activism looked forced. ... full review

So-So, by Sweta Kaushal, Hindustan Times : ...With a tighter editing, slightly less focus on the wannabe love story and a lesser dose of melodrama, Raid could have been a gripping thriller. ... full review

So-So, by Samrudhi Ghosh, india today : ...Saurabh Shukla effortlessly steals the spotlight from Ajay Devgn. From his unfazed but menacing demeanour in the beginning to desperately clutching at straws to salvage the situation when it goes out of hand, he is exceptional. The surprise element is 85-year-old debutante Pushpa Joshi, who plays Tauji's ageing mother, and brings a much-needed lightness to the film. ... full review

So-So, by Suhani Singh, india today : ...Even as Raid raises pertinent questions on lionising immoral heroes and ignoring the ones who actually do the right thing, it lacks vision and wastes the opportunity to dive deep into this discrepancy. It could have been a smarter and better film if it held public accountable for its own failures in identifying its heroes. ... full review

So-So, by Kunal Guha, Mumbai Mirror : ...If you walk into this one expecting a tight thriller, it may not work as one. But it’s surely a grade above most Devgn films. It doesn’t entirely capture your imagination but doesn’t rob you of your better sense either. ... full review

So-So, by Rajeev Masand, : ...In the end Raid left me very frustrated. It’s promising and delivers many rousing moments, but it runs out of steam well before the finish line. ... full review

So-So, by Manisha Lakhe, Now : ...The script has been written with lots of restrained humor and no one ruins the lines. The politics of wait and frustration is very well shown. Not just Tauji's family, the politicians are cast well. The reveal in the end is good. This movie could have been brilliant but for the wife. ... full review

So-So, by Sukanya Verma, Rediff : ...As disappointing that is, Raid does have its moments of compelling optimism and unexpected wit. It's also the most I've enjoyed watching Ajay Devgn in a while.... full review

So-So, by Nandini Ramnath, : ...Undeclared income is all around, and all it needs is a bit of digging, Raid says. That turns out to be its most enduring idea.... full review

So-So, by Namrata Joshi, The Hindu : ...We are the stories we decide to tell. In keeping with the spirit of the times, when we are tracing all the problems in our polity, economy, society back to the past, Gupta chooses to make a film on corruption in the 80s when Indira Gandhi was in power. Fair enough. Why not? Only I would want to know which Bollywood Braveheart will dare train the camera on corporate crimes and corruption as they are unravelling in 2018. ... full review

So-So, by Rummana, yahoo! India : ...We have seen Raj Kumar Gupta deliver immensely engaging films such as ‘Aamir’ (2008) and ‘No One Killed Jessica’ (2011). ‘Raid’ pales in comparison. It is definitely worth a watch. Sadly, considering the theme, not as gritty as I would have liked it to be. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Uday Bhatia, Live Mint : ...Shukla does everything he can to breathe life into the entitled bully he’s playing—his amorality is much more engaging than Patnaik’s rectitude. Devgn’s rise as a mass hero in recent years has coincided with a narrowing of his range as an actor. He’s blandly professional here, and I felt more for Amit Sial’s morally compromised subordinate than for Devgn’s adarsh balak. When Raid’s trailer released, there was some speculation that it would be similar to Special 26, a sly, twisty 2013 film about income tax raids. If only. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Karan Bali, Upper Stall : ...All in all, Raid, for all its (few) moments, makes for tedious viewing. Our government servants, at least the honest ones, deserved a better film. ... full review

36 tweeters(?) - 31 yays 1 so-so 4 nays

VirattOfficial: #Raid is a realistic-hard hitting movie. Some roles are just tailor made for @ajaydevgn

ursniresh: #Raid A Must Watch Film Here's the Rating From Different Websites @ajaydevgn @Ileana_Official @rajkumar_rkg…

triptikumari20: I think #raid has ability to go for Oscar

TamalDas_IND: Awesome movie #RAID ! Ajay Devgan is simply superb! Imagine how the officer did the actual Raid in 1980! Today all…

SyncreticSau: A sensible entertainer #Raid Watch it for superb star cast specially the #amma @ajaydevgn @saurabhshukla_s #Kudos

Suyog55527719: Sarthak...Enjoying RAID at Inox

smile_donar: Watched #Raid totally engaging and outstanding performance by @ajaydevgn and @saurabhshukla_s

silent_kashi: "raid in cinemas now" Awesome Review for #Raid Must watch for cinema lovers

ShIvAmGuPtA1408: Raid master piece ajay damn good most versatile superstar actor.Proud to be his fan. 4/5

shindeajay2011: #raid whaaaat a movie... Finally after a movies like omkara, ouatim @ajaydevgn gave a fantastic performance.. Love…

SHAHSUDH: Good job Mr. Patnaik @ajaydevgn .. Good to see your Assistants Amit Duos.. Lallan SUDHIR and Satish MISHRA

saurabhkumar361: Great movie @ajaydevgn sir Love u #Raid

mredlich21: #Raid Review : Best movie of 2018? Maybe!

mayapurimag: अजय देवगन और सौरभ शुक्ला का दमदार अभिनय 'रेड' #MovieReview #Raid #AjayDevgan #IleanaDcruz

manojksharma2: #Raid winning the hearts as well as ***** stars. #NewProfilePic

maninder515: Congratulations @ajaydevgn for such wonderful performance in #Raid. Good story and screenplay. Kudos to director and Mr.Shukla.

jaskaransansoye: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ A Great... Superb...and Thrilling Movie.. Must watch.... #RaidMovieReview #Raid @ajaydevgn @Ileana_Official

Itsravipratap: #Raid is a sureshot winner. Entertaining, engrossing, interesting and novel. Read my review at…

Im_usman_: #Raid good Film

Harshpr01180227: Guys go and watch #Raid it's a amazing movie, full time pass and some knowledge about the era of incometax departme…

genesiscanada: Watched Raid Movie. Very good movie.

Gaming_Scrubs: What a great stream tonight! We got 5 wins and had a blast! Thanks for the raid @avcablesss It means a lot to us!!

filmy_foodie: RAID – Loved it.

EnggJourno: Do yourself a favour, go watch #Raid. A thrilling, wonderfully written #drama with impeccable performances by…

DrKing0001: Yesterday went for the movie #Raid . Amazing movie... didn't get bored for a single second. Love the honesty of…

DhruvalDp: Watched #Raid what a brilliant film.Kudos to the entire team. @ajaydevgn sir you are as usaul spectacular the actin…

Debisriprasad: One Time Watch Must #Raid @ajaydevgn nailed it

BasuRules: Awesome movie #RAiD ..must watch @ajaydevgn

alokbagarwal1: Saw 'Raid' over the weekend. Good movie. Suffest one should watch it for the intense suspense & drama that it has.…

akash__107: Watched raid fdfs yesterday what a movie just awesome great performance by Ajay Devgan and Saurabh Shukla it's a must watch movie. #Raid

ActionSharma: Just watched #Raid My ratings 4.5/5 Ajay Devgn again proves no one can touch him in this genre

Hitesh1123: Raid is a one time watch movie... The most memorable character is the aging toothless mother of Tauji

rakshit2400: Biggest problem #Raid is it's predictibility unnecessarily stretched and boring.

Jeeeeettt: RAID REVIEW!! 2 star out of 5. Good performances. Poor writing and direction. Unnecessary music.

iBeingRitwik: Boring #Raid

iams4g4r: AD sir’s #Raid is a disappointing film, has good subject but very thin plot. Ajay Sir had more or less same express…

2 readers - 1 yays 1 so-so 0 nays

Want to Watch, by TimELiebe : Like Ajay Devgan, Movie Sounds Okay for Netflix

Yay! Thumbs Up, by Anand Sachdev

So-So, by Fan

This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: One fist fight
  • Language: Some words muted out
  • Nudity & Sexual content: None
  • Concept: An honest income tax officer takes on a corrupt, local politician

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

Lead Actors:
Character Artists:
Music Director:

Raid - Cast, crew, links

Supporting Cast:
Background Score:
Costume Designer:
Running time:
130 minutes

Comments (4)

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The film, based on a real incident, is one long Raid. It is interesting till a certain point. But beyond that it is just a plain simple Raid. No particular thrill, no particular looking forward to.

The promo gives a feel that the viewers will be treated to a Singham style film. I guess the promo is deliberately designed to make the viewers feel the connect with the film Singham. In reality the film has no similarity whatsoever with the film Singham, other than the intense and honest character played by Ajay Devgan.

Performance wise for Ajay it's a cakewalk having done similar intense role several times. Saurabh Shukla is good too. All the other are strictly alright.

On nudity and sexual content: there's a fleeting reference to all positions from 0 to 69. Children will not even realise what was said.

Anand Sachdev

I find it funny that you (Meetu) have been rating most movies as Catch on TV/online for sure. I mean if the movie is good or not good. But how can you decide whether a certain movie which is worth watching should be seen on tv or on mobile or at the big screen. I'm sorry dear but that is not a good way rating a movie. If the movie is good, it can be or should watched at big screen as it deserves big.

@Anand That rating means the movie is not worth a trip to the theater (time spent of everyone going to the film on commute/watching the film, energy spent on the outing, money spent on ticket(s), fuel/commute, parking, popcorn ;)).

However, you shouldn't skip it completely. You can watch from the comfort of your home or during a commute, spending lesser amount of time, energy and money on it.

Since the number of Indian movies that play in theaters here in upstate NY are really limited (it's better than the "None" that used to be, but there's still a lot of room for improvement!), it's mostly through DVD rentals or Netflix that we see most of them.

This sounds like a good Netflix movie.

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