Raees Movie Review
Rating: 3 Stars
Director: Rahul Dholakia
Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Mahira Khan and Mohammad Zeeshan
Raees Review: Shah Rukh Khan first burst onto the scene with negative shades and much before he became one of the world’s most loved romantic heroes, he’d made career out of anti-hero roles. Going back to the intensely satisfying environs of movies like Darr and Baazigar, SRK continues the trend he’d picked up in last year’s Fan. He’s the bad boy in Raees albeit with the proverbial golden heart. He beats up the baddies like a modern rendition of Amitabh Bachchan’s angry young man. He serves up machismo in bulk. If you enjoy your movies in a single screen theatre, Raees is your Holi, Eid, Diwali and New Year gift hamper all rolled into one.
This film is a massive throwback to the times of larger-than-life heroes. Director Rahul Dholakia has even managed to push in a scene from Amitabh Bachchan’s Kala Patthar. There isn’t a vein of subtlety or nuance in Raees. This is an all out masala movie. It makes the most of SRK’s gift with swagger and charisma. His character of Raees is introduced like an urban legend, the one man who fuels the illegal liquor distribution business in Gujarat. It builds on the ‘baniye ka dimaag and miya bhai ki daring’ analogy, portraying SRK’s Raees as the man who outsmarts the competition, the law and the system. Raees goes from run-of-the-mill bootlegger to benevolent Don over a runtime of 2 hours and 40 minutes. Along the way there’s the quintessential romance with Mahira Khan. And the extremely pleasing cat and mouse game between the wily Raees and persistent police officer Majmudar (Nawazuddin Siddiqui). SRK and Nawazuddin lock horns like arch rivals as if straight out of Dev Anand’s and Pran’s Johny Mera Naam. Their onscreen rivalry adds the spunk to Raees. It’s extremely satisfying to see both actors in such fine form.
With a generous runtime, there are moments when Raees does feel a bit too long. But despite its lengthy storytelling the movie packs in so much drama and action that the average movie buff will hardly complain. SRK’s and Nawazuddin’s stellar performances ensure that Raees retains its entertaining quality. SRK isn’t layered or complex like he was in Fan. He’s a more straightforward leading man in Raees. One who excels at a life of crime but maintains a strong silver lining throughout. A people’s messiah, an action hero and a romantic all rolled into one. Nawazuddin on the other hand is the persistent foil who’s at the hero’s heels all the time. His easy demeanour compliments SRK’s intensity and the two light up the screen with some genuine acting fireworks.
SRK’s bravado dialogue delivery has some great stand out moments. Nawaz’s cheeky lines make you smile. Sunny Leone’s Laila number adds the veritable oomph. Raees serves up every thrill and spill you’d expect from a commercial masala movie. While the story and ideas aren’t all new or refreshing, Raees’ big play comes from its nostalgic treatment. This is a film for SRK fans and those who’ve grown up on a staple fare of Hindi pot boilers. Heroes, action, dialogue, romance and music this one has the whole jingbang.
by Rachit Gupta |www.filmfare.com