Movie Review: Raees

Raees: Old Wine in Old Bottle

Shahrukh Khan’s “Raees” created a buzz the day the teaser was launched in 2015. Cut to 2017 when the movie released on 25th Jan’17, whether it really lived up to the excpectations???

“Raees” revisits the 80‘s genre of Hindi movies where the whole story revolved around the main protagonist and he is capable of doing anything and everything. Well the storyline of “Raees” follows the similar pattern, set in the 80’s it tells the story of an underdog Raees Khan (Shahrukh Khan) a bootlegger in organized crime scene of illegal liquor trade in Gujarat, since he was a kid under Jairaj (Atul Kulkarni). “Raees” essentially shows the meteoric rise of Raees Khan in the crime scene and ultimately his fall which is inevitable.Raees-New-Movie-Review

“Raees” essentially does not offer anything new; it is blatantly inspired by the Amitabh Bachchan genre of movies like Deewar, Agneepath with a dash of Scarface. Written by a group of writers which includes the director Rahul Dholakia himself along with Ashish Vashi, Harit Mehta & Niraj Shukla, ”Raees”  falls prey to the movies that it is inspired from and does not rise above it. The plot and screenplay is extremely predictable and you can actually guess what will come next. The inconsistencies in the screenplay is on your face, for instance the visual impairment of Raees Khan, it is used on the convenience of the writers where ever it is needed, like he goes and kills the entire army of Jairaj without his glasses, or the moharram sequence when he is chasing his assassin without his glasses, whereas in the beginning in one of the fight sequence Raees cannot see without his glasses. Secondly whenever he is shown on a killing rampage he does it alone without any help, well a super hero I may say so. “Raees” starts off on a high note and somehow keeps the tempo till intermission, but in the second half the movie nose dives and it goes nowhere. The writers are not clear what to show of Raees, a ruthless and scheming criminal or a messiah of the poor, and that is where the movie looses the plot. The love story is extremely weak and you feel that the love angle is introduced only for song sequences. Even the camaraderie of Raees with his friends like Sadiq is not explored well. The only character which looks strong in front of Raees is of the police inspector Jhatak Majmudar (Nawazuddin Siddiqui), other characters look like sitting ducks, so in short the story lacks strong characters which would have eventually elevated the script. The lack of sensitivity in the writing is so obvious that you just do not sympathies with Raees Khan as a character. Overall a below average attempt as far as the script goes.

Dialogues is the high point of the movie, it is impactful yet realistic. Somewhere the weak writing is redeemed a bit with the dialogues, but if only dialogues can create an impact on a weak script. So the impactful dialogues fail to salvage the weak script.

Performance wise Shahrukh Khan as Raees Khan tries his best in enacting the character with complete earnestness, but somewhere the larger than life persona of Shahrukh Khan steals the authenticity of the character and you see SRK and NOT Raees Khan in the movie. Shahrukh tries to look like the character but his portrayal is SRK written throughout, which is something which in today’s scenario is not acceptable. The last earnest attempt of Shahrukh wherein he played the character and was successful was “Chak De India”. Shahrukh is an extremely good actor but somehow the movies that he is choosing off late is only portraying SRK the STAR and not SRK the ACTOR. Nawazuddin Siddiqui yet again proves his mettle with his portrayal of the policeman Jhatak Majmudar, he is spontaneous, witty and brilliant. Rather whenever Nawazuddin comes on screen you can feel the impact. He even overshadows Shahrukh in a few scenes. The debutant from Pakistan Mahira Khan as Aasiya does justice to whatever is given to her, but she fails to rise above the weak writing and hence fails to create any impact. Brilliant actors like Atul Kulkarni, Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub, Raj Arun, Sheeba Chadha and Lovleen Mishra are wasted in weakly written character roles. But one actor who creates impact even in a small role is Narendra Jha as Musa Bhai, after Nawazuddin it is Narendra Jha whose character stays with you even after the movie gets over, definitely an actor to watch out for.

K U Mohanan’s camera work strikes the right balance between the ruggedness of Gujarat and the colours of Gujarat. Production design by Anita Rajagopalan and Donal Reagen successfully creates the 80’s look to perfection. Costume Design by Sheetal Sharma blends with the characters well and does not look too jarring or out of place.

Music wise “Raees” scores high with the romantic “Zaalima” by Aheer and “Udi Udi Jaaye” by Ram Sampath which has a garbha feel to the song. The re-created “Laila mein Laila” is foot tapping and has enough beats to make you dance. Rest of the tracks fails to impress.

Rahul Dholakia who impressed us with his sensitive “Parzania” and “Lamha”, takes a detour with “Raees” and tries to attempt a mainstream commercial movie, but fails to balance between the arty and the commercial sensibilities. Rahul looks confused as to where to draw the line in being arty and being commercial, and in the bargain the movie gets affected. Surprisingly the sensitivity which Rahul showed us in previous two movies is completely missing in “Raees”, and hence it fails miserably in the emotional quotient. Rahul please give us another “Parzania”, we still have faith in you as a director.

“Raees” fails to live up to sky high expectations and delivers an ordinary fare… I will go with Two & a Half Stars..

Movie Rating: (2.5 / 5)

 

Official Trailer: Raees

After “Dear Zindagi” which may not be an out and out Shahrukh Khan movie, here comes the long awaited raees-movie-official-trailerSRK movie “Raees”, which was initially slated to be released on Eid 6th July, 2016 but was postponed to avoid the clash with Salman Khan’s movie “Sultan” to 25th Jan’17…

This is Rahul Dholakia’s third outing as a director, first being the critically acclaimed “Parzania” and the second being the topical “Lamha” based on the Kashmir issue which went unnoticed. “Raees” is Rahul Dholakia’s first large scale big budget movie..

“Raees” is a period drama set in 1980’s Gujarat and tells the story of Raees Alam and his illegal business of Liquor which is challenged by ACP Ghulam Patel, the conflict between the two is what the movie is all about…

The titular role as we all know is being played by Shahrukh Khan with Nawazuddin Siddiqui playing ACP Ghulam Patel, the rest of the cast comprises of Pakistani actress Mahira Khan who debuts in Bollywood with this movie along with Atul Kulkarni, Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub and Sheeba Chaddha…

Red Chillies Entertainment & Excel Entertainment has joined hands for this venture and is being produced by Gauri Khan, Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani.

“Raees” has music by Ram Sampath

The teaser of “Raees” which was released with “Bajrangi Bhaijaan” during Eid 2015 became immensely popular; especially the dialogue “Baniye ka Dimaag aur Miyan Bhai ki Daring”…

SRK’s look in the movie is bang on and it would be interesting to see both Shahrukh and Nawazuddin together..

Well only time will tell as to who will win the battle, Hrithik Roshan’s “Kaabil” or SRK’s “Raees” as both the movies are releasing the same day 25th Jan’17, but for cine goers it would be a treat..

Till then watch the Official Trailer of “Raees”…

Movie Review: Rock On 2

Rock On 2: Nothing rocking about it…

Excel Entertainment, co-partnered by Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani has always tried in re-inventing content in Bollywood, starting from their first “Dil Chahta Hai”. “Rock On” which released in 2008, introduced rock music to Bollywood and each and every song became popular taking the music directors Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy to a different level, and so were the movie which was based on a rock band “Magik” and its team members. “Rock On” was not only received critical acclaim but it was a box office hit…So naturally when its sequel “Rock On 2” happens the expectations are naturally sky high…

“Rock On 2” takes you 10 years hence from where the prequel ended, it tells the story of each band member and their respective struggles and how they come together to make music again is what the movie is all about…rock-on-2-review

Story written by the erstwhile director of “Rock On”, Abhishek Kapoor and Pubali Chaudhuri and screenplay by Pubali Chaudhuri, completely looses the plot right from the word go. The movie just does not have any high at all, it is flat all throughout. There is not a single scene which makes you sit up. The screenplay is painstakingly slow and fails to create any interest whatsoever. Even the characters from the prequel Adi (Farhan Akhtar), Joe (Arjun Rampal) and KD (Purab Kohli) look bored and completely exhausted, and their beard look endorses the same. The characters from the prequel which were so interesting, the script fails to take them to the next level rather the writing turns them into a complete bore. Even the introduction of new characters like Jia (Shradha Kapoor) and Uday (Shashank Arora) does not help. The writing is too morose and fails miserably…

Surprisingly the dialogues by Farhan Akhtar which is otherwise witty just sounds mundane and does not help the otherwise bland script a wee bit..

But kudos to the performances, Farhan Akhtar as Adi again gives a honest and impactful performance but it is the writing which overshadows his sincere act. Arjun Rampal as Joe again plays the subtle act well, rather I must say Arjun has become a restrained actor in all these years and it shows well, so another good performance by Arjun. Purab as KD again reprises the role of the chirpy band member again but somewhere he overdoes it and it looks and sounds cheesy. Shradha Kapoor as Jia is her most restrained performance till date where she goes beyond playing a chirpy girl, and she does well but again the writing fails to do justice to her earnest and sincere performance, but whatever said Shradha shows that she can do serious role with equal ease. Shashank Arora and Prachi Desai are wasted in uninspiring roles. Kumud Mishra as Vibhuti Charan Sharma a sarod guru and Jia’s father is a one dimensional character and he has the same morose expression throughout the movie, and is Kumud’s weakest portrayal in recent time. But I must say one of the saving grace of the movie is its performances…

The prequel “Rock On” was success due to its amazing music, somewhere this movie just fails to create that impact with its music. None of the songs in the movie created by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy is noteworthy that to in musical is a huge let down..I think it is Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s weakest album till date…A complete let down…

Debutant director Shujaat Saudagar, fails completely in his first outing and does not any spark as well…I must say one of the weakest debut as director in this year…

The other good thing about the movie other than the performance is its cinematography by Marc Koninckx, it captures the natural beauty of Meghalaya like a dream and the movie looks more like a promotion for Meghalay Tourism than a feature film. I am sure after watching the movie visiting Meghalaya would be in the wish list of many…

“Rock On 2” fails at various levels barring the performances and the cinematography, and in a nut shell “Rock On 2” is a promotion for Meghalaya Tourism and nothing beyond that…I will go with two and a half stars…

Movie Rating: (2.5 / 5)