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: Dear Zindagi

Dear Zindagi: Dear Actors make it Dear to watch

“Dear Zindagi” has a fabulous set up, a stellar ensemble cast led by none other than Shahrukh Khan & Alia Bhatt who come together for the first time, a director like Gauri Shinde whose last outing as a director was “English Vinglish” which was both critically acclaimed and a box office success and a good concept…dear_zindagi_movie_review

“Dear Zindagi” is a movie from the eyes of the principal character Kaira (Alia Bhatt), who has issues with her love relationships as she is commitment phobic, this leads to turmoil in her life, at this juncture she meets a shrink Dr Jehangir Khan a.k.a Jug (Shahrukh Khan) who shows a different perspective of life. Is Kiara able to fight her inner demons and comes out clean is what the movie is all about….

Concept wise “Dear Zindagi” gets ten on ten, but it is the screenplay which becomes the Achilles heel for the movie. The first half is spent on delving on Kiara’s life and just like her life the screenplay by Gauri Shinde also does not go anywhere and it picks up a bit just pre interval when Dr Jehangir Khan enters, and you feel now the movie is going to pick up, but sadly the movie just looses the plot in the second half and becomes a drag. The biggest problem of the writing is that it never peaks and is monotonous throughout. The pace is another hindrance especially in the second half where the numerous psychiatric sessions just becomes too much and you as an audience start feeling to go to a shrink. The biggest drawback of the screenplay is that there is no entertainment quotient which could enhance the overall viewing experience; rather it is more cerebral without any outcome. The writing fails to live up to the entire set up..

Where “Dear Zindagi” scores is its performance from the entire ensemble cast, Alia Bhatt as Kaira is a huge revelation; she carries the complex character on her young shoulders with ease and gives a crackling performance. Alia overshadows everybody including Shahrukh Khan in her portrayal. As an actress Alia’s performance in “Dear Zindagi” is another feather in her cap. Shahrukh Khan as Dr Jehangir Khan plays his age and gives his best after “Chak De”, a very subtle yet impactful performance. We need more such performances from the brilliant Shahrukh Khan. Amongst the host of male leads,  Kunal Kapoor as Raghuvendra, Angad Bedi as Sid and Ali Zafar as Rumi, it is Kunal Kapoor who creates an impact, definitely a good actor who has been under rated and not utilized by Bollywood that much. Angad Bedi after the impactful performance of “Pink” just fizzles out as Sid in the crowd can’t blame him completely but even the writing needs to be blamed. Ali Zaffar as Rumi looks appealing only in the songs and not much can be said about his acting, he remains an eye candy in the movie. Kaira’s friends Fatima a.k.a Fatty played by Ira Dubey and Jackie played by Yashaswini Dayama support Alia Bhatt aptly with their natural and sincere performance, without which Alia’s performance would have looked out of place. Kaira’s Brother played by Rohit Saraf as Kiddo, though not a prominent role and character but still he leaves his mark and his chemistry with Alia as brother and sister is believable. Rest of the cast live up to the expectations and add up in making “Dear Zindagi” bearable…

As the captain of the ship we had huge expectations from Gauri Shinde as a director, especially after the impressive “English Vinglish”, but to our disappointment she falls flat in her second outing whether it is her writing or story telling capabilities. The only department Gauri scores is the concept and above all the performances from each and every actor, I think these are the only two elements which redeems her as a director. But we still believe in Gauri Shinde as a director and would wait for her next with equal anticipation…

Amit Trivedi’s music just does not match the standard of “English Vinglish”, though a few songs like the title track sung by Jasleen Royal & Amit Trivedi and “Just Go to Hell” sung by Sunidhi Chauhan & Amit Trivedi stand out. Was disappointed to see the rip off version of Ilaiyaraja’s “Ae Zindagi Gale laga le” from Sadma sung by Arijit Singh in this movie is left out, it was definitely a track worth to be incorporated…

Laxman Utekar’s camera work makes you fall in love with Goa yet again, and you wanna pack your bags and go for a holiday to Goa…

“Dear Zindagi” unfortunately fails to deliver, it is Shahrukh Khan & Alia Bhatt’s performance which makes it worth a watch…I will go with Two and a Half Star…

Movie Rating: (2.5 / 5)

Movie Review: Dilwale

Dilwale: No heart & Soul in this Dilwale

DilwaleRecipe of a hit movie, sign up a hit pair from the past, sign up two new actors from the current lot, to support sign a bandwagon of comedians, sign up a successful director, shoot in exotic foreign locations, show stylish cars and blow it up and at the end take the story idea from an old Bollywood successful movie and put some scenes in the name of script, and you have a hit Bollywood movie dish ready to earn 300 to 400 crores….

Well I guess this is how “Dilwale” was made. Rohit Shetty completely looses the plot with this movie and attempts a love story which is definitely not his forte and he fails miserably.

With a clichéd story line of two brothers Raj (Shahrukh Khan) and Veer (Varun Dhawan) who own a garage in Goa modifying cars and live a quite life of fun and bhaichara, till Veer falls in love with Ishita (Kriti Sanon) who happens to the sister of Meera (Kajol). Both Meera and Raj who have a history 15 years back when Raj was Kali a gangster in Bulgaria. The young couple Veer and Ishita now need to re-unite the warring lovers Raj and Meera, so that they can get married. How they unite the warring couple is what the movie is all about.

Written by Yunus Sajawal, the screenplay looks too dated and extremely predictable, even the so called twists that have been incorporated. There are glaring loop holes in the movie, like both Veer & Ishita were young enough to understand what was happening 15 years back, but they are shown to be completely ignorant, I guess Yunus took the proverb “Ignorance Is Bliss” too seriously. The whole premise is too much of 80’s masala. Some of the characters like the comedians Mani (Johnny Lever), Oscar (Sanjay Mishra) and the local gangster King (Boman Irani) all look as an afterthought which was put as comedy ka tadka in the otherwise bland story. None of the characters are well etched including the lead pair, rather the characters of Veer and Ishita look like glorified support cast. In the climax Yunus completely looses it with “No punch” at all, something which is expected in a Rohit Shetty movie. Rather the climax looks too rushed as if the makers were in hurry to wrap up the movie or were not sure how to wrap the movie. In a nutshell the writing is extremely weak…

Dialogues by Farhad-Sajid does not help either, rather it is too childish and amateurish. Some of the jokes in the name of comedy are so clichéd that you will hardly laugh. Even the so called love scenes between the lead pair are without the punch and passion.

It is only Shahrukh Khan who carries the movie on his shoulders. His portrayal of Raj/Kali is the only decent act of the movie. Well as in his previous movie, Shahrukh plays himself and NOT the character. Kajol as Meera repeats her act of the vivacious character which she has been doing since her DDLJ days. I still feel Kajol has the talent but she just does not do anything different. Rather I would love to see Shahrukh and Kajol in a matured love story. Varun Dhawan as Veer hams throughout the movie in the name of the comedy. Rather this is Varun’s weakest performance till date. Kriti Sanon as Ishita has nothing much to do other than looking good, but still she registers her presence in the scenes which includes her, with her confidence. I would love to see Kriti in a much more defined role. Johhny Lever as Mani bhai brings some much needed laughs with his mallu act. Sanjay Mishra as Oscar though is completely wasted but still manages some laughs. Varun Sharma as Sidhu is repetitive of his Fukrey act. Boman Irani as King is one of the worst performance of the movie. Both Vinod Khanna and Kabir Bedi are wasted….

Cinamatography by Dudley manages to give the glamour quotient to the movie. Music by Pritam is good with some melodious tracks like “Janam Janam” and immensely popular “Mohe tu Rang De Gerua”…

“Dilwale” is undoubtedly Rohit Shetty’s weakest movie till date; it completely lacks the Rohit Shetty touch and does not look like a Rohit Shetty genre of movie. It lacks in high octane action and it lacks in humour, two of Rohit Shetty’s forte. I think Rohit should stick to his kind of comedy like “Golmaal” which is pure entertainment and not venture in genres like love story which according to me is definitely NOT his cup of tea….

I will go with 2 & a half stars….

Movie Rating: (2.5 / 5)