Raees (Shah Rukh Khan) is a Gujarati muslim man who grew up in Fatehpura working for Jaydeep Seth (Atul Kulkarni) along with his buddy Saadiq (Md. Zeeshan Ayyub) in bootlegging. With the help of Mohsin Bhai (Narendra Jha), Raees is able to set up his own smuggling business much to the dismay of the existing magnates. But things turn around when Inspector Majmudar (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) comes to Fatehpura and challenges the smuggling business. Will Raees be able to defeat Majmudar? Or will he succumb in the stricter hands of law?
What follows next is a cat and mouse game and an emotional drama that answer the above.
Positive points: –
- Performances of Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Shah Rukh Khan keep the spirits of the movie alive throughout.
- The storyline of Raees is first-rate. Anyone who would have read the script would have assumed it to make a great movie.
- The cat and mouse game that Raees and Majmudar play in the first half is excellent and engaging as well.
Negative points: –
- Although conventional crime/mob dramas do run for about 2 and a half hours, Raees is rather bromidic and distressing especially in its second half.
- Extremely poor action choreography throughout the movie pushes the movie further backwards. Raees seems to jump and climb like Spiderman at times and he even fires a shot gun thrice to kill a man without even bearing any recoil! Wow!! Duh!!
- Shah Rukh’s and Mahira’s love angle in the movie was not only unnecessary but disengaging from the course of the movie at times.
- Even though the songs are decent, most of them pop up randomly in the movie and you have no clue why have the makers decides to even put a song at that place.
- Plot-holes, ofcourse! Well almost every movie has minor glitches but when a major plot-hole is caught, it can’t be let off. At one point Raees contests in an election while in jail and wins it to come out of the prison! Since when people having criminal cases were allowed to contest election is India! I need to check my 10th standard political science book probably for that! Indian filmmakers have to realise that they can’t just put anything in order to ensure that the story continues. (This thing is disputed in case of Abdul Latif’s life history as one article in internet claims it. If this is authenticated, I shall remove this point from the blog.)
- Lastly, we all know that Raees is based on Abdul Latif’s life, a man who was the most notorious criminal of his time. The way the movie celebrates him contrary to what he has done, it’s a shame given the fact that the movie was declared to be fictitious after the court case against it by Latif’s son (the makers however had consulted Latif’s family for its making).
Direction, Script and Other Technicalities: –
I am confused where to start. It’s like my club juniors are standing in front of me and I’m wondering “Kis kis ko kya kya gaaliyaan dun”. Rahul Dholakia hasn’t done a bad job but he hasn’t done anything great either. I felt he was making the same mistake with Raees what Anurag Kashyap had done with Bombay Velvet. The best thing he does is ensuring that the movie seems to be based in the 80s and 90s and nothing else.
The screenplay would have been better with the romantic-angles being removed and the plot-holes being abated. The storyline otherwise is one thing that I loved a lot. The dialogues offered to Nawaz and Shah Rukh are great too. This flick actually looks excellent on paper. I’m still wondering what went wrong when it was produced on screen.
I don’t know who directed the action sequences, but he/she has done the worst work in the whole film. I blame Dholakia for this too because his lack of insight has led to this debacle. Superman is rumoured to have committed suicide after seeing the sequence in which Raees turns the chariot of the politician single-handledly!
Cinematographer K. U. Mohanan too disappoints with his work. In the Mumbai-butcher-house fight sequence, the shaky camera work is so shoddy that it’s difficult to discern who is doing what in it.
Ram Sampath’s music is good but the poor timing of the appearances of the songs in the movie is irritating.
I would go first with Nawazuddin Siddiqui because nothing impressed me more than his top-notch performance as Inspector Majmudar. He blends humour and seriousness immaculately and overshines even Shah Rukh when both are in the same scenes (except the climax). His pelvic thrust in his introductory scene is hillarious. The first half belongs to him completely. I wished he had got more screen space in the second half as well but… never mind!
Shah Rukh Khan is wonderful in the titular role and seldom overacts contrary to his reputation. He wins your heart with his honest and insightful act and carries the second half of the movie ably on his shoulders.
Zeeshan Ayyub is great as Saadiq and gives able support to Khan throughout the movie.
Mahira Khan makes a below-average debut. She not only struggled with her dialogues but with her facial expressions too. Her screen space was also so less that she went nearly unnoticed.
Atul Kulkarni, Jaideep Ahlawat, Narendra Jha, Uday Tikekar and Sheeba Chadha are fine in their brief appearances.
Final Verdict: –
Raees has so many problems that even its strong storyline and the sterling acts of Nawaz and Shah Rukh can’t keep you engaged to it. For me the nearly 2 years wait for Raees didn’t pay off well and this flick is strictly for Shah Rukh Khan’s fans. Raees may do a decent or even excellent business due to Khan’s stardom but it will never be looked at when counting Khan’s best films.