It’s 1971 and intelligence officer Hidayat Khan (Rajit Kapur) decides to marry his daughter Sehmat (Alia Bhatt) to his longtime friend Brigadier Syed’s (Shishir Sharma) son Iqbal (Vicky Kaushal) who is also an army officer. The problem with the whole thing is that Brigadier Syed and his family belong to Pakistan which is India’s archenemy since their independence.
Why would Hidayat take such a preposterous decision? What plan does he have in his mind for Sehmat? Is it for the betterment of both the countries or is there a greater conspiracy lurking from beneath what’s visible?
Positive Points: –
- Performances of the cast particularly Alia Bhatt and Jaideep Ahlawat.
- Soulful music and a fitting background score.
- The smart way the techniques of spying that have been showcased in the film.
- A fine balance between drama and thrill which ensures that the audience is on its toes throughout the film while also connecting to the individual characters.
Negative Points: –
- A jerry-built screenplay along with a myopic direction which leaves a lot of things in an unrelenting and questionable state.
- Raazi is made up of some excellent plot points but all of these haven’t been connected properly to form a cohesive narrative.
- The lack of proper continuity which I don’t know whom to blame upon: the director or the editor.
Direction, Script & Other Technicalities: –
I have mixed views regarding how the entire storyline has been crafted and presented in the movie. Raazi is similar to last year’s Ittefaq in a way that both are sterling thrillers but are marred by numerous loopholes and other similar problems. The ideation of the plot is pretty fantastic. The espionage training and on the ground activities that take place have been depicted wonderfully. But overall they just can’t camouflage the myriad number of flaws that Bhavani Iyer’s writing and Meghana Gulzar’s (who has also co-written the flick) direction exhibit (I’m not going into any details of the same in order to avoid giving away spoilers). At times, the movie and its events seem to be lacking all sorts of senses as the audience is expected to gulp everything in their imperfect and erroneous forms. On the brighter side, the characterisation of Sehmat has been wonderful and her emotional disturbances have been beautifully portrayed. The emotional connect is good though at times things become too corny. Nonetheless, the film doesn’t compromise on its thrill which is greatly positive.
Jay I. Patel’s cinematography is good. Nitin Baid nettled me with his uneven and sharp edits which disturbed the continuity of the film badly at times. However, I am open to the possibility of him doing so in order to abate the poor directional choices. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s music and score are bang on and the soulful songs hit the chords of the audience effectively, giving the movie its emotional depth and richness.
Alia Bhatt is stellar as Sehmat and literally saves the film from its flawed making. She carries the movie on her shoulder for the most part of it and does it ably.
Jaideep Ahlawat delivers a strong and measured performance.
Vickey Kaushal has performed beautifully and it’s easy to fall in love with his character. His expressions are perfect and so is his chemistry with Bhatt.
Rajit Kapur, Shishir Sharma, Ashwath Bhatt and Amruta Khanvilkar justify their respective roles. Arif Zakaria makes an impactful cameo.
Final Verdict: –
There is so much to complain about Raazi but there’s a lot to like and love about it as well. The best thing about Raazi is that it doesn’t adopt the generic masala type of approach of making spy films and stays to the ground. Of course, it’s mushy at times but I’m ready to overlook that because of its strongly riveting nature. For me, it’s a good one-time watch.