Starring: Shah Rukh Khan, Mahira Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui
Director: Rahul Dholakia
Producer: Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar, Gauri Khan
Written by: Rahul Dholakia, Harit Mehta, Ashish Vashi, Niraj Shukla
Music by: Ram Sampath
Cinematography: K.U. Mohanan
Editing: Namrata Rao
Budget: 80 crores (US$11.74 million)
Production company: Red Chillies Entertainment, Excel Entertainment
Distributed by: Red Chillies Entertainment
Running time: 2 hours 22 minutes
Technical Aspects: 3/5
NO SPOILERS 🙂 (The routine story is the biggest spoiler)
Script & Screenplay
Ever since the debacle of RA.ONE, the only SRK starrer that managed to entertain the general audience while also leaving a lasting impact was DON 2.SRK since then has been struggling to deliver the goods.With Raees being helmed by National Award winner Rahul Dholakia I was finally sure that this was it.The King is back.But turns out he isn’t and the biggest misfire is the brittle and tired writing.
I don’t know what went wrong but I would like to believe that the producers probably hampered Dholakia’s vision to suit themselves.Whatever the reason may be but Raees is a disaster for my expectations.The characters are hollow and used conveniently to suit the context.The writers have not attempted anything new and there are no twists or surprises for the audience either.Nawazuddin’s character Jaideep Majumdar is strong yet does not offer much resistance to Raees.
This imbalance of characters might also be a result of SRK’s star power which led the writers to keep Raees in the driving seat throughout the film even if it comes at the cost of dumbing down everybody else leading to plotholes.
Rahul Dholakia’s Raees is a commercial 80s potboiler masquerading as everything else.Dholakia falters in try to create a balance of all elements needed to appeal a Bollywood fan. But this is one the reasons Raees remains an ordinary film.
Raees has been allegedly based upon the life of Abdul Latif a notorious bootlegger who was incriminated in the 1993 Bombay blasts.The disclaimer in the film however claims otherwise.I wish the makers wouldn’t have played safe with SRK’s image making Raees Robinhoodesque and instead would have gone all-out with SRK portraying a cold blooded gangster.That would have truly been intriguing.But that wasn’t to be.
Raees also seems to be eerily similar to the Netflix show NARCOS which chronicles the exploits of Columbian drug mastermind Pablo Escobar.If only the film had been as superior as the TV show rather than limiting to superficial simalarities.
Shah Rukh Khan is the soul of Raees and it is on his strong shoulders and kohl eyes that the film gets support through till the end.SRK is endearing and vulnerable but at the same time menacing and dangerous as Raees.Again as an actor I don’t have any qualms but the script has let him down yet again
Mahira Khan’s does her role well but she isn’t given much to do.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui is the saving grace here.His dialogues with Raees pack a lot of punch and as always delivers a high voltage performance as the antithesis to Raees.But his impact as a character on Raees is quite limited and that is a shame.Again the scripting fails the performer.
Zeeshan Ayyub,Atul Kulkarni, Sheeba Chadda, Uday Tikekar are great in their supporting roles as well.
Dialogues, Music & Technical Aspects
Dialogues are the best aspect of this film reminiscent of Amitach Bachchan’s era will surely attract applause and whistles.Especially the scenes between Nawaz and SRK are the highlights of the film.
The music of the film is great but totally unncessary with reference to context of the film.They only hamper the pacing of the film.The background music is great though.
Surprisingly the VFX looks tacky in a few action sequences which is shocking coming from Red Chillies VFX.Even the action sequences themselves are nothing more than routine and in some cases gratuitous too.
The retro setting is captured well with immense detailing to the environment.Kudos to production design.
To enjoy Raees you need to:
1.be an SRKian.
2.have low expectations.