Finally, ‘Raees’ hits the cinema halls across the country. After what was certainly a very long and frustrating wait compounded by many postponements, SRK fans will now get to watch the much-awaited “Baniye ka dimaag aur Miyanbhai ki daring“. So is Raees worth the wait? Or is it another failed comeback attempt a la Dilwale? Let us take a sneak peek –
Film – Raees (रईस)
Starring – Shah Rukh Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Mahira Khan, Sheeba Chaddha, Mumtaz Sorcar, Sunny Leone (Guest Appearance)
Directed by – Rahul Dholakia
Produced by – Ritesh Sidhwani, Gauri Khan, Farhan Akhtar
Production House (s) – Red Chillies Entertainment, Excel Entertainment
Music by – Ram Sampath
Written by – Rahul Dholakia, Harit Mehta, Ashish Vashi, Niraj Shukla
Duration – 2 hours 42 minutes
Genre – Drama/Biography
Censor Rating – U/A
SRK Dominates Raees
Let us get one thing straight at the very outset. The Raees poster (with SRK and Mahira in a forehead lock pose) is reminiscent of many, many Bollywood flicks – including the SRK debacle Dilwale. But Raees is nothing like these movies. Director Rahul Dholakia, King Khan himself along with his co-stars Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Mahira Khan have gone all out to woo the average Bollywood fan – the college going gang, the householder wanting to watch an entertaining flick with the family, the Sunday cinema goers, the masses that turn a regular Bollywood movie into a blockbuster with their smiles, claps and whistles.
To that end, the movie has been released in over 2,700 multiplexes and single screen cinemas in India. This in itself shows a major change in approach from other recent SRK movies where only glamour loving mall going viewers were targeted. There is more than enough glitz and glamour in this Rs.95 crore film, though.
“The story of the film is a pure work of fiction, not based on any person; living or dead” – despite the disclaimer, it is widely believed that the story of Raees is loosely based on the life of small time bootlegger-turned-don from Gujarat, Abdul Latif. The story of Raees Alam is based in the 1980s. Son of a rag picker, young Raees not only serves as an operative of a bootlegger but imbibes many lessons from his mother that fuel his ambition. “Koi dhanda chhota ya bada nahi hota, aur dhande se bada koi dharm nahin hota”, he hears her saying. That being the case, he decided to test the boundaries of law and his own abilities by going into the imported alcohol trade. Predictably, Raees makes many enemies – some envious rivals, some upright police officers.
Enter Inspector Jaideep Majumdar, the slightly eccentric but determined officer who takes Raees head on. The cat and mouse race between the outlaw and the policeman make up most of the drama in Raees. The movie is a rather realistic portrayal of the brutal violence and warm benevolence that coexisted in gangsters of yore. This forms the basis of a grudging respect despite the antagonism between Majumdar and Raees. To know if Raees makes it out of Majumdar’s clutches safely, if Raees the husband can stave off the violence that consumes Raees the gangster, if the people of Gujarat respected and loved their alcohol peddling Robin Hood, head straight to the nearest cinema playing Raees.
Rahul Dholakia is undoubtedly the star of Raees. Yes, we know it’s an SRK film but the director, for once, outshines the hero.
SRK dominates his movies – every one of them. So how is Raees different? Remember the SRK of Deewana, Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman and Baazigar? The actor who worked overtime to make his place in the hearts of the viewers – after decades, that hero is back! The lead man does deliver a suave and polished performance. Raees is an out and out commercial movie, and that end it achieves to great success.
Mahira is beautiful and Nawazuddin Siddiqui is as usual endearing. Great cinematography by K.U. Mohanan and tight editing by Deepa Bhatia completes the ensemble of Raees.
Raees Music Review
Ram Sampath has dished out some great beats and peppy numbers including a wonderful reinterpretation of the classic “Laila Main Laila” and the traditional song “Gammar Ghammar”. While the music of Raees is certainly not a fabulous offering, it is quite in keeping with the theme of the movie.
Cliched stale numbers like “Saanson Ke” take away the glamour quotient from the music album. The soundtracks are unlikely to outlive the movie, though.
Laila Main Laila
Singer – Pavni Pandey
Lyrics – Indeevar (Original), Javed Akhtar (Additional)
Music – Kalyanji–Anandji (Original), Ram Sampath (Additional)
Length – 5:06
Singer – Arijit Singh, Harshdeep Kaur
Lyrics – Amitabh Bhattacharya
Music – JAM8
Length – 4:59
Udi Udi Jaye
Singers – Sukhwinder Singh, Bhoomi Trivedi, Karsan Das Sagathia
Lyrics – Javed Akhtar
Music – Ram Sampath
Length – 4:20
Singer – Mika Singh
Lyrics – Mayur Puri
Music – JAM8 (Aheer), OmGrown
Length – 2:46
Enu Naam Che Raees
Singers – Ram Sampath, Tarannum Malik
Lyrics – Ram Sampath, Hiral Brahmbhatt
Music – Ram Sampath
Length – 3:00
Singer – KK
Lyrics – Manoj Yadav
Music – JAM8 (Aheer)
Length – 4:02
Singer – Roshan Rathod
Music – Ram Sampath
Length – 2:39
Raees is SRK’s best performance in many, many years if not his career best. The controlled performance and mature acting skills King Khan displays are sure to be great contributors to the film’s success. K.U. Mohanan’s camerawork is a visual treat and Rahul Dholakia’s directorial skills shine in Raees. For a film that has been three years in the making and faced numerous hurdles, Raees is as fresh as can be.
Ram Sampath’s music comes across as a very average offering in the midst of a very spiced up movie. The script is highly unoriginal but that is not quite unexpected in an SRK film, is it?
Raees is a complete entertainment package. If you are a die-hard SRK fan here is your chance to swoon over your favourite lead man all over again after the disappointment of Fan and Dilwale. SRK’s passionate performance, Bollywood glamour, rich visuals, and full scale entertainment – Raees is a must watch!
It is a rare Wednesday release – so head straight out to the cinemas and watch one of the first blockbusters of 2017.
Rating – 3.5 stars
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