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RAEES - Shockingly strictly routine with the only enjoyable merit being the Shah Rukh-Nawaz clash. (Review By Bobby Sing)
26 Jan, 2017 | Movie Reviews / 2017 Releases / Inspired Movies (Alphabetical) / R

SRK or the King Khan as he is popularly known, certainly has some serious issues with his films since MY NAME IS KHAN released in 2010. At times it’s an old subject that becomes the problem but most of the times it’s the script and the writing which brutally betrays him and his sincere efforts made putting it honestly.

Unfortunately, the same happens once again in his latest RAEES too, which shockingly remains strictly routine right from the first childhood scene and doesn’t have anything fresh to offer to the audience except a fairly enjoyable clash between Shah Rukh Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui playing the honest cop.

To be straight, if in a SRK film, Nawazuddin gets more cheers and shouts on his entry than the Khan himself, then it clearly reveals the viewers expecting much more entertainment and ‘return for their money spent’ from him instead of the leading man, which in my humble opinion surely deserves to be considered as an alarming indication for the thinking actor Shah Rukh Khan.

Coming to the film’s key subject, its yet again a story of a gangster’s empire built with the nexus of police, politicians and the system together reminding you of the famous and far superior English TV series NARCOS about Pablo Escobar, the lord of drugs in Colombia. Said to be based on the true story of a Gujarati bootlegger turned gangster of the 80s, Abdul Latif, who was later also charged for the involvement in 1993 blasts, the makers haven’t officially accepted or announced the inspiration but remain too close to the events happened around the same period.

Following the set format of 70s Hindi films written by Salim-Javed beginning from the childhood accompanied by strong dialogues and sequences building the central character, RAEES doesn’t seem to be bad film at all from the perspective of making, shot-takings, background score, presentation and the key performances. But it’s the so depressingly stale and unexciting basic plot of the film that never makes you feel like watching something new or different especially post the intermission.

In few words, where you do enjoy the clash between the good and bad forces in the first half, the second half offers nothing of that sort at all and nose dives at once post the unwanted song added just after the interval (again following the fixed format of the 70s wherein we always had a song coming back from the washroom or canteen).

As widely discussed in the social networks, I don’t think it’s the censors this time but the makers (writer/director/SRK) themselves who fearfully toned down the film and its politically revealing sequences to avoid many severe cuts or government opposition resulting in such a below average product. May be the director Rahul Dholakia alone might not be responsible for that, but its unarguably weird to choose such a controversial subject for a SRK film when you are not daring enough to reveal it all fearing the censors and the system. Wonder what they found interesting and exciting in such overused and boring storyline other than the controversies involved.

Apart from the writer and director following the 70s films with childhood dialogues such as “Battery Nahin Bolne Ka” and “Baniye Ka Dimaag Aur Miyan Bhai Ki Daring”, Shah Rukh Khan also (once again) follows the footsteps of the veteran Amitabh Bachchan with surma in his eyes and a little variation in the voice (reminding you of the cult AGNEEPATH). However both the unoriginal, sloppy writing as well as the confident act together fail to deliver the magic still felt in the movies of the energetic 70s (incidentally also seen in a clip running in the backdrop in one of its action sequence).

No doubt Shah Rukh Khan truly carries the film with enough swagger and conviction, but an actor actually cannot do much if there is no meat in the subject, repeating the same old ‘seen before’ scenes coming one after the other in a highly irresponsible manner. Both Mahira Khan from Pakistan and the talented Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub get affected from the uneven writing too and so does the remaining supporting cast failing to make any impression at all including Atul Kulkarni. In the technical department where both cinematography and background score excel, I was really not moved by any particular song in its soundtrack, except the marginally better “Zaalima”.

In short other than the King Khan and the dialogues, its only Nawazuddin Siddiqui who actually saves the film giving you something to cheer and smile in the much better first half. Otherwise you can easily guess the confidence level of the makers who even decided to add an item number of Sunny Leone in a Shah Rukh Khan film and that too remaking (read ruining) a cult 80s track.

Summing up, No doubt RAEES is a weak, repetitive and once again not a wise choice of a script by the KING KHAN, but the film has one unique quality I would like to loudly praise it for.

And that’s for being a brave Hindi film focusing on a Muslim protagonist after years (or decades) boldly participating in the sacred rituals on the screen too, displaying the religious sentiments in all positive light, that can easily be rated as a rarity in the present tense scenario redefining ‘tolerance’ as a term.

In other words, in the times when we have deliberately stopped writing the film titles in URDU like we used to do in the last millennium and tactfully need to add a word before ‘Bhaijaan’ to make it a universally likeable title/film, such a strong religious portrayal in RAEES is nothing short of a daring statement indeed.

In fact that’s exactly what you can call it as “Miyan Bhai Ki Daring”.

Rating : 2 + 0.5 / 5 (with the additional 0.5 for the above mentioned tolerant daring by the Khan)

AN AFTERTHOUGHT
- About an absurd key dialogue repeated throughout the film.
--------------
As mentioned above, RAEES can easily be called a forceful tribute to the spirited 70s, but as an afterthought, I found its key dialogue used repeatedly to be quite absurd and foolish contradicting with the over-intelligent and ‘Robinhood’ kind of image given to the central character.

Giving you the details, the writers portray the mother as a highly positive character similar to the roles of Nirupa Roy in cult movies like DEEWAR and more, giving her a highly questionable dialogue as,
"Koi Dhanda Chhota Nahin Hota............. Aur Dhandey Se Bada Koi Dharam Nahin Hota" to which she later adds “Agar Ussey Kisi Ka Bura Na Hota Ho”.

Selectively making the first two lines as his life teaching, Raees goes on to be a bootlegger and keeps on repeating the lines at regular intervals in the film supplying illegal liquor all over the state.

Now at one end Raees is portrayed as a Robinhood helping the poor in the time of need and on the other is shown indulging in trade practices which severely affect the life of these people only (majorly the poor) defying his very purpose.

So every time he says, "Koi Dhanda Chhota Nahin Hota....... Aur Dhandey Se Bada Koi Dharam Nahin Hota" with some kind of weird pride or ‘Guroor’, it looks like quite silly as this Dhanda only was killing many of his people around who considered him as a Godfather and he was foolish enough to not even realize it.

Give it a thought.
Cheers!

 


Tags : Raees Film Review By Bobby Sing, Raees Movie Review By Bobby Sing, Inspired Films from real life characters, Hindi Movies on a Gangster Life, Hindi film on gangster Abdul Latif, New Hindi Movies Reviews, New Hindi Movies Released, New Bollywood Reviews, Bobby Talks Cinema Review, Reviews By Bobby Sing, New Hindi Films Reviews at bobbytalkscinema.com
26 Jan 2017 / Comment ( 0 )
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