Raees is an antihero film that tries to recreate the magic of 1980s, when Amitabh Bachan ruled the silver screen. SRK has tried to ape Big B of the 80s in Raees but has failed to live up to the image of the angry young man created by the pens of Salim – Javed.
The earthy dialogues that used to be the hallmark of Amitabh Bachan films were missed in Raees. The movie could have gone up at a different height, if the screen play could have been packed with more punch lines. Even someone like Kader Khan's dialogue could have done wonders to this film.
Raees is an intense movie and to break its pace, music or comic could have acted a soothing balm. Unfortunately, both are the weakest link of the film. Though Sunny Leone mesmerizes with ‘Laila o Laila’ song, but then the originality was missing.
Firoz Khan's Qurbani did the original score with music composer Bidu and sung by Nazia Hassan the Pakistani singer. Zeenat Aman was the showstopper in this song. Apart from ‘Laila,’ no other song in Raees could stir the vocal chords.
Raees is an action movie and it was expected from the fight master to create some brilliant fight scenes that made Amitabh Bachan taller in size, but except one sharp shooter scene, none of the stunts could leave any impression.
While SRK’S contemporaries Aamir and Salman can still romance on the snow peak or around the tree, SRK is no more the ‘RAJ’ of ‘DDLJ’. His personal habit of drinking and smoking is telling on his face, and loudly screams that RAJ has now become Raees.
Nonetheless, SRK still carries the weight of the movie on his shoulders and Raees singularly has a stamp of authority. After watching this movie, his diehard fans have something good to talk about his acting.
However, Raees has not lived up to the expectations to lift SRK's position that has been slipping fast.
The Badshah of Bollywood has been relegated to number three position by his competitors Aamir Khan and Salman Khan. If SRK has to regain his lost position, he has to come up with at least one or two blockbusters in quick time.
The plot of the movie looks bit squead. The movie has peaked in the first half itself; the second half is a big dragging on. Climax of the film is negative. Indian audience don’t like to see their hero dying. They did not want the Devdas (Dilip Kumar) to die in 1955, nor did they want gangster Raees to die in 2017.
Indian heroes are born to live life king size, happily thereafter but unfortunately, this is not the case with Raees. The audience come out of the theatre with a heavy heart and this is a big put off in the movie.
Well Nawzuddin Siddiqui does a good job with his role. He gives a big boost to the film and in this supporting role he lifts up the movie to some height. But he does not provide any comic relief to the film.
Mahira, the Pakistani girl looks fresh but her role was limited and she does a good job in whatever little role she has to play. The other characters have been there in bits and pieces, and among them ‘Sadiq’ the man Friday of Raees has done a good job.
The only high point of the movie is the director Rahul Dholakia, known for his National Film Award winning film ‘Parzania’ who has made a brilliant attempt to recreate a political drama and tries to capture the mood of contemporary Gujarat. Dholakia has excelled his job and his auterism has come out brilliantly in this movie.
With all its flaws, Raees still is a brilliant movie to watch. After all its a movie and has to be seen and left in the cinema halls. Well it could have been made still better, and such discussion could carry on till the cows come home. Raees if not brilliant is defiantly is more than an average film.
(The film has collected about Rs 59.6 crore in thress days.)
[Syed Ali Mujtaba is a journalist based in Chennai. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org]