- Shah Rukh Khan (Raees)
- Mahira Khan (Aasiya)
- Nawazuddin Siddiqui (Superintendent of Police Jaideep Ambalal Majmudar)
- Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub (Sadiq)
- Atul Kulkarni (Jairaj)
Director: Rahul Dholakia
Music: Ram Sampath
“Baniye ka dimaag aur Miyabhai ki daring” was what every Shahrukh fan had been waiting for over a year. After the much talked controversies surrounding its cast and release date, Raees finally hit theaters on the 25th of January, ending the wait for millions of SRK fans. Based on the life of Abdul Latif, a bootlegger, prominent in Gujrat during the 80’s and 90’s, Raees is just like every Bollywood biopic that exploits fact and figures, which puts off the well read film buff.
The film is shot across Mumbai and depicts the India of the 80’s. Director, Rahul Dholakia ensures he keeps his characters well organised and in sync with the story across the 150 minute journey. As the film mainly revolves around the early life, rise and fall of Abdul Latif, the first half unleashes a rather entertaining and exhilarating chain of events to make sure you are glued to the celluloid. A promising first half, with the perfect balance between the music, story and the actors, sets high expectations of the audience, for something mind blowing in the offing.
The second part of this journey carries the vigour and tone of the first half to keep things well in balance. If we discuss the acting performances, the film is carried across the able shoulders of Shahrukh Kahn and Nawazuddin Siddiqui with now and then surprise moments from the supporting cast. Mahira Khan fits into the mood but stumbles at occasions while the quirky and witty Zeeshan Ayyub, playing the role of Shahrukh’s side kick, manages to capture some attention but fails to make a mark for himself in this captivating drama-thriller.
Raees entertains you till the moment we reach the fall of the protagonist, disturbing the momentum of a well enjoyed film. It is at this moment Mr. Dholakia begins tampering facts to lure a sympathetic feeling for one of the most notorious characters our times have seen. While the story manages to get back on its pace, Ram Sampath delivers a simple and melodious music album including a dazzling “Laila Main Laila” as the Shahrukh starrer gathers sufficient attention and credible acknowledgment from the “Sabse bade superstar ka sabse bada FAN“. Despite an uneven momentum towards the end, the writers ensure they give you the momentary smile as the script unleashes a variety of cheeky, funny and bold dialogues.
The journey winds up giving everyone in the theatre something to smile and fuss about. As some stations deserve a standing ovation some are worth affirmative criticism to make Raees fall jut below my expectations of it being a SRK classic. To sum up,for me, the film was all about Shahrukh, Nawazuddin and Ram Sampath’s music, making it quite an OK outing.
The Cinema Station’s Rating: Average 3rd AC journey