After a series of crap products in the last few years, ‘King Khan’ Shah Rukh has started attempting films like ‘Fan’ and ‘Raees’ which are sincere to its script. ‘Raees’ is loosely based on the life of Abdul Latif, an underworld figure in Gujarat; however the team has declared that the film is a work of fiction to avoid defamation issues.
Stories like this which depict the rise (and fall) of a criminal or an underworld don are always interesting, irrespective of the count of films we have already seen and the same clichéd type of narration and scenes in such films. The primary reason that the audience don’t get bored with such stories is that they are inspired from real life incidents; even though all the criminal’s stories are almost the same, the route that they took and the brainy tactics that they use to reach to the top must be different. The film does remind us of classics like ‘Scarface’ and Tamil films like ‘Nayagan’ & ‘Pudhupettai’ to a large extent, but what saves the film from all its ‘seen-it-too-many-times’ moments are the lead performances and the extra-ordinary dialogues!
It is the powerful performance of SRK as Raees and Nawazuddin Siddiqui as the uncorrupted cop Jaideep Majmudar which makes the audience sit through for the whole running time; these 2 actors made this average script as an above average product! Shah Rukh is seen in one of his career-best performance after ‘Chak De India’ and ‘My Name is Khan’ in the recent years. All other actors have done a worth-mentioning job, only that the lead female actress Mahira looked so ordinary and her casting was a big let-down.
‘Raees’ gets interesting with its premise, the characters around and the protagonist’s relationship with Raees; say the ‘3 days and the 3 weeks time‘ deal with Jairaj, the timely help by Musa Bhai, the Half cup tea conversations with Majmudar, the ever-loyal friend Sadiq, the friendship with Chief Minister. With such an interesting plot, the film could have been much more raw, perfect and fresh. What stopped ‘Raees‘ from becoming an all-time classic like ‘Company’ or ‘Sarkar’ is its meagre cat & mouse game and the uninspiring writing where the hero gets through all his problems and tackles all his challenges so easily (say how Raees manages to come out of the jail and become a MLA very easily or how he gets out of his debts so quickly after his ‘Our World’ project is drowned).
On the whole, ‘Raees’ is an above average underworld story that is definitely watchable; but, could have been much more arresting!
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