Director: Rahul Dholakia
Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Mahira Khan, Mahammed Zeeshan Ayyub, Atul Kulkarni
Writers: Rahul Dholakia, Harit Mehta, Ashish Vashi, Niraj Shukla
Shah Rukh Khan’s Raees is a victim of its own big promise. The story and direction give an incredible start but then its illogical and unconvincing second half take away all the fun and thrill one would expect from such genre.
Raees’ (Shah Rukh Khan) mother says ‘Koi dhanda chota ya bada nahi hota, jab tak kisi ka bura na ho’. On that front, Raees joins the illegal liquor business in Gujarat and with his street smartness and gutsy approach, one day he starts his own. While his illegal empire flourishes, Inspector Majmudar (Nawazuddin Siddiui) is in full gear to shut down Raees’ illegal activities. But, Majmudar is not the only threat to Raees; there are many, as he climbs up the success chain.
As far as Raees’ rise is concerned, the script works well. It shows the right and wrong of his business and importance of living a life on moral terms. The characters of Raees, Sadiq and Majmudar are interesting. This all makes up for an amazing first half. The real problem comes in second half where suddenly Raees’ liquor business is majorly ignored and his mega plan for the welfare of his people takes the spotlight. His tiff with politicians was necessary but then it goes excessively wild with Raees burning bottles and creating violence. The final act was uncalled for. This story could have been simply about Raees’ liquor business and face-off with Majmudar. Rest of the aspects were disappointing and make the film ordinary.
Rahul Dholakia had a big job of directing Raees. Rahul gives an intriguing start to the film with Raees’ childhood, his mother’s influence on him to be a good man. The journey of Raees wherein he boldly expands his business with his smartness and courage is enjoyable. The direction gives a promising first half so I was looking forward to what he has in store next. But, then Raees’ stretched fights with politicians, weakly executed action scenes and concluding part destroy the film. It’s also a bit disheartening that Raees’ best friend Sadiq doesn’t get much vitality in the film as he handled most of his operation.
Image Source: Red Chillies Entertainment
The face-off between Shah Rukh Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui is the best thing of the film. The screenplay during their scenes is cleverly written. The dialogues like ‘Sheron ka zamaana’ and ‘Gujarat ki hawa me vyapar hai saheb’ are powerful.
Apart from Raees and Majmudar, rest of the characters were poorly developed. Aasiya (Mahira Khan) hardly has any hold in the film except in the songs. The reason the film lacks that thrill and excitement is apart from Majmudar, Raees’s enemies were never shown strong so the amazement of Raees winning over them was absent.
Coming to performance, Shah Rukh Khan does a heavy and impressive job in portraying Raees. SRK’s dialogue delivery makes a great impact to the narrative. His on screen presence, handling Majmudar’s police problems in a witty manner, romance with Mahira and portrayal of Raees as a leader of his people is genuinely done by Shah Rukh. Nawazuddin Siddiqui needs a special mention. His entry in the film itself is funny and then the ease by which he enacts the role of an aggressive and persistent cop is mind blowing. It’s always wonderful to see the actor of his kind getting the role he deserves. Nawaz’s conversations with Shah Rukh in the film are highly engaging.
Mahammed Zeeshan Ayyub is a really good actor and like in ‘Jannat’, he has performed the supporting role of Raees’ best friend Sadiq convincingly well. He should have got more value in the story. Mahira Khan is a charm to have as Raees’ love interest but her role doesn’t have much weight which will make a mark. Atul Kulkarni is not a good cast for such roles. He seemed too sophisticated for an illegal liquor businessman.
Shah Rukh Khan’s Raees promises big but its potential doesn’t get fully unleashed due to its flawed story. After getting a good start, it fails to maintain its momentum, eventually causing a dissatisfying experience.