Director: Raj Kumar Gupta
Cast: Ajay Devgn, Saurabh Shukla, Ileana D’Cruz
I always look forward to Ajay Devgn’s films as he chooses movies with some values, be it a content driven movie or even an entertainment oriented one. Raid tells the story of an Income Tax Officer Amay Patnaik (Ajay Devgn) who raids the house of the most powerful person of UP, infamously known as Tau (Saurabh Shukla).
The story is straight forward and is naturally an interest inducing premise. We all want to see corrupt politicians behind the bars so film like Raid gives us that satisfaction. However, Raid is not a comprehensively satisfying affair. Director Raj Kumar Gupta gives a strong introduction of both the main characters Patnaik and Tauji and the build up for the raid is also jaw dropping.
The face-off between the two, right from the start, is the high point of Raid. Amay Patnaik, who is a valiant and honest officer, will not back down until he finds out all the black money from Tauji’s house and this Tauji will misuse all his power to create as many obstacles as he can to stop Patnaik. This fight between them makes Raid utterly thrilling.
The dialogues of Ajay Devgn while he talks to Tauji, his IT team and his wife are brilliant. The first half of Raid is sharp and tight with so many things happening around and they are not predictable. I wish Raj Kumar Gupta could have maintained the 2nd half as good as the 1st half, then Raid could have been one of the best films of this year.
As long as Patnaik is searching for the money at Tauji’s house, with his family trying to stop him, the movie is absolutely engaging. The moment Patnaik breaks the rule just before the interval (no spoiler), the movie starts going downhill. Then, it becomes a bit predictable, gets dragged too much and the interest level drops off.
I understand the intention of Gupta behind showing Patnaik’s wife’s (Ileana D’Cruz) character in the film. It is to display how families of government officers have to live in fear. There’s also a dialogue by Devgn, ‘India mein officers ka nahi, unki biwiyon ka bahadur hona jaroori hai’. But, I felt that her role was excessively included into the story. Gupta should have avoided so much run time of her with pointless songs and that lunch bringing during the raid. It degraded the quality of film.
The excitement which was evident in the first half never returns in the latter phase, eventually making the film ordinary. There are not as many impressive twists in the 2nd half so this lack makes a dull experience afterwards. However, it’s because of Ajay Devgn and Saurabh Shukla, Raid is still a watchable movie and with its vital topic, it needs to be witnessed.
Gupta is a good director. I had loved his Aamir but with Raid, he fell short of quality storytelling.
Ajay Devgn is the backbone of Raid. He is so effective in the role of IT officer. He has delivered such authoritative roles already in Gangaajal, Singham or even in Drishyam, so it was a given that he will be successfully portraying it. I have said this more than enough but I will say it anyways, Devgn’s intense eyes do most of the talking and it makes the film even more intense. His respectful talking with his team, aggressive behavior against Tauji are phenomenal to watch. The conversation between him and Saurabh Shukla is just incredible.
Saurabh Shukla is a delight to watch as the antagonist. He is dreadful as a politician, menacing so just looking at him, you feel threatened. He is such a versatile actor.
Raid is not a completely thrilling film as I was expecting but it has a good heart and its story is worth experiencing.