Kaira is a budding cinematographer in search of a perfect life. Her encounter with Jug, an unconventional thinker, helps her gain a new perspective on life. She discovers that happiness is all about finding comfort in life's imperfections.
Badrinath Bansal from Jhansi and Vaidehi Trivedi from Kota belong to small towns but have diametrically opposite opinions on everything. This leads to a clash of ideologies, despite both of them recognizing the goodness in each other.
The film is set in the early 80's and 90's in Gujarat. The fictitious story of a man who builds an empire in the state of Gujarat, the only state that still follows prohibition. It's a story about his rise and his relationships, which help him become the single most powerful man in the state. Written by
Despite Potential In Its Setting, The Narrative Isn't Arresting Enough!
'Raees' Directed by Rahul Dholakia is a well-shot, well-directed film, that sadly, doesn't have a strong enough Screenplay to be called an all-rounder Winner. Despite Potential In Its Setting, The Narrative Isn't Arresting Enough, because then Writing doesn't hold beyond a point.
'Raees' Synopsis: Criticizing the prohibition of alcohol, prostitution and illegal drugs in Gujarat, this film unfolds the story of a cruel and clever bootlegger Raees (Shahrukh Khan), whose business is challenged by a tough cop (Nawazuddin Siddiqui).
'Raees' is an uneven saga of a bad-ass. Raees is a fascinating leading man, who's tryst going against the law, has moments of power. And while the first-hour still works, in which Raees goes from being a nobody to the ultimate King in the world of illegal smuggling of Alcohol, despite being pitted against a tough cop who gets on his trial. The first-hour has a rustic, realistic feel to it & the confrontations between Raees & the Cop, are super.
Unfortunately, in its second-hour, 'Raees' goes haywire. The protagonist turns into a Robin-Hood for his people & his character suddenly comes across more as a Hero, than bad-ass who defies the law. And hence, the film falters. 'Raees' isn't a villain for sure, but to make him a messiah & take away his mean streak for the sake of a heroic end, looks forced & rather unconvincing. Also, the narrative get bloated up & the over-stuffing leads to underwhelming results. In short, 'Raees' has a good first-hour, but a really unconvincing second-hour.
Dholakia, Harit Mehta, Ashish Vashi & Niraj Shukla's Screenplay is half-baked. What starts off as a story of an anti-hero, suddenly turns into a heroic story, with very less feeling or depth. The Writing needed to be stronger, for sure. The Dialogue, however, are excellent. Dholakia's Direction is good. How one wishes if his Writing was as good! Cinematography captures the rustic feel, skillfully. Editing isn't sharp enough. The second-hour is overlong & needed some trimming. Ram Sampath's Score is well-done. Action-Sequences are ordinary. Art & Costume Design are fair.
Performance-Wise: Shahrukh Khan as Raees, looks the part & even gives his best. But he shines only in the first-hour. Post-Interval, just like his character, his performance doesn't arrest your attention. But its Nawazuddin Siddiqui who steals the show. As the tough cop who'd stop at nothing to get Raees behind bars, Nawaz chews on the scenery & delivers a flat-out brilliant performance from start to end. Also, his introduction sequence, where he disguises as the Late/Great Michael Jackson, is simply terrific. The confrontations between Shahrukh & Nawaz, as mentioned before, are the high-point of the enterprise.
On the whole, 'Raees' works in parts, not entirely.
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