Bollywood’s Badshah Shahrukh Khan’s latest outing Raees is a gangster story set in the 80s. The movie depicts the story of Raees Alam who starts from scratches to become a bootlegger running illegal alcohol empire. Enter ACP Majumdar, the perfect nemesis who wants to put a full stop to Raees and his business. The two try to outwit each other every time and what follows is an intense cat and mouse game. Who finally prevails forms the rest of the story.
The basic plot is straight out of the 80s movies but what sets Raees apart is the brilliant performances of the two lead actors- the entertaining Shahrukh Khan and the actor par excellence Nawazuddin Siddiqui.
The slow paced narrative is a letdown in this commercial potboiler. There is no unexpected twists and surprises in the screenplay but that’s somewhat made up with the terrific dialogue exchanges between the two actors.
Technically, Raees is top notch with excellent cinematography by the veteran KU Mohanan. The retro feel of the movie is ably complemented by the art department. A bit more chopping would have made the movie more compact, thereby avoiding the unwanted lag towards the end. The thumping background score by Ram Sampath perfectly elevated the mass quotient. Slick direction and good writing by Rahul Dholakia and his team is praiseworthy.
Coming to the performance side, the 51 year old Shah Rukh Khan is energetic as ever. His famed screen presence is on show once again as the actor is at his flamboyant best. Nawazuddin Siddiqui has the best dialogues in the movie. He is effortless as ACP Majumdar with his trademark wits and intense portrayal. Pakistani beauty Mahira Khan paired as the female lead opposite Shah Rukh Khan was seen in a typical Bollywood heroine mostly limited to a few here-and-there scenes and songs.
Only if the writing had more freshness and stayed original, Raees would have been a perfect star vehicle to set the cash registers ringing like never before. Nevertheless, the movie entertains. Riveting duel between SRK and Nawazuddin Siddiqui is the USP here.