For someone who makes such super hard-hitting movie like Parzania, how does he manage to make something like Raees? No , they are not the same genre or the same theme, and I am not trying to compare the two. I am trying to compare the sensibilities of story telling by the same person. That is where Raees fails for me.
So, what is the plot? Where is the plot? What are they trying to show? It keeps shifting from one point to the other. So in the first half yu get a different feel of the movie and in the second half you get a completely different take on the movie.
I thought that the first 30mins the plot sets up really well.A bold theme to show the open secret in Gujarat.(I wonder how long will this farce continue there?) A thriving underground alcohol market, a home grown product of the system, and the antidote, an incorruptible cop. Nothing new, but treatment was good.
Now you begin to think this is going to be a catch me if you can , cheek and dare, and some style show. Intelligent repartee’s form the basis of a watchable masala thriller. Hindi is cinema is replete with such instances so I will not go there.
But the decline of the movie starts precisely from that point where it starts to deviate from being an out an out masala thriller to a multi-plot hotchpotch. The plot spirals down as more and more characters ,caricatures, puncture the plot. Add inadvertent songs and that is the last of any sanity that could have remained.
Take this : Raees uses Swastika as an election symbol. Huh? I mean really? It shows women hurling alcohol bottles at police. It shows communal riots arising from rank random crossed wires.In one such scene,Raees is shown hurling a flaming bottle at a Hindu political yatra (rally). I mean like hello. What the hell is going on here?
I hated the fact that there were so many children watching the film and young impressionable minds. While I agree, I know,Cinema cannot be blamed , and artistic freedom cannot be curtailed, but there has to be a consistency towards what youa re showing. And God help if this were to be released in Pakistan, I can see huge TV debates on cultural invasion and how Mahira Khan let them down!
To illustrate my point, if you hurled a flaming bottle at a Hindu rally in say Parazina, it was in line with the narrative and did not seem out of place. In Raees, you are actually trying to show a stylized gangster movie and you can not glamorize such actions. I can almost view so many youngsters imitating this as a show of masculinity in their parks and colonies.
Call me biased, but no one can play Don better than Amitabh Bachchan. Raees has so many shades of Agneepath, sometimes it seems like a tribute! On a more recent note, even Ajay Devgn starrer, Once upon a time in Mumbai ,was tighter scripted.
As far as other characters are concerned, they kind of come and and go without leaving an impact. Yet most well-made movies have the best side characters, they complete the story. Having a powerful expressionist like Nawazuddin Siddique at the other end, once could’ve made wonders. On a personal note, someone who can play Faizal Khan, can play any role.Gangs of Wasseypur was a cult for a reason.
Rahul Dholakia and many of the directors in the Hindi film industry are yet to make a pure play gangster movie. A mere collection of good scenes or a collage of some stylized moments don’t make great movies.
I really wished Raees would be an Epic,but it turns out to be just a pic.