Raees isn’t a flawless and energy oozing film but the presence of Shahrukh Khan and Nawazudin Siddhiqui puts it on a safe territory though on a sticky pitch. There is lot of style but the style quotient is not backed by some substance in the content. Dialogues, performance and the retro feel of the 80’s are some of the highlights of the film which has a very slow speed but where it compensate is on the showdown between one of the reliable and topnotch actor of these days in the form of Siddhiqui and an entertainer in Shahrukh Khan.
Its a gangster story set in Gujarat and narrate the rise of Raees a little boy from scratches to a gangster dealing in illicit hooch business. ACP Majumdar takes charge and the film is basically a cat and mouse game between the two. Whether Raees can survive in the race is what is shown in the film.
The plot as such is nothing new and doesn’t go through any unpredictable situations at any point of time. But SRK along with Siddhiqui takes care of the weakness and dullness in the plot by bringing in their own style in front of the camera to lit up the proceedings.
There are some classy one liners as part of the dialogues to which both Shahrukh and Siddhiqui are part of. I should say these are moments that bring about a much needed life into an otherwise dull narration at times. A contemporary feel is created beautifully and credit for that goes mainly to the art department. People looking for unexpected twists and surprises would be a dejected lot as the screenplay has nothing to offer on that front to give a U-turn in the flow. The film is a bit lengthy at least by twenty minutes and this extra duration only helped in bringing in some amount of lagness to storyline.
Shahrukh Khan puts in lot of energy in the title role that has a dual shade to it. His mannerisms and dialogue delivery and stylishness was a treat to watch. At the same time I should also say the same thing about Nawazudin Siddhiqui as well. Their combination scenes were highly entertaining and had life in it. If this spark in those combination scenes didn’t work out, the film would have been a big let down.
Pakistani actress Mahirah Khan making her Bollywood debut is the female lead paired opposite Shahrukh Khan and it was a normal Bollywood role limited to a few scenes and songs without giving much space to perform credibly. Atul Kulkarni was underutilized. A few more notable but unfamiliar actors are part of the supporting casts.
Cinematography by K.U Mohanan is good and the color tone reminiscent of the period it was meant to be helped in giving a different feel on the visual side. Editor should have done a better job in chopping few scenes that unnecessarily extended the running time. Music was okay while the background score was classy especially the tune they use when Raees is on the run. Sunny Leone appeared as an item girl hip swinging to the famous Laila Oh Laila song and it was recreated quite well though not close anywhere to the original number that was pictured on Zeenat Aman.
Raees is predictable but is an entertaining gangster story that has its ups and downs with the mood of the film swinging in different direction. The highlights if you ask me to note down would be performance factor and style quotient brought about by two actors who both were instrumental in giving a facelift to the film and ensured that it isn’t a disappointment despite its uneven pace.