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Movie Review: Raees

Priyanka Jain

Movie Review

Starring: Shah Rukh Khan, Mahira Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui
Director: Rahul Dholakia
Production: Red Chillies Entertainment
Music Composition: Ram Sampath

Raees is a fictitious story of how a young boy named Raees spends his life becoming the leader of a smuggling enterprise – bringing in alcohol to the dry state of Gujarat, India. His mission in life is to have the utmost faith in business, until it is harmful to others. A mafia don turned politician, Raees uses his crime wealth to help the impoverished community while fighting the the police (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) and corrupt politicians along the way. Raees’s character is comparable to that of Pablo Escobar, the Columbian drug lord, and also that of Abdul Latif, a Gujrati gangster who rose to fame in the 1980s by dominating the illicit liquor business.

The positives:

1. Shah Rukh will never fail to impress you with his acting. Raees is very classically a SRK movie –the god-like man on his way to self-disruption.

2. Mahira Khan – beautiful, simple, and so refreshing. This Pakistani actress unfortunately does not have much of a role in the movie, but she surely does have chemistry with SRK on the screen. At just 32 years old, she has a very mature, womanly look that fits well with SRK’s character. Although this is her first Bollywood film, she’s been around in the Pakistani film industry since 2011. Fun fact: At age 17, Mahira moved to USA and studied at the University of Southern California, but returned to Pakistan before completing her degree.

3. The songs and music keep you entertained, thanks to music composer Ram Sampath. My favorite is the garba dance song “Udi Udi Jaye.”  “Zaalima” is a lovely tune…but placed at an odd time in the story. Oh and how can we forget, Sunny Leone’s popular item number, “Laila Main Laila.” I’m sure there are many out there hitting the theaters just for her, if not for SRK.

 The negatives:

1. The violence. Too much violence. Especially the butcher’s fight scene – I actually closed my eyes for that one. Keep your kids at home if you plan to see this movie in the theater.

2.  The first hour was pretty entertaining – good mix of action, drama, a bit of comedy, and romance. Suddenly at hour two onwards, the movie takes a sour turn. The plot becomes quite disorganized and the movie just drags…on and on.

3. I wish Mahira had a bigger role in the film. Of course they couldn’t put an A-list Bollywood actress for this movie - god-forbid they take the slightest bit of attention away from SRK.

In summary, don’t sweat it if you miss Raees in the theaters. You can skip it entirely unless you’re a die-hard SRK fan.

Acting: 4/5
Story: 2/5
Costumes: 2/5
Action: 2/5 
Sets/Filming Location: 2/5
Songs: 4/5
Eye Candy: 3/5
Length of Movie: 1/5

Overall: ** (2/5)


* = flop, don’t even bother
** = time pass, you’ll live if you don’t see it
*** = worth a watch
**** = A hit, see it in the theater!
***** = Bollywood Blockbuster

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