Raees is a typical Bollywood potboiler with perfect dose of action, drama, romance, humour and the most important song and dance. Rahul Dholakia has previously made the critically acclaimed Parzania and Lamha; which was hardly seen by anybody. Raees is completely different from these two, it has that much required mass appeal with the iconic star Shah Rukh Khan in it. There is very little chance that the film wont work but you never know. Fortunately this time Shah Rukh Khan makes his fans happy with Raees.
Raees is a story of a businessman who goes to any extent for his business but at the same time has a kind heart and is a very good human being. Film starts off well with junior Raees and thankfully the film does not spend much time exploring childhood of Raees which helps the film big time. Shah Rukh Khan’s entry gives you chills. First half of the film successfully keeps you engaged with simple and one track narrative. In second half Rahul Dholakia looses his grip and the film struggles to maintain it’s stability. Too many confusing things happening, most of them are done halfheartedly like Nawazuddin’s transfers become bit monotonous, downfall of Raees, Narendra Jha’s consignment, Raees entering politics etc. The entire pregnancy track in the film seems unnecessary. Mahira becomes pregnant in first half, second half starts with one year later slide, she does not have a baby bump and few minutes later she gives birth to a boy. Also the child is missing most of the times and his growth is bit abnormal, infant for most of the time and suddenly grows up in the climax. The love track in the films keeps on popping up making it feel unnecessary only justifying it by the end of the film. It adds emotional value to film. The film gives you very little exposure in the dark political world. The second half looses its charm at places slightly spoiling the fun.
There was, is and always will be only one Shah Rukh Khan. The way he has got into the character of Raees is phenomenal. He does not look unsuitable for the character even for a second, his age has not become a barrier for him in the film. He plays his part flawlessly, he is convincing as a young man new in business to becoming the king in that business. Along with the change in his look the maturity in his performance is clearly visible. Shah Rukh Khan wins you with his performance. Mahirah Khan is not bad as she is in the trailer. She has played her part with much ease and does not disappoint you at all. Nawazuddin Siddiqui is awesome as always. He comes in the film at a perfect time and his entry sequence will crack you up. He is the only actor in the film who adds humour with his amazing performance. Atul Kulkarni is top notch and so is Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub. Even though these three men play the supporting parts in the film they come out as a strong performers making their presence felt while sharing the screen with Shah Rukh Khan. The cast is a bit longer but Shah Rukh Khan steals the show and that’s what matters.
Rahul Dholakia’s direction is like an asset to the film. He successfully gets the best out of all his actors. The junior Raees is extraordinary. He has made a typical mass entertainer that has something for everyone. Production design of the film is noteworthy. Right from the houses to streets to government offices to school to rallies, everything is done with great detailing. You cannot not notice the production design, be it the flags and banners during political rallies or a festive song set up or the telephones or the furniture or the playing cards. Costumes are not that great but are surely done perfectly. Locations in the film add lot of value to the film. Dialogues are powerful. Action sequences are very well designed be it the meat market action scene or the one during the rally. Music of the film is simply good. Dhingana celebrates Raees’ entry into the business world, Udi Udi Jaaye takes the story forward, Laila Main Laila is situational and Sanson Ke makes for a perfect background track. Zaalima and Enu Naam Che Raees could have been easily avoided. Background score of the film is outstanding. It gives a good finishing touch to the scene. At places it creates a good atmosphere in the scene with a Gujarati folk song or a 70’s song playing in the background. Editing is good; perfect in first half and dodgy in second. Cinematography gives the film that realistic/authentic touch.
Overall Raees makes for a good watch. Some flaws, some problems in the film which can be ignored but the climax may not go down well with everyone. Shah Rukh Khan is a reason good enough to watch Raees.