Rating : -1/5
Genre : Drama
Year : 2017
Running time : 2 hours 41 minutes
Director : Rahul Dholakia
Cast : Shahrukh Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Narendra Jha, Zeeshan Ayyub, Mahirah Khan, Atul Kulkarni
Kid rating: PG-13
Shahrukh Khan is Raees, a poor little street-smart urchin who grows up to be a powerful hooch smuggler in “dry” Gujarat. His RobinHood-ish life is interrupted by various police skirmishes, and intermittent romantic episodes with the neighborhood beauty Aasiya (Mahira). I think this film was meant to portray an awe-inspiring picture of a modern-day golden-hearted don (think Amitabh in his angry-young-man phase), but it fails miserably; Raees is an almost 3 hour long piece of garbage.
The movie has no structure, continuity or even a remote relationship with any story. It is so haphazard, that one wonders if the filmmaker built it up on the spot, swayed by the mood of the day. The characters are as shallow as roadside puddles. Characterization is absent. To call Raees superficial is to be kind. I am amazed that this poorly made movie has been directed by the director of Parzania, or that Farhan Akhtar is co-producer.
Surma-eyed SRK is bearded which lends him an almost rakish handsomeness; and that’s about all I can say for Shahrukh. Mahirah is beautiful, and in her, SRK might have found an eyebrow-wiggler to match. She tries desperately to emote in the standard one-size-fits-all love-interest role. I wish someone had told her that there really wasn’t scope; all that was required of her was to smile, simper and deliver the odd supportive dialog. Still she tries, raising one eyebrow while tremulously dropping the other.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui is pretty decent as bold, brash policeman Majmudar. But even he, that valiant actor, can’t do much for this pathetic excuse for a film. Zeeshan Ayyub plays Raees’s right-hand man and does well. Atul Kulkarni (as Raees’s first employer), Narendra Jha (as mafia-man Musa) and Sheeba Chaddha (as Raees’s mom) round up the supportive cast.
The movie’s lack of a distinctive score is a major problem. Each plot-event is accompanied by the dhan-ta-dan beat of an 80s flick. I was nostalgic, and not in a good way. The songs are passable; Raees features a well-done remix of “Laila, mein Laila”.
I hold that in this day and age we shouldn’t have to watch regurgitated trash from the 80s. So, in writing this review I am done with my good deed of the day. Be warned and stay away.
Kidwise: Lots of killings, gun violence, spattering blood. Raees gets pretty gory at times. In one scene Raees is shown murdering another character by gutting him in the throat with the stem of his wire rimmed glasses.