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Times of India
DOUBLE BATTERY, SINGLE POWER
Raees Story :
Raees Alam runs an illegal alcohol empire in a Gujarat shrouded in prohibition; ACP Majmudar is in charge of toppling him off his high position. Will Raees’s own brand of righteousness save him?
Raees Review :
Gear up for a throwback to the great Salim-Javed blockbusters of the Seventies, where the hero grows up mid-action, every second line is meant to show off the character’s swagger, a Helen song (Sunny Leone here) breaks the tension and action sequences compel you to whistle.
Carrying that legacy forward, is Raees. Shah Rukh Khan plays the titular character of a spectacled goon who hates being called “battery”; he starts from harmless Ponzi schemes but graduates to pre-planned rackets and becomes the top bootlegger of his town. When ACP Majmudar (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) is posted in his area, he meets his equal. Raees forms a nexus with politicians who fuel his business, but he soon becomes the thorn in their side.
The first half is well-paced; it draws you in and makes you root for the bootlegger; Majmudar’s one-liners and the music whet your appetite and the Laila Main Laila sequence ups the ante. But the second half plunges into a weird Robin Hood zone where the antihero’s morals are suddenly defibrillated and he becomes a messiah. The movie takes a rough path there on, and the long runtime makes the ride bumpier.
Shah Rukh Khan has never looked better; he’s full of fury and for once, isn’t spreading his arms, but breaking others’. The film lies entirely on his shoulders and he carries the weight most of the times. When he doesn’t, the ever-so-reliable Nawazuddin Siddiqui steps in with his crackling performance. In the trademark Nawaz style, he delivers some comic relief while playing the Tom to Khan’s Jerry. Mahirah is restricted to songs and a few emotional scenes, but doesn’t really add much. If her purpose was to soften the baddie, it’s lost on the viewer.
The movie can feel a bit long, but if you’re going for a great Shah Rukh performance and some good ol’ popcorn-entertainment, it might just ‘raees’ to the occasion.
Our overall critics rating is not an average of the sub score below.
'Raees' marks the debut of Pakistani actress Mahira Khan in Bollywood.
The film was originally slated to release on Eid 2016. The release date was later pushed to 25th January 2017.
After ‘Om Shanti Om’ and ‘Happy New Year’, Shah Rukh Khan will once again go shirtless for ‘Raees’.
Farhan Akhtar was the first choice to play the role of Nawazuddin Siddiqui in the movie. When he opted out, the role was offered to Fardeen Khan who declined the offer citing that he was taking a break from acting and would only return in a home production.
Some song and dance sequences involving SRK and Mahira were shot at foreign locations as the latter, being a Pakistani artist, was not allowed to shoot in India, following the unfortunate Uri attack.
The film starts with Raees who lives with his mom in Fatepura, Gujarat. As a kid Raees learns the trade of alcohol in a dry state after working for a popular liquor smuggler Jairaj and as the years pass by Raees decides to start his own business along with his best friend Sadiq.
To help him fund his business, Raees seeks help from Jairaj but ends up at loggerheads.
Raees then takes it upon himself to arrange for funds and this takes him to Mumbai where he meets Moosa Bhai. Moosa helps him start off the business and in few years Raees expands his reach and becomes popular in the area. Amidst all this, Raees proposes marriage to his lady love played by Mahirah
Meanwhile IPS officer Majmudar is transferred to Fatehpura and is after Raees to bust his illegal bootlegging business. Gradually, Raeesâs life turns upside down when he faces political bashing from the CM of the state and other political parties. The second half is all about the cat and the mouse chase between Majmudar and Raees. What helps Raees sustain for a while is his philanthropy towards poor people. Raees who is in debt then goes to Moosa Bhai for help. Moosa agrees to lend him money but on a condition that Raees helps him deliver a consignment. Later Raees finds out that Moosa had tricked him into transporting RDX along with the consignment and this RDX is used in a bomb blast in Mumbai. Cops launch a search operation to catch Raees and nab his wife, child and confidant, Sadiq. Knowing that there is no escape, Raees decides to hand himself over the police.
The cat and mouse chase finally ends here when IPS Majmudar kills Raees in a fake encounter.
Shah Rukh Khan's big release of the year 'Raees' has performed well at the box office and refuses to slow down even two weeks after the release. The Rahul Dholakia film has collected over Rs 124.30 crore and continues to keep its steady run. 'Raees' earned Rs 1.25 crore on its second Tuesday, according to a report on boxofficeindia.com.
It had clashed at the box office with Hrithik Roshan's 'Kaabil' ahead of the extended Republic Day weekend on January 25. 'Raees' however proved true to Shah Rukh Khan's stardom and made quite a few records at the box office. The film earned Rs 110.05 crore in its first week of nine days. It went on to collect a decent Rs 14.25 crore in its second weekend.
Shah Rukh Khan celebrated the success of 'Raees' with a bang with Sunny Leone and others. A video press conference was held with Raees' leading lady - Pakistani actress Mahira Khan who could not take part in the movie's promotions. The film however, got banned in Pakistan.
'Raees' was delayed due to Shah Rukh Khan's injury and the release date was pushed ahead by a few months.