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Times of India
Raju, who is a driver by the day and a bootlegger by night, witnesses an accident that changes his life. After getting entangled between a powerful corporate honcho and the police, Raju plays a masterstroke that leaves you in awe of the mind of a common man.
If you want to witness the true revival of Gujarati cinema, then Wrong Side Raju is the film to watch. With a tight plot, powerful performances and amazing music, the film manages to live up to the hype it had created, for it being a Cineman and Phantom production. Handling a thriller is not the easiest thing to do, but director Mikhil Musale has managed to keep the suspense throughout the film. And that's what makes it a standout for Gujarati films. The plot, that involves a hit and run case and a game for survival that follows, has been handled with precision, taking care of how our legal system works as well as how corruption and power of money can steer any case away from being solved. All the actors in the film have given it their best, with Pratik Gandhi in the title role easily standing out in the role of an innocent yet smart man who wants to put his life straight by having his travel agency up and running. Pratik surely manages an act where you would feel for him, as he falls in love with Shailly (played by Kimberley Louisa McBeath), a foreigner, and does the unthinkable to save her.
Kavi Shastri as a rich and powerful corporate honcho does justice to his role. The cops, especially the inspector investigating the case, is right into his act with an appreciable performance. The music surely uplifts the film, with the opening track Zindabad Re by Vishal Dadlani being the song that sets up the tone of the film. But it is Arijit Singh's Satrangi Re that you will be humming long after leaving the theater. Although the film ticks most positives, some of the intense scenes could have been pacier for catching the intensity. You might feel that the film is getting a tad slow in the second half, but it never loses focus or your attention.
Overall, a great effort by the entire team and it seems that the future of Gujarati cinema surely lies in the hands of those who are ready to break away from the mould and make content driven films. Abhishek Jain has yet again proved that regional cinema has the power to attract the audience if the film is made well.