Raid (Social drama) Movie Review
Critics Rating: 3.5/ 5
Duration: 2 hour 10 minutes
Language: Hindi (U/A)
At a time when you are crunching numbers, trying to get your documents in place in order to file income tax returns, a film that documents the longest raid in the history of India, does seem relevant. There is something deviously satisfying in knowing that there are people who are out there sitting on pot loads of money and that there is a system in place to bring them to order, isn’t it? But let’s face it, tax evasion is rampant all around us.
Director Raj Kumar Gupta is known for making critically acclaimed movies like AAMIR and NO ONE KILLED JESSICA. And now he is back with RAID starring Ajay Devgn. So, the expectations from the movie are high and well justified too. So let’s find out if RAID lives up to those expectations or not.
Ajay Devgn starrer crime drama film Raid, is all set to hit the silver screens on March 16. Directed by Rajkumar Gupta, the film is based on a true incident of a high-profile income tax raid that was conducted in the 80s.
Story: Amay Patnaik (Ajay Devgn), a super-honest Income Tax officer, conducts a raid on the corrupt and connected Rameshwar Singh (Saurabh Shukla). But it seems as if Patnaik has signed his own death warrant. Will the IT official cave into pressure or will he romp home victorious?
Review: The film is based on material sourced from several true stories of IT raids conducted in Uttar Pradesh in the early ’80s. Ironically, Rameshwar’s residence ‘White House’, on the outskirts of Lucknow, is home to 420 crore of black money and Patnaik — a man with a steely reserve and squeaky clean reputation — who has received a tip-off, is determined to find the missing wealth. If you are idealistic, you can easily fall for Patnaik. He is the kind of hero who is badly needed to unleash a battle on corruption that our country is synonymous with. And you stay invested in him because it is our Utopian belief that with more Patnaiks, the system will be washed clean. Of course, Rameshwar has connections in high places, including the Prime Minister, no less. And he tries his level best to insult and intimidate Patnaik through strong-arm tactics.
Ritesh Shah’s dialogues provide some whistle-worthy lines and the dialogue lauding valor and values makes your chest puff up in pride. You are absolutely one with the hero in most situations and want him to win at any cost, especially because the likes of an absconding Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi make you feel really angry and cheated.
The romantic track between Ajay and Ileana is too orchestrated with the stock montages of them doing the usual shaving foam routine and some more blah stuff. But they lucked out with the melodious tracks — Sanu Ek Pal Chain and Nit Khair Manga — composed by Tanishk Bagchi and sung by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, both of which have a haunting quality.
What’s hot: There’s something about seeing Ajay Devgn play an officer – a policeman, an army personnel or an income tax officer. He brings a lot of depth to the character, what with his brooding eyes and deep baritone. He lends Amey an air of reality. If not for him, a character as righteous would be too good to be true. Saurabh Shukla, as his arch-nemesis, plays his part so well, he seems deplorable. But there comes a point in the film when he also seems vulnerable, which, thanks to a nuanced performance, comes through. The unassuming and verbose grandmother is another highlight of the film. Besides this, the film does keep you riveted throughout. You are always kept guessing as to what will happen next, which is a great thing for a film like this.
What’s not: Being a film about an income tax raid, it would be impossible for Raid to avoid comparisons with Special 26. And, though fake, the raids in Akshay Kumar’s film were more glossy and awe-inspiring. Despite knowing that they were crooks, you wanted to cheer them on. That drama seems to be missing from the raid conducted in the Ajay Devgn-starrer. Besides, a thriller like this demands a dramatic background score, which seems to have gone completely for a toss here. And what was the need for that song during a crucial scene in the film where Ajay was trying to run away from the public. It seemed completely out of place there. Lastly, we know that the film tried to tell us of the commitment of government officers and their families, but that whole honest officer’s feisty and bubbly wife thing has been done to death!
My Verdict: Watch Raid because despite the corruption around us, we still believe we can win the war against black money hoarders. Also, watch it for Ajay Devgn’s intensity. He is sincere, relentless and doesn’t blink even once. One star in the rating is reserved only for him.