Shah Rukh Khan’s eponymous release finally hit the screens yesterday and almost managed to meet the expectations of the audiences. With 20.42 crores already in the bank accounts of the producers on its maiden day, it seems it’s all set to put the leading man back to the pedestal, where he truly belongs, particularly after the commercially underwhelming DILWALE (2015) and FAN (2016).
Unapologetically being heroic and larger-than-life and nonchalantly portraying the rise and the ultimate downfall of a bootlegger turned messiah, the actor delivered a whole-heartedly committed performance that surely proved the man has still not lost his spark and mojo.
Having said that, is RAEES great cinema? Certainly not. There’s no denying that films of such genre do not expect the audiences to seek verisimilitude, but expecting a certain dose of novelty is no big crime. Alas, this mega budget motion picture robs us of that very crucial factor- NEWNESS.
Predictably unfolding from the first reel to the last, the film is somewhat saved by some chilling confrontations between the ultra-stylish hero(or anti, as some may feel) and his bete noire, an upright and righteous cop, played by the always unswerving Nawazuddin Siddiqui.
But stepping out of the cinemas, I only thought to myself- Haven’t I seen all of this before?
Here are some Hindi films gone by, that RAEES so closely resembles with, or maybe tries to imitate.
4.SHOOTOUT AT WADALA (2013)
ANIL KAPOOR V JOHN ABRAHAM
This Sanjay Gupta directorial saw the faceoff between Anil Kapoor and John Abraham. Laced with bone-crunching violence and excessive expletives, it was a commercially successful film that was far from great.
3.SHOOTOUT AT LOKHANDWALA (2007)
SANJAY DUTT V VIVEK OBEROI
Unfolding mostly in a dilapidated apartment, the film gave us a memorable villain in Maya Bhai, played by the terrific Vivek Oberoi.
- COMPANY (2002)
MOHANLAL V AJAY DEVGN
Easily one of the most gripping dramas to come out of Hindi Cinema, Ram Gopal Verma’s compelling film about a young man sucked into the world of crime was taut and edge of the seat stuff. The always delightfully dependable MOHANLAL pitied against the charismatic and flamboyant DEVGN gave us a film we can cherish for like, forever.
1.ONCE UPON A TIME IN MUMBAI (2010)
RANDEEP HOODA V AJAY DEVGN
Personal favorite of many, Milan Luthria’s immensely entertaining and enthralling gangster saga charmed the classes and masses alike. The Dhinchak dialoguebaazi and Ajay Devgn’s arresting screen presence made sure the film delivered enough bang for your bucks. And its such a pity that the Hindi film industry has still not realized the potential RANDEEP HOODA is brimming with. Give him a chance and he shall prove to be one of the best in the business.