– Yaser Khan
Cast: Ajay Devgn, Saurabh Shukla, Illeana D’Cruz
Director: Raj Kumar Gupta
Ajay Devgn and Illeana D’Cruz star in a Raj Kumar Gupta film ‘RAID’ that is based on the true story of India’s longest raid conducted during the 80s seizing the Black money and assets of a corrupt politician, played by Saurabh Shukla. The story and dialogues have been penned by Ritesh Shah. The music is given by Tanishk Bagchi and Amit Trivedi.
Story: This film is based on a true incident that takes place in Lucknow where Amay Patnaik (played by Ajay Devgn) has been transferred with his wife Malini (played by Illeana D’Cruz). He has an irk to solve a big Raid case before he gets transferred to a new location and that’s when he starts getting leads on an influential minister of the area who apparently has black money worth 420 Crores hidden in his house. A tussle begins between income tax officer Amay Patnaik and politician Ramesh Rajaji Singh (played by Saurabh Shukla), whose home is all set to be raided. The checking begins and there’s nothing that the department gets to crack. However, a twist comes when the team gets a lead on where the actual money and assets could be hidden. Will the income tax department be successful in extracting all the money out? Will Raja ji pull a trick up his sleeve that’ll put the lives of the raiders in trouble? Is the rat someone who belongs to Rajaji’s family? Who will success in this slice of life version of Ramayana? That’s what is to be found out!
Ajay Devgn brings his controlled acting into play and it couldn’t have been more appropriate for the part he’s playing. This is easily his best performance in the recent years and as an audience you completely empathize and sympathize with the situations he’s put into.
Illeana D’Cruz has a decent part in the film who skillfully plays the support behind Ajay Devgn’s character. Although her role is small and maybe tad bit unnecessary at places like the uncalled song sequences during the actual raid, she does a good job.
Saurabh Shukla who plays the antagonist is doing what he does best. His acting is relaxed and the layers of rage and comedy that he displays makes the film even more interesting.
The rest of the cast does what is required of them and a special mention to the 85 years old lady Pushpa who plays Saurabh Shukla’s mother who unknowingly gives moments to laugh out loud with her sheer innocence and honesty.
Music and Dialogues: The music is given by Tanishk Bagchi where he’s recreated two songs of the legendary Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and they’re irrelevant to the plot. It’s Amit Trivedi’s original composition that ‘Black’ that serves as the title track of sorts and has very interesting lyrics. Ajay Devgn and Saurabh Shukla mouth some amazing dialogues like the Sasural dialogue and the ones where Tauji aka Rajaji threats the raiding team of his power.
Direction: Raj Kumar Gupta packs a punch with a supremely gripping thriller with few dull moments to count. His direction is brilliant and takes Ritesh Shah’s story to an unimaginable height. The first half of the first half of the film where the characters are being introduced and being put into action may feel bending slightly towards the boring side but once the raid starts in the film, all your emotions and attention get cultivated to focus on how the raiders are going to extract all the hidden money out. Infact the sequence before the interval may feel a little long but definitely high on drama which makes up for everything. You’ll be shocked to see where all these corrupt people can hide their black money, it literally falls from all the corners and from ‘inside’ the house as well. The second half continues to thrill and keep you on the edge of your seats, towards the climax when you’re almost about to give up with Ajay’s character, a ray of hope approaches and makes it for a typical ‘Bollywood’ ending. But one may not be able to complain about it because it’s a part of the narrative that talks about a true story. The treatment of the film though is nothing new, it also becomes predictable at parts but the high voltage drama manages to sail the ship straight and keep the audiences wanting for more. The cinematography is good too, it captures one home in many interesting angles without making the audiences too familiarized with the structure of it.
Cinespeaks Verdict: ‘RAID’ is a film that reinstalls your faith in the honest government officials who stick true to their jobs and are only a handful. A highly engaging film that keeps you interested through out its run time. Watch it for its totality. Cinespeaks gives RAID 3.5 stars out of 5.