An officer goes to the house of a mighty influential bad guy for an income tax raid. And the bad guy is so chilled out and the officer begins the raid in the usual way by checking everywhere, ripping of beds and cushions etc. Anyone who has seen fair bit of commercial cinema can guess what possibly would be the next move of the officer. The issue with Raid, the new Raj Kumar Gupta movie starring Ajay Devgn is that it depends too much on that surprise which might have been a surprise if the movie was released in 1981, where this story is set.
Like I said in the beginning, an honest income tax officer Amay Patnaik decides to raid the house of a politically powerful man, Rameshwar Singh aka Tauji. An adamant Tauji thinks the guy can’t do anything and he becomes tensed only when Amay starts to recover black money which was hidden. So now it’s a challenge between Tauji and Amay. Amay wants to complete the raid and Tauji wants to stop it using his power in politics.
Well in a movie set in 1981, the era of trunk call, why would an officer let an influential powerful figure go and meet even the PM to stop the raid? Answer, we need something for the heroism right? See the problem with Raid is that it isn’t strong on the conflict part. Because of the prediction factor in the pivotal element in the script, there is a severe lack of intrigue in the movie. The quest for an excitement factor goes to the end of the film and you don’t get that edge of the seat experience. It is actually the conversations between Tauji and Amay and also the fact that these are based on real incidents that make us root for the story occasionally.
Ajay Devgn is in his usual style and that works for the kind of role he plays. Ileana D’Cruz is just there like how Neeraj Pandey uses female protagonists in his movies. The real pleasure was seeing Saurabh Shukla as Tauji and he nails the portrayal of the antagonist. The supporting cast doesn’t really have much space to make an impression here.
This is Raj Kumar Gupta’s fourth film after movies like Aamir, No One Killed Jessica and Ghanchakkar. The surface level approach towards the theme was one major issue I felt and Ritesh Shah, the writer of the film is trying to cover up that issue by having conversations between the positive and negative. Like Padman and toilet, there is this playing for the gallery attitude in the making and scripting with songs popping out at irrelevant points and hero saying patriotic dialogues. Even to establish the honesty of the hero, they are pushing the sincerity quotient far too much. For the first time I felt Amit Trivedi’s tunes and background score as underwhelming.
Raid is a movie that needed more layers to show the viewer why it was a big deal. This Raj Kumar Gupta movie has discrete cool moments and good intentions, but the lack of excitement pulls it back from being an engaging experience.
Raid is a movie that needed more layers to show the viewer why it was a big deal.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended