Raees movie review: Shah Rukh Khan

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Raees movie cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Mahira Khan
Raees movie director: Rahul Dholakia
Raees movie rating: 2.5

Shah Rukh Khan returns in and as Raees, a golden hearted mobster who does bad things for a good cause. It is a role constructed to grab back his pole position, and to that end Shah Rukh Khan strains at fulfilling every single point of the In and As trope. He sings and dances, he fights and romances: he also tries to fulfill the outlines of a character.

And that’s where the film gets stuck, between the two stools of restraint and full blown tamasha: the In and As SRK is as familiar as he has ever been, despite the trimmings added on to induce freshness — the gold rimmed glasses, the kohled eyes, the deliberate delivery, and that ‘Scarface’ moment full of guns, arcing bullets and spraying blood– which all actors dream of.

Which makes Raees a mish-mash of things we’ve seen before in a plot which owes allegiance to the real life story of a liquor baron who made his pile and his name in dry Gujarat. The filmmakers have denied any similarity but anyone with half an eye can see the overlaps – the ingenuity of a man who could think on his feet (hooch-filled tomatoes!) and cart his maal under the eye of the cop (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) who swears to catch him.

In fact, amongst all the effective supporting parts which bouy SRK, it is Nawaz who shines most. His dry, wry one liners, and he has several, have a zing which SRK’s don’t. And in a film where the leading man’s dialogue baazi is meant to wow the crowd, that is telling.