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A Formula Film That Fails to Entertain



Poster of film Raees

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Raees borrows heavily from the 70s

By Karan Kaushik

Raees has everything required for an out-and-out commercial Hindi film. It has goons breaking through glass panes, an item song with a hit item girl, and the hero jumping from building to building, plus witty one-liners, slo-mo shots of the hero running, a poor and preachy mother, a daring police officer, Scarface-inspired gun sequences and everything in between. But it still fails to entertain.

Raees is the story of the eponymous hero—a streetsmart liquor smuggler of humble beginnings cast in the mode of the classic do-gooder gangster from films like Agneepath and Dayavan. Sadly, the movie is, in fact, a mix of plot devices and ideas (like this one) that we have seen a zillion times before. So even the controversial presence of Pakistani actor Mahira Khan does not help the script. Characters come and go in this movie, but none leaves a mark, apart from Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s Majmudar, an inspector who becomes SP.

As the film starts, Raees is shown as an ambitious kid, overly touchy about being called ‘Battery’ because of his glasses. Within the first five minutes of the movie it is established that the young lad has big dreams with the (supposed) brains and brawn required to achieve them which takes us back to most of Amitabh Bachchan’s 70s thrillers. And exactly like the growing up sequences from those films, the camera shoots a Muharram procession from Raees’ childhood and then switches to one where he is all grown up.

Shah Rukh is seen beating himself with a chain and the camera pans across his blood-stained back and chiseled torso. His daring attitude becomes evident in the first scene and the audience’s expectations are created, only to be destroyed soon.

A still from the film

A still from the film

Raees and his best friend Sadiq (Mohammad Zeeshan Ayyub) have been working with smuggler Jayraj Seth (Atul Kulkarni) since they were kids and now that Raees is a grown man, he wants to start his own business. But the path is tough. A few unnecessary fight sequences and the heroine’s entry do not help the movie until Siddiqui’s character Inspector (Jaideep Ambalal) Majmudar enters the film. The audience is excited thinking that the film will pick up some speed now that the brilliant Siddiqui has arrived. It does speed up and some quintessentially filmi dialoguebaazi between Raees and Majmudar does take place but the movie loses its pace again.

As the movie progresses, Raees is stuck between his two images and so is the film. The second half of the movie has terrorism, corrupt politicians, police encounters, failing institutions, et al but still seems shallow. The main problem is that its protagonists as well as other characters lack depth and detailing. Even after a few daring stylized action scenes, the audience is left bored and listless. The trademark romance, for which the star is known, is missing. There are not too many high points in the movie and it is only when Siddiqui appears on the screen that the audience’s interest in the movie returns.

The film showcases Gujarat of the eighties and early nineties. The music of the film is satisfactory with the beautifully sung Zaalima and the peppy Dhingana dhingana. The old classic Laila mai laila and the dandia number Udi udi jaaye, however, don’t leave a mark. 

As far as performances are concerned, Shah Rukh’s acting is good and could have been even better had the script been any good. He looks powerful and intense with his kajal eyes and big glasses. But Shah Rukh Khan becomes Shah Rukh Khan during the dance and romance sequences, which are few and far between. And Mahira Khan could have done way better if only she was not yelled at so much by her filmi husband and treated like a typical housewife whose only job is to help raise the kid. Atul Kulkarni as Seth Jayraj and Narendra Jha as Moosa do justice to their short roles. Mohammad Zeeshan Ayyub is reduced to only a loyal sidekick of the hero with not much to do. Again, it is Inspector, and later SP, Majmudar who steals the show.

Watch it only if you are a big fan of Siddiqui and stereotypical Hindi cinema from the seventies and eighties.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Latest Art & Culture

Singer Shaurya Mehta’s indie song Ungin is a fusion of pop and EDM

For Ungin, the singer drew inspiration from the surreal surrounding around the Hanle Observatory in Ladakh.



Singer Shaurya Mehta

Shaurya Mehta’s new track Ungin is finally out now on his official YouTube channel. Ungin is a fusion of pop and electronic music and is receiving rave reviews from the audience.

For Ungin, Mehta drew inspiration from the surreal surrounding around the Hanle Observatory in Ladakh. The lyrics and the composition of the song have been receiving plaudits from everyone including some international radio channels & music critics.

Speaking about it, the singer said, “I always enjoy creating songs which have a deep meaning. ‘Ungin’, which we refer to as countless, is for all those who love new-age music catering to the youth and anyone who enjoys a good vibe. It is about stopping time and just being in the moment.”

Sharing his story about the song, he further revealed, “I was in Ladakh for a music video when I got to know about the Hanle Observatory. We could not shoot there, but the place is unreal; you can see stars and galaxies and it has a vibe of its own. I was transcended into a zone of tranquillity, and the place inspired me to write some lines which became the opening lyrics of the song.”

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Ungin beautifully depicts a lover asking for the time to stop and for couples wanting to freeze their special moment. Besides Hanle Observatory, Shaurya took inspiration from the sea in Mumbai. “Everything in Mumbai changes with time. But the sea remains the same with the sound and movement of the waves spilling its magic in nature ”, he added.

Trained by renowned singers Shri Suresh Wadkar and Ravi Tripathi for seven years, Shaurya Mehta is a singer, songwriter, and music composer who collaborated with leading music companies and record labels with songs garnering more than 6-7 million views.

The song has been played on Big FM 92.7 across 58 Indian cities since its release. Shaurya was also interviewed by RJ Rani on her show which recently saw singing maestro Shankar Mahadevan.

This year, Shaurya Mehta has many upcoming projects that include songs from different genres. His next is an EDM track released in May 2023. Shaurya is also keen to take his work to an international level by collaborating with notable artists and music companies in the world.

Currently, Shaurya is also working on independent music through his private record label ‘Chai Coffee Entertainment’.

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British author Patrick French is no more

The news of his demise was confirmed by Indian writer Ramchandra Guha on Twitter.



British author Patrick French

Noted British author and historian Patrick French passed away on Thursday. He was 57. The news of his demise was confirmed by Indian writer Ramchandra Guha on Twitter.

In a tweet, Guha paid a heartfelt tribute to Patrick French and applauded his books on Francis Youndhusband and VS Naipaul. Guha continued that French was also a kind human being, unfailingly generous to friends, and strangers alike.

Have a look at the tweet:

Patrick French is best credited got his biography on Francis Younghusband, The World Is What It Is and Younghusband: The Last Great Imperial Adventurer. For his work in writing, French won the National Book Critics Circle Award in the USA.

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2 States author Chetan Bhagat uses Uorfi Javed for 2 minutes of publicity?

If you didn’t know who Uorfi Javed is: she’s an actor-model who has made a name for herself in the entertainment industry, breaking shackles with her unconventional fashion choices.



Chetan Bhagat and Uorfi Javed

Chetan Bhagat, the management grad-turned-bestseller writer famous for flip-fiction, recently showered woke gyan about how the young in India are going to bed with Uorfi Javed’s pictures under their blankets.

If you didn’t know who Uorfi Javed is: she’s an actor-model who has made a name for herself in the entertainment industry, breaking shackles with her unconventional fashion choices. From creating an outfit with just mobile phones and charging cables to acing an outfit of garbage bags, the actor, more of a fashion icon of late, made head turns not once but over a million times.

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Uorfi Javed has also been acknowledged by another fashion icon with an atypical sense of fashion, Ranveer Singh, on the popular talk show Koffee With Karan. But who remembers this?

So let it go and remember what gyan Chetan Bhagat recently put out there for the country’s youth. First, the author has two young sons, who obviously, if one goes by their father’s words, don’t get excited by the female form.

Bhagat not only tagged Uorfi, who is way more popular than him in recent times, as someone using her body for publicity but also promoted the long-lived taboo on sex in the country which may well be called the origin of sensuality and eroticism, Kamasutra.

The author also compared jawans at the borders protecting the country with the youth who are hunkering down with a hot photo under their blankets. As if, the armed forces is meant to be celibate!

Bhagat also said youth nowadays spend most of their time liking women’s pictures and reels on Instagram and Uorfi gets crores of likes. He further called Uorfi a bechari, who is making a career.

Uorfi Javed is a former Bigg Boss contestant, TV actor, and now a social media sensation aka fashion icon! She is no “bechari” and she does not use her body for publicity. But this time, Chetan Bhagat of Three Idiots fame definitely used Uorfi Javed for just two minutes of publicity.

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