It's been a while since I have written a review though I did watch a couple of mediocre movies which didnt quite inspire me to put my thoughts onto the blog. With the exam season in full swing, there has hardly been any worthwhile releases in the past one month. So apart from my work it were events like the ATP Masters, All England Championship & Ind-Aus tour of South Africa that kept me occupied. However, there was one significant release this weekend which had aroused my curiosity and it happened to be Ajay Devgn's "Raid". It was said to be based on a high profile tax raid that occurred in the 1980s & the trailer more than adequately excited the audience. So will it be the elusive hit the box office had been waiting for since "Padman"???
The film unfolds in 1981 in Lucknow where Amay Patnaik (Ajay Devgn), the income tax deputy commissioner had recently taken charge. We get a sense of his honesty & uprightness within the first couple of scenes itself which has led him to be transferred 49 times in seven years. No sooner had he assumed responsibility, he is tipped off by an anonymous source about the obscene amount of ill-gotten wealth of the crooked & powerful politician, Rameshwar Singh aka Tauji (Saurabh Shukla). After being satisfactorily convinced about the validity of the accusations, Amay obtained the legal documents to conduct raid on Tauji's palatial residence. But it was easier said than done.
Raj Kumar Gupta is no novice to the art of direction as is evidenced by his previous ventures such as "Aamir", "No One Killed Jessica" & "Ghanchhakar". Based on true incidents, "Raid" is a riveting drama that has been scripted by Ritesh Shah who had also penned impressive movies like "Citylights" & "Pink". The screenplay & dialogues are pretty much top notch for large parts, though the former finds itself in a dicey situation in the latter half. The manner in which the procedures of the raid are spelt out by the protagonist was quite novel in celluloid & the decision to make Devgn essay a realistic character rather than take on a zillion guys alone in itself was refreshing to the senses. However, the romantic songs by Amit Trivedi that has been squeezed in acted as speed breakers. As for other aspects, Trivedi's BGM was excellent, Alphonse Roy's visuals were fine while Bodhaditya Banerjee's editing in the second half could have been tighter.
It's been a while since we got an opportunity to watch Ajay in a realistic role that utilized his acting skills. He was fantastic as the incorruptible officer who does everything by the book & giving him excellent company was the exceptional Saurabh Shukla. Ever since I first noticed him in "Satya", I have been an admirer of his talent though very few directors have made adequate of it & Raj Kumar can be proud of that. There were a couple of others who gave praise worthy support such as Pushpa Joshi (as Amma, who was an absolute scream) & Amit Sial (as Lallan) while the others such as Ileana D'Cruz have done their part aptly.
Verdict: Slowly and steadily, the audience have warmed upto the movie as it's on the brink of 50C in five days. Apart from an engaging script, it was also well made aided by the performance of two brilliant actors such as Ajay & Shukla. There is no doubt that the second half was kind of a letdown but still it's worth a watch. So do check it out!!!