Normally the first articles I read in The Times of India’s Saturday edition every week are the movie reviews of the Hindi films that would have released a day before. However, this week was a bit different as Kaabil and Raees (two of the biggest releases this year, and as historical trend has shown over the last seven years — regarding films with quality content — one of these films will emerge to be amongst the biggest grossers of the calendar year) released on a Wednesday to cash in on the big holiday of Republic Day. The critics of national dailies had the privilege of seeing the films before/on their release date and on Thursday I read the reviews in ToI. The reviewer had rated Kaabil 4 stars and Raees had got 3.5 stars out of five.
However, after having watched both the movies now, I can state with conviction that the ratings are misleading. I was not too keen to watch Raees having read the negative reviews, but my life long-long infatuation, like millions of crazy SRK fans pulled me to the multiplex and I must admit that mid-way through the movie I started getting the Dilwale feeling, as like that one, the makers of Raees just wanted to encash on the superstardom of SRK. But alas! SRK is no Salman Khan and all the machismo, maar-dhaad, Robinhoodesque mannerisms and Dabangai didn’t suit him.
Raees has little to offer to the viewers. Most of us have seen it all and this concoction of a mellowed down narrative, a badly written fictionalised account of some facts and a disclaimer that the story is not based on any character living or dead, simply don’t work.
Media had created a lot of buzz that Kaabil and Raees were releasing on the same day and the fortunes of both would suffer because of the clash. It had appeared to me that the makers of Raees were not much worried because they had the power of SRK on their side. Sadly, ToI, which is a huge supporter of SRK did not have enough courage to rate the two films fairly. In my opinion, if Kaabil deserved 4 stars out of five then Raees deserved only 2.5 stars.
P.S: Two of my latest reviews may read like PR pieces for HRX, however, those who have been following my blog, know me better. If you aren’t convinced then please read my 6-year old review of “Kites” which had failed to soar. But today I have to say that Raees did not rise up to the challenge.