Raees is set in a small border town in Gujarat, where our anti-hero runs a massive empire built on the illegal alcohol trade, and his cat and mouse game with a dogged police officer, ACP Majmudar, forms the crux of the movie. Koi dhanda chota nahi hota, aur dhande se bada koi dharam nahi hota, is the motto our Raees lives by. His run in with the law starts at a very young age, when he steals a pair of spectacles from a Gandhiji statue - the specs also earn him the nickname "Battery", which is the one thing that riles him no end. A gracious Robinhood to his people, he has one other motto - no hurting the innocent. But a betrayal leads to a deadly mistake, and Raees has to face not just the wrath of the police, but his own conscience.
Here's why Raees makes it to one of my favorite SRK movies...
1) The King Khan is at his best - the kaajal, the pathani outfits, the beard, the bloodshot eyes, the voice - the perfect anti-hero you know is in the wrong, and yet, you can't help root for him as he fights an increasingly lonely battle. No hamming, no outstretched hands, just heart-stopping action. Watch out for the scene where he slams down the phone - and tell me you didn't get the chill. His entry is also powerful and memorable, maybe the only better one was Don 2!
2) A great sound track, that beautifully complements the screenplay, pumping your adrenaline! Sunny Leone's execution of Laila is another amazing sequence, providing the perfect backdrop to a crescendo of violence.
3) The ever-so-dependable Nawazuddin Siddiqui as the determined cop delivers a memorable performance, with just the right sprinkling of humor.
4) The art department does a great job - delivering great locales, beautiful sets, and amazing props that add so much to the authenticity and visual impact.
5) True, hard core, gritty action - not the Shetty-style physics-defying style. Raw violence. Be warned, the sequence in the meat market might just be a little too much to stomach for the vegeterians!
6) And probably, most of all, the dialogues - lines that generate hoots and claps from the audience well into the almost 150 minute running time of this action thriller.
The only weakness of the movie is the female lead, our neighbor from West, Mahira Khan, who frankly, is a let down, in looks as well as in the acting department.
After Dear Zindagi, Raees completes the transformation of SRK from the badshah of chocolate romance to the mature, oh-so-desirable George Clooney of Bollywood, and this can only be great news for the fans!
Don't miss it - but ditch the lounge for this one! This one is for watching with the masses!