It’s ‘Raees’ versus ‘Kaabil’ this weekend

The extended Republic Day weekend sees yet another big Bollywood clash at the movies


Shah Rukh Khan in a still from ‘Raees’ .
Shah Rukh Khan in a still from ‘Raees’ .

New Delhi: The extended Republic Day weekend sees yet another big Bollywood clash at the movies.

Shah Rukh Khan’s action crime thriller Raees, directed by Rahul Dholakia and co-starring Mahira Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui, is a mish-mash of things we’ve seen before, says The Indian Express. The film gets stuck between the stools of restraint and full blown drama: the In and As SRK is as familiar as he has ever been, despite the trimmings added to induce freshness. Dholakia knows his Gujarat and there are some flashes of that insider knowledge here too, but you can see how fear of being censored has blunted the edges of this film which could have really lifted off the screen. Read more

The narrative in the first half is purposeful, says Firstpost, single-minded in its desire to entertain us yet be realistic to the extent that it is possible within the confines of conventional Bollywood storytelling, and unapologetic about its goals. The songs are catchy and well-woven into the narrative. The stunts are deliciously amusing in their improbability and heart-stoppingly thrilling. And like every traditional Indian hero, Khan too emerges miraculously more or less unscathed from every battering. It is the second half where Raees loses its way, its story boasting of limited depth, and camouflaging this failing with a swagger. Read more

Hrithik Roshan and Yami Gautam in a still from ‘Kaabil’
Hrithik Roshan and Yami Gautam in a still from ‘Kaabil’

Hrithik Roshan and Yami Gautam’s Kaabil, directed by Sanjay Gupta, is a predictable revenge and retribution saga that offers nothing new other than the visually impaired protagonists, says The Hindu. Clichés abound right down to playing blind in a way that Bollywood has for long institutionalized, the world is neatly stacked between the very good and the extremely bad. There is no scope for any in-betweenness of being. Read more

Scroll.in is slightly more impressed, mentioning that the vendetta thriller works because of its childish simplicity and the leading man Roshan’s exertions. The lean writing and meticulous plotting are convincing because the bar for expectation is kept low. Possibly under his controlling producer’s influence, Gupta dispenses with the flourishes and proves that he has the ability to land the arrow on target. Roshan too rises up to the challenge, and channels the fundamental sweetness and innocence of his screen persona to make himself a no-brainer hero. Read more

In the south, Tamil romantic thriller Adhey Kangal, directed by Rohin Venkatesan and starring Kalaiyarasan, Janani Iyer and Sshivada, rarely transcends the “interesting on paper” stage, says The Hindu. There’s a great story, but the screenplay isn’t tight—and the detours into duets and Bala Saravanan’s comedy, with Mickey Mouse music, don’t help. The dialogue is too direct, with little flavour. And for a thriller, there’s very little mood or atmosphere. Read more

Sify.com is more impressed, calling it a delicious thriller with a meaty, realistic plot, nicely fleshed out characters and a smart running time. The director is very clear in his execution, though the story takes place in small towns, the crime in question is quite topical. Introducing humour in a serious crime thriller always works, plus the second half moves swiftly and is more engaging than the first. Read more

Telugu romantic comedy Luckunnodu, starring Vishnu Manchu and Hansika Motwani and directed by Raaja Kiran, is bland to the core, says telugucinema.com. Though starting off on a promising note, the interest soon wears off and it’s a completely dull affair by interval. Both the music and technical values aren’t up to the mark. Read more

Kannada films Eradu Kanasu and Allama haven’t inspired any reviews yet.

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