Raid (No Spoilers) Review: A New Fashioned Old-Fashioned Hero

This movie was GREAT!  Finally, a film I completely totally enjoyed in the theater.  And in a packed theater too!  All the stadium seating was sold out and some of the floor seats.  I am sure everyone loved it as much as I did, because how could they not?

Lived up to my (fairly high) expectations.  Ajay was great, dialogue was great, supporting cast was really great, directing and editing and script and all those other parts of the film, perfection.

It was the perfect mixture of realism and lack of realism.  There were no over the top heroics, no over the top villainy either.  Houses look like houses, apartments look like apartments.

The only thing that feels “filmi” is Ajay Devgn who CLEARLY was not willing to alter his look at all for his role.  Subtle highlights, super fitted shirts, crazy muscular body, none of it really fitting with the “dedicated public servant of the 1980s” idea.  But that’s fine, because the film needs a hero.  We have to have one strong perfect central figure to say the one-liners and be generally awesome.  And Ajay does the job just right, he is heroic but in a lowkey way, not completely wrong for the rest of the film.

Image result for ajay devgan raid

Ajay is the necessary center, but it is the cast surrounding him that really makes the movie soar.  Saurabh Shukla, one of those actors who I immediately recognized and wasn’t even sure from where.  Sheeba Chabba who, as always, was effortlessly amazing.  Amit Sial who started out uninteresting and slowly became the most interesting character of them all.  And Pushpa Joshi, 85 years old and in her first movie, and steals the whole thing.

Most of all though it is the story and the direction.  The scriptwriter, Ritesh Shah, might be the secret weapon of the Hindi industry?  He wrote Kahaana, Pink, D-Day, Citylights, and this.  Along with some other remakes and dialogue for hire stuff.  But the other movies and this one, he did the whole thing, story screenplay and dialogues.  And they are all BRILLIANT.  Story, screenplay, and dialogue.  I think I might want to watch more Ritesh Shah movies than anyone else involved in this.

And then there’s the director, Raj Kumar Gupta.  I was wondering why he made this small tight movie after No One Killed Jessica, why not something more ambitious?  But I forgot that between No One Killed Jessica and this was Ghanchakkar.  A terrible disaster which put his career almost back to square 1.

Image result for Ghanchakkar

I am sure that was a bit depressing for Raj Kumar Gupta, moving all the way back to a small script written by someone else and a tiny budget, but it was a huge bonus for the audience!  We get a brilliant perfect script, and an experienced talented director, coming together with an extremely skilled actor/star who is going on his own journey of redemption (Shivaay was really not good).

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20 thoughts on “Raid (No Spoilers) Review: A New Fashioned Old-Fashioned Hero

    • Another bonus: it’s only two hours long! So easy to squeeze in.

      On Sat, Mar 17, 2018 at 3:04 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • Unrelated to anything else, did you see that the Dabangg Reloaded American tour schedule was FINALLY announced? I get to see Salman live in 3 months, WOO-HOO!!!!!!!

          On Sat, Mar 17, 2018 at 9:43 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • And actually I feel shortchanged if an Indian movie isn’t three hours long. I’m barely tolerating the current 2.5 hour length. 😦

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        • This is the rare one where I don’t feel short changed. It doesn’t feel like the had more plot and they cut it, it feels like the story they wanted to tell just happens to be only 2 hours long. Like Zanjeer.

          On Sat, Mar 17, 2018 at 9:46 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  1. There should be warning before Ghanchakkar poster: attention, this pic is so bad, you won’t be able to un-seen it ever. Oh man, if poster is so bad, how bad was the movie? But no, I don’t wanna know.

    I’m always happy when good written movies do well, so I hope Raid will be blockbuster. And seeing the numbers and reactions on twitter it may be (even without riiculous ad campaign)

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    • I haven’t watched Ghamchakker straight through, but I’ve seen bits and pieces, and it’s not a bad movie. Clever idea, a gang of thieves, the one with the suitcase of money from the last job gets amnesia and doesn’t know who to trust or where he put the money. Kind of a dark comedy.

      On Sat, Mar 17, 2018 at 3:58 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  2. What about Ileana? Does she have a sizeable role or is she limited to playing the love interest-threatened by the villain and looking pretty in the songs? It is high time the writers get some credit.Rajiv had a roundtable just for them.And one of them mentioned that “You won’t be getting any viewers for this one.” Ektaa says that the writers on TV get paid than the ones in Bollywood.

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    • Illeana’s role is appropriate. It’s small, but it doesn’t feel insulting. Ajay’s character would of course be married (he’s that kind of respectable middle-class man), so why not have a few scenes with his wife? They don’t invent drama between the couple or big romantic moments either, it’s just there.

      On Sat, Mar 17, 2018 at 7:48 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • My favorite line from that writers roundtable interview (paraphrased) –

      It’s a cultural problem. In India, Rama is a greater hero than Valmiki. In the west Shakespeare is a greater hero than Romeo.

      P.S. That woke roundtable interview was fantastic – intelligent and interesting writers all.

      Liked by 1 person

    • It was only screened at the Indian theater here, none of the mainstream, which surprised me. It’s too bad, all the best movies seem to get the worst releases.

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  3. Is it just me or is the way this movie looks remind you of Baadshaho?

    I did not realize that Raid came out. It definitely wasn’t playing anywhere nearby because I might have tried to watch it during spring break.

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    • It does remind me of Baadshaho! Same era I guess. Ajay looks surpisingly good in 70s-80s style clothes.

      On Mon, Mar 19, 2018 at 8:24 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • Much more interesting! Baadshaho took the period setting and used it to amp up the action and ridiculousness. This movie takes the period setting and uses it to amp things down, we all know how the big picture turned out, so this is just a small story that won’t really change anything.

          On Mon, Mar 19, 2018 at 8:33 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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