Raazi: Movie Review

A Potpourri of Vestiges Review

By Murtaza Ali Khan

Featured in IMDb Critic Reviews

Raazi, Alia Bhatt

Raazi is a slow burning thriller that repeatedly asks us to suspend our disbelief. Directed by Meghna Gulzar, Raazi is based on Harinder Sikka’s novel titled Calling Sehmat which is inspired by real events. The film stars Alia Bhatt, Vicky Kaushal, and Jaideep Ahlawat in major roles. Produced under the banner of Dharma Productions, Razi costars Arif Zakaria, Rajit Kapur, Soni Razdan, Shishir Sharma, and Amruta Khanvilkar.  

In Raazi, Alia Bhatt plays a 20 year old Kashmiri girl whose dying father marries her into an army family in Pakistan to serve as an Indian spy in the days leading to the 1971 Indo-Pak War. While Alia plays her part with great skill, the success of the film greatly depends on how well the viewers receive her in the role of a cold-blooded and calculative killer with an innocent face.

One of the problems with the film’s characters is that they seem to take themselves too seriously. Take, for example, the character played by Jaideep Ahlawat. Now, Ahlawat is a fantastic actor and he does a wonderful job in Raazi but the way his character is written makes him look more like a caricature rather than a plausible character. The thing that amuses me the most is that while writing their characters for espionage films the writers invariably end up basing them on Ian Fleming’s novels instead of looking at the realist spy characters written by John le Carré for ideas.

Raazi, Alia Bhatt and Vicky Kaushal

By far the most interesting performance in Raazi comes from Arif Zakaria who plays a loyal Pakistani servant, with great nuance and subtlety. Vicky Kaushal fails to leave any impression in the weak role of Alia's husband. The film's first half is slow but quite promising. Unfortunately, the movie fails to deliver in the second half.

A major problem with Raazi is that its plot suffers from an element of predictability throughout. Even towards the end there are no major unexpected twists or turns barring one which too more or less gives itself away. The film does have its moments but ultimately they prove to be few and far between. The fact that the movie's trailer almost gave away the entire plot didn't help in keeping the element of suspense intact. Hopefully makers would be more careful in future while packaging their trailers.

Rating: 5.5/10

Readers, please feel free to share your opinion by leaving your comments. As always your valuable thoughts are highly appreciated!  

Raazi - Official Trailer (YouTube)

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