Raees ~ Film Review

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With more grit than a popcorn entertainer and more masala than a niche film, Raees is a film aimed at the masses and classes both, and for the most part it gets there. Hence, even as the historian me was not inspired to go and read more about prohibition era Gujarat, the film buff me walked away with a happily satisfied paisa wasool feeling.

Beginning in the ’70’s and spanning the decades into the ’90s, this is the story of a young boy Raees Alam who outgrows his humble beginnings to establish an empire smuggling contraband. Raees is unapologetically a criminal, it’s not personal raees2it’s about the dhandha is his rationale. What saves him from being a blacker than black villain, though, is his internal moral compass, however off it may be. Hence, while it is okay to break the law, incite and participate in riots, he is gutted when his nefarious activities inadvertently result in the death of innocents. For him then the only way to atone is to accept the responsibility. No matter the personal cost.

To sell a story based on the bootlegging mafia and ask audiences to invest in a bad guy as a mainstream hindi film hero is no mean task, but Rahul Dholakia and his writers take on the challenge and present Raees as a layered character. For ACP Majmudar Raees is a criminal who needs to be stopped ASAP. For Jairaj he is the ungrateful usurper on whom he orders a hit. 18sharukh2But is Raees really the villain here?

The residents of inner city Fatehpur would have a different story to tell, for them he is Robin Hood reincarnated. His bachpan ka dost Sadiq would describe Raees as a man of integrity. For his wife, Aasiya, Raees is a man who not only loves her but treats her with dignity and equality, a rarity in a time and place when women were meant to just be.

There are several points in this 155 minute film when commercial concerns and naïve idealism override the inherent groundedness of the narrative but that’s precisely where Shah Rukh Khan steps in and sells this character, shortcomings ‘n all. Raees Alam is as far from the Rahuls and Rajs as Switzerland and New York are from Fatehpur. With his purposeful gait, shoulders thrown back, the unruly beard, spectacles and heavily surma-ed eyes,  splatters of blood on his face, this Shahrukh Khan is back in the zone of Baazigar, Darr and Anjam, srk-raees-759but menacing in an entirely different manner. Conversely though, see him with Aasiya and he is all heart. Combined, these facets portray a complicated man – as unafraid of exposing his vulnerabilities, to his wife, as he is of shooting enemies point blank.

With three back to back out-of-the-box performances, Fan, Dear Zindagi and now Raees, one wonders how far Shah Rukh Khan the actor would’ve gone had he not gotten sidetracked along the way with Yash Chopra and Karan Johar’s brand of film-making. The expressions on his face as he shoots his mentor Jairaj is brilliant!

But Raees is only half the story without accounting for ACP Jaideep Majmudar. Whether you see him as the villain or the hero Nawazuddin is brilliant, adding in his little quirks and relishing the one liners. Like Raees, Majmudar too suffers from nawazwriting lapses, but Nawazuddin makes the most of what he’s given and we get a determined cop on a mission. Nawazuddin and Shah Rukh make a fabulous duo and their game of one upmanship anchors their vibe; there is a thrill in this chase, the hunter and the hunted both reveling in the resulting rush.

Amidst such powerhouse performances to contend with it is to Mahira Khan’s creditmahira-khans-look-in-raees-movie-look-1 that despite the unfortunate cuts her Aasiya leaves a mark. Though she falters in places, Mahira’s Bollywood debut is marked with dignity and class as Aasiya offers a respite from all the grit and grime flying around. She looks stunning and makes a lovely pair with Shahrukh; they are magic together in the beautifully choreographed and performed Udi Udi Jaye. But Aasiya is not merely a showpiece.

In many ways Aasiya acts as Raees’ conscience, often cleaning his specs offering him a clearer perspective on things that matter most. She is confident, unafraid and perhaps the only one who dares question Raees. For a character that is not allowed its entitled space, there are quite a few scenes that make an impression: The phone banter between Raees and Aasiya, with Majmudar listening in, the scene where she is counting the money – showing a true raeeszadi who accepts her Raees for who he is, thus allowing him the space to lean on her when in times of crisis. Her “main vote laaongi” line is delivered with an iron-willed spine that belies zeeshan-ayyub-759her delicate frame.

Zeeshan Ayyub is quickly becoming one of my favorite actors and I wish he had more to do here than play the accommodating sidekick to Raees’ larger than life character. That said, Sadiq’s chemistry with bhaijaan is fabulous and on more than one occasion his presence serves to dissipate the intensity of an earlier dark scene. Atul Kulkarni is effective as the mentor turned rival Jairaj and so is Narendrparzaniaa Jha as Raees’ friend turned foe Musa.

While I bought into Raees as a great entertainer with great acting and will probably go back again,
intellectually I was disappointed. Rahul Dholakia’s Parzania is a film I assign undergrads when teaching my Contemporary South Asia history course. Exquisitely nuanced, it is one of the best films on the Gujarat riots. Clearly Dholakia knows his story and setting very well when it comes to making a film like Raees. But where Parzania  touches the heart and mind, Raees falls short of the standard set by his own earlier work.

Dholakia’s impulse to make a potboiler undercuts the honestrevealed-nawazuddin-siddiqui-crushed-over-60000-alcohol-bottles-in-raees-1 storytelling, doing away with the grit of the narrative, sanitizing and glamorizing in order to make it palatable to the masses, all of which affect the final product. Add to this the political shenanigans and we are left with a film riddled with continuity issues and a patchy narrative.

What does work are the memorable applause worthy lines, the attention to detailing and the efforts to create an authentic atmosphere. The editing of certain sequences: the meat market fight, the Muharram procession, the nicely utilized, very catchy Sunny Leone song. The dark undertones of the sequence3b47b45600000578-4022828-image-m-16_1481497910488 when Raees sets off to kill his father figure right after he learns he’s going to becoming a father are a reminder of the untapped potential. Infact, the very premise of the story, set in ’80s -’90’s Gujarat in a wholly Muslim setting is left completely untouched. But then again in light of recent happenings can one blame filmmakers for taking the safe route? Raees may believe otherwise but these days dharam se bara koi dhanda nahin …

Written by SZ~

Update:

Mahira Khan joins Team Raees ~ Post success press conference

(Video courtesy Bollywood Hungama)

 

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46 replies

  1. Great Review SZ! You are an amazing movie reviewer. Hope to enjoy more of such reviews this year. I think Shahrukh has finally decided to become serious about the profession he is in. I was impressed by his performance in both Fan and Dear Zindagi and now this. I really hope he continues to do roles which leave viewers surprised and are far from the typical roles he’s known for. Are you also excited about Balu Mahi… I can’t wait :).

    • @ Seher,
      I’m super excited about Balu Mahi.
      I saw the trailer at Raees screening & started hooting.
      It looks like a real commercial, masala film & not a telefilm.

    • @Seher: Thank you – very sweet of you to say so! Glad you enjoyed the movie and the review..

      Haha! I think SRK is as serious as can be about his career … I think its hard to find a movie that pleases everybody or that every movie turns out as had been initially expected. I am a huge fan so though I may get occasionally disappointed overall I’ve been a happy camper 🙂

      Re: Balu Mahi: Yes, really looking forward to it. I just hope it releases here. My biggest problem with Pakistani movies has been that they dont release as widely internationally, so Ive missed out on so many: Janaan, Ho Mann Jahan and Dobara Phir Se .. .so keeping my fingers crossed!

  2. @SZ a beautifully balanced review!
    I went to watch yesterday and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect! Lol
    It was so gripping that I dont think i could take my eyes off for a second. The pace is fast and there is so much going on, the cinematography is amazing that you dont want to miss anything. You are so engrossed that theres no time to think.. But its afterwards that you think abt all the little things. I think its def a kind of movie that I would watch again and will notice loads of lil things that I must’ve missed the first time round.
    SRK was at his best as a performer and Nawaz was fab! Him and SRK together were a treat to watch!!
    Mk was absolutely stunning and did her best for a character that seemed sidelined – which was a real shame. Like u said she was Raees conciense. While his ammijan’s line drove him to his dhanda Asiya was the one who kept him grounded, however i felt that didnt really translate on screen – because i felt they limited asiyas potential as a character. Isnt it amazing that one line with Raees’s ammijan who is in no more than a couple of scenes is highlihted and amped up enough to drive the whole movie, while Asiya who is there all of the time doesnt create that much of an impact.., and seems like shes ‘just there ‘..
    The second half of the movie where asiya steps up Raees seems to have turned into a bit of a Robin Hood , which seems odd in places – but this change couldve been rationalized by exploring asiyas full potential.
    I enjoyed the subtle hints : cleaning up the blood and clearing his glasses = cleaning up his mess and providing clearer vision and newer perspective. She had indeed turned into his second pair of eyes – hence only she could get away with calling him battery – btw only found out what battery actually meant because of the subtitles.. A term i hadnt heard before lol
    I also loved how chai was used as a subtext throughout the catch and mouse game. The half a glass of tea in an empty truck was fantastic!
    I thought cinematography was amazing!
    Zalima : as great as they looked together it was such a shame that it seemed out of place… No? Oh and they cut out the pool scene but it was interesting how that was tied up with the mazar baby naming attempting to gel it into the narrative.. Udi udi jaye was good fun and worked well..oh and i felt that While the nikah in udi udi jaye works baby in zalima didnt work as well..
    Ufff theres so much to talk abt here.. Ill be back with more rave and rants

    • @FA: Shukriya ji 🙂

      Bas same 2 same feelings idhar bhi!

      I am def going again, just trying to find the time – the theater’s an hour away 😦

      Yes, cinematography and even the editing was fab – how intense was that meat market scene! And I too enjoyed the subtle hints adding depth to characters .. it was so beautifully done and I like that in movies where not everything is spelled out and its up to the viewers to get as much as they can out of the narrative… I thought Fan was brilliant like that… Abhi Im sure there’s a lot more to be mined here .. need to go back and focus again … chalein saath mein?

      • re the cinematography : haina! meat market was fab! and the idea of mara mari and blood in the meat market itself is quite something..
        I had seen the bulldozer scene hundrends of times in the promos, but didnt that look something else on the big screen! it had that wow effect!
        Re Fan : yes that was brilliant like that! Actually would love to see ur review on that..
        Re the reviews : would love a review of ADHM.. it was one movie that had me wanting for more.. it felt intense but dil ka pait nahin bhara.. shayad review parh ke kuch bharr jae. lol

    • 🙂 I have taught and analyzed Parzania so much that when I was watching Raees I had to will myself to turn off that part of my brain … I usually dont bring in my other life into what I write here but when I was writing I thought it wouldnt be fair to the movie if I didnt explain where my critique was coming from, a place of great affection and expectation.. not that Rahul Dholakia’s reading this magar phir bhi…

  3. Excellent review, SZ.

    I loved the movie as well. I’m a die hard fan of SRK, so I loved this movie, but didn’t know whether it’s the fan in me that likes it or is it a really interesting film? But your review confirmed it. So thank you.

    Mahira looked fresh, beautiful & elegant. Her & SRK made such a lovely couple. My favorite scene was also the one that you mentioned, when Raees & Asiya are having this cute husband-wife banter & Mujmudar gets bored by invading their privacy so he hangs up the phone, lol.

    The Indian media is being extremely hard of MK’s performance, but what’s heart breaking is that our own Pakistani media is being equally hard on her. I don’t understand this mentality.

    • @Mona: Thank you for reading and commenting much appreciated 🙂

      Good to know we’re on the same page re: enjoying the move. I generally try not to intellectualize why I like or dislike a movie, acchi lagi tau lagi…And this one I loved .. total masala entertainer and then ooper se we all had a “personal” stake in this one, with Mahira Khan as the leading lady, so then where was the question of not liking it! I am not the seeti maaring type, but I was sorely tempted to let one lose at her intro scene, where she was dancing to the Mr India song 😀

      Re: the press .. ab what to do. To each his own what else can one say :/

  4. Hi SZ. Long time. Hope you are doing well. 🙂

    Have come back here ( actually online) after long and that too only to talk about Mahira’s much awaited BW debut ! Was hoping you would review Raaes…..glad to have logged in just when you posted! Lets chat…

    First off- completely agree with your review of the film. Honestly speaking, i went to watch for Mahira…came back super impressed with SRK and Nawazuddin of course! Raaes is a total paisa vasool film. Its an ode to the 80s style of filmmaking, when Amitabh ruled as the angry young man….but Raaes does so in its own unique way and thats where I think Rahul Dholakia’s has scored..its his movie all the way. He is in control and has tautly walked the balance between art and masala. Thats commendable coz these days, rare it is that a 2.5 hours film keeps you gripped right until the end. And raaes toh is out and out masala film. So its to Dholakia’s credit that he manages to keep his viewers glued at all times.

    SRK-he surprised me. His last 3 outings- fan, dear zindagi and raaes have been praise worthy. He is a good actor. But he is a directors actor. I think he is one of those actors who will not meddle with his director’s vision…may perhaps give suggestions but will ultimately execute his directors vision. Unfortunately, most of his directors have wanted him to be THE star. And so he has been- brilliantly, if i may add. It is more difficult i think to convincingly play the one dimensional loverboy and make the world believe in your romance than it is to play a meaty layered character like raaes. But give him a good role and scope to perform and he delivers. and man, he sure has delivered in raaes!! He is magnetic! And looks so hawtt!!!! This is coming from me…a woman who rarely if ever salivates over desi actors ( yeah yeah…am a total snob :P) What i love about SRK is that he is in character through out. The accent, the twitches, the walk, the body language-he never leaves his character for a moment. A superlative performance… one of his best.

    Nawazuddin- more said will be less for this awesome actor- that entry of his-seeti maar, palang tod!i was recently watching sarfarosh…he has a 2 min role in that..he has come such a long way since then – all coz of his talent and of course luck. coz talent toh bahut log mein hota hain but you also need luck to be at the right place and at the right time to be
    able to showcase it. His chemistry with SRK took the film up several notches. i thought he had the best one liners-the one about “meri duniya” was 🙂

    Zeeshan ali-totally agree with you when you say he is turning out to be one of your fav actors- mine too. loved him in tanu weds manu returns and now in raaes. He did whatever lil he could do in the film well. Wish to see more of him. But this i must say, amoungst the Khans, its only in SRK films that we find other actors being provided good screen space. else Salman and Aamir khan movies are mostly about them.

    Now coming to Mahira- Let me say it out straight out! She was luminous! Heroines rarely have much to do in masala films and if they happen to be starring the khans, then toh their presence is reduced to a couple of songs and a few superficial scenes at best. But hers was a good debut. She has marked her presence. The first half disappointed me coz i thought she was a mere show piece but man, she was on fire in the second half which left me delighted. she held her own in this stellar cast and brought a freshness. Her chemistry with SRK was good. After kajol and deepika she is the only person i find has paired well with him-Its the eyes! they both emote through their eyes and hence the chemistry! That last farewell scene..well enacted.

    I dont think they chopped off her scenes because of the ban. I think it was more an editing decision. I was so looking forward to her promoting the film in India and charming everyone her with her poise, beauty and goodness. Also, SRk is a very generous co star and producer who promotes his heroines and films madly. He would have promoted her wonderfully. But alas it wasnt meant to be. However she has been well received. General feedback is she a fresh, pretty girl with decent acting chops. There are conflicting views about her chemistry with SRK. Some have loved it whilst others found it thanda. But thats so for the film too. My personal opinion is that the reviews in india have not done justice to the film, its cast and crew at all. I mean critics saying that its a poorly directed, edited and enacted film is ridiculous!! i was like did we watch the same film!?? But then i have come to the conclusion that these alleged critics are best ignored.

    so yeah! Damn happy for Mahira. She did well and am sure will be suitably rewarded for her hard work sincerity and dedication. Choosing Raaes to debut in BW is another feather in her cap and i am happy that she continues to make choices that add substantially to her career and that she continues to be true to her convictions. I know that she will never be a sell out. The fan in me rejoices.

    • @indepgal: Hello hello! Long time indeed! Chalo thanks to MK we at least get to hear from you .. I shall be back to chat about Raees and the lovely MK just wanted to say a quick hi for now and tell you that you have been missed 😀

    • @Indepgal: Sorry, for the delayed response.. .wanted to reply araam se, and here I am…

      I agree with your analysis completely re: Rahul Dholakia’s very clear stamp on this movie. Like you say, it is an ode, but very different if one chooses to look beyond the bare bones .. I thought it was very contemporary in the way they handled the female characters, the way even the bad guys were given back stories and imbued with a sense of humanity. something that we did not see then .. so I appreciated that this was same magar alag.

      Re: Mahira: Yes! “luminous” is the word that kept coming to mind but I couldnt quite put my finger on it.. and here youve written it – thank you! Indeed she is luminous .. had they shown her in a sack without a speck of makeup she wouldve still glowed. She is fantastic here and gives a great account of herself, no mean feat when she’s opposite SRK. Really feel very proud of her and watching her up there on the screen was like watching one of my own up there. And yes, its a shame that she couldnt promote the movie alongside SRK, more than her I think I had been looking fwd to that LOL!

      Re: the cutting short of MK’s parts: Yes, some of it was due to edits and some was just because she couldnt go back to do the patchwork .. remember they had to take a long break because of SRK’s injury then when they went back to it just recently MK couldnt go … even that Zaalima song was shot in hush hush in a quick few day spell in Morocco just a month or so ago .. there were parts that seemed really patchy, to me atleast, but then again, we are all guessing .. ab who knows what actually happened. But bottom line, whatever we got was enough to make sense, to me atleast.

      SRK is indeed a very generous actor and producer and yes its all evident here … how brilliant are Nawaz and Zeeshan here! Nawaz in particular .. matlab ke this man can do anything?! Wah! I am in awe just about everytime I watch him .. the way he gets into the characters and makes them his own..bas wah wah! I can only say I am glad that I am living in a time where I have seen him grow and evolve .. and yes talent with a lot of luck and consistent hard work – what an inspiration!

      Re: the critics bashing .. I think they all went to watch or not watch as per their pre-conceived notions, and came back with whatever they had wanted to see .. Trying to give them the benefit of the doubt maybe they genuinely didnt like it? Writing from the perspective of a reviewer, I know there are so many times I’ve been accused of being in one camp or the other when I review dramas, and initially it used to really hurt because I work so hard at being fair but now its like whatever.. any time you write something readers dont like they accuse of being biased .. so who knows.. but then again Im not beig paid by any newspaper or magazine so dont have to toe company lines .. basically its complicated to understand why ppl write what they do …

      • Der aaye…durust aaye 😆Thanks for the reply.

        I went to watch this film with 4 women , two of whom don’t particularly like , one who is indiff ( I ) and one who adores srk. Barring I, no one knew mahira. So srk was the primary draw for them. All 4 of us came out raving about the film! That says a lot. And whilst I give due credit to srk, mk and all the other actors for playing their parts so well, foremost credit goes to Rahul D for giving us such a fine film! Given that raaes took two years to complete, was riddled with actor injuries, controversies and later release date issues, any other director would have lost hope and gotten disheartened and made a Kaam chalau film. Kudos to Rahul for keeping it all together and giving us such a fine product. For once the promos of a film delivered exactly what they promised. Raaes promos were a Throwback to the 80s 90s and the film delivered the same essence and pace albeit in its own unique way. I think mahira follows you. Mahira, if you are reading this, pls forward our appreciation to Rahul D. He is deserving of this and much more. To walk that road from Parzania to an out and out masala entertainer Raaes, with such deftness and surety of vision is extremely commendable. Hope he continues to expand his boundaries and give us diverse films going forward.

        I also like the way he shows such strong support to mahira. He is constantly promoting her and ensures she is not forgotten. One fact that I didn’t like about srk (although i can understand why ) is the way he has avoided making any mention of mahira. Sure, you have a lot on line and do not want anyone or anything to disrupt the screening of your film. But to ignore your co star so blatantly is unpleasant. He is an intelligent man.. if he desired, he could have highlighted her contribution without compromising the film. I would have respected him more had he done so. But then he is always taken the path of least resistance. I guess it’s easy for me to judge as I don’t have crores on line nor the responsibility of numerous families feeding off this film. but somewhere the fan in me of the person srk is ( humble , intelligent , charismatic and am told extremely generous) would have liked to see him extend his support to mahira. I mean it is quite funny to see sunny leone ( no disrespect to her) who has done a 5 min item number, being the female face of this film.

        My pals all liked srk’s performance in the film and of course Nawaz and Zeeshan. About mahira, they all liked her screen presence saying she is pretty but two ( one of them being an erstwhile film critic) said she did ok overall but needed to work harder in a few scenes. I guess I am used to her acting but for a new audience member she could come across as too understated and thus weak. Also working in a diff industry than what she is used to has its challenges-technically as well as creatively as the sensibilities differ. Scale too. But the general feedback is that she held her own and shows promise. I hope and wish she gets to come back and work in more films here – but for now let’s be content knowing she will always be the “raaeszaadi”. My fav scene of hers is the one before interval where he is wiping the blood off his face and she watches him and they both look at each other with dawning realisation that he has now crossed over a threshold- to the dark side.

        Pls do begin to review other BW movies SZ. I haven’t watched a pak drama in years now. Somehow they all seem to be same ole same ole… your reviews on films , even Hw ones would be a welcome read. Btw, am hearing fab reviews of Lion. Looking fwd to watching it. Have u watched? And la la land? How is it? My friends who watched weren’t v impressed. They felt it was quite similar to our BW song and dance fare.

        • @indepgal: Chalo done- I shall review movies but you have to then promise to read.. 😬
          Yes, MK does follow me and I shall pass on these comments to her ..
          Re: SRK not supporting MK: I think it’s a very complicated situation that we as outsiders may never really get to fully understand.. perhaps when SRK’s book comes out or some such but till then it’s all just conjecture..
          I have watched La La Land. I enjoyed it but not to the extent that the critics were going gaga over it .. Lion is on the watchlist as is 20th c women .. let’s see when I get around to them. But yes, BW films would be good to try my hand at .. then you all can come throw anday tamatar at me … @VZ: you may never get your coat back now!

          • Re La La Land & bollywood : I haven’t watched as yet but the poster reminded me of Sanwarya. I think it was the walk / dance in the night on the bridge.. 🙂 .. I guess they just don’t make movies like these in Hollywood anymore which made this quite exciting. I can’t remember the last musical set in todays day and age – in English..

  5. Dear SZ, thanks for the review. You have been busy! I enjoyed your take on it. It’s a balanced review, without any bias (which is quite hard to find in many other reviews in these times, given the situation).

    I haven’t watched this, but friends who have watched it were saying it was a good old Bollywood fare and Mahira did well (her role was neither forgettable nor did she fade out in front of King Khan). Really proud of her. Both she and Fawad have proved that they can act and stand out among veterans in Bollywood, which proves how good they are in their craft (not to mention easy on the eyes!).

    There’s in fact no one in Bollywood in Mahira’s age bracket, who still has that freshness she brings to the screen – she is unique. May be Vidya Balan, but would they have offered Vidya this role and was there enough in it for Vidya to say yes? I’m not sure. I do hope things get back to normal and Mahira gets more opportunities in Bollywood, I think they both complement one another!

    • @VZ: Dekh lo! I am trying to make up for my absence but not quite getting there .. was trying to write last night then got sidetracked .. abhi will try again otherwise tomorrow :/

      thank you for reading and commenting despite the fact that you havent watched. I hope that you can watch it soon enough .. its really fun… as @FA says you are get so engrossed ke cant even think of anything else when watching .. must watch!

      And MK is indeed stunning here, she has a way to go before we can compare her to Vidya Balan, but I know what you’re saying and agre with you on that .. there is something very raw and “pure” about her and her niceness comes across on the screen. And now that you brought up VB, I do wonder how MK would do in a character with grey shades or not as lovable as Khirad or Aasiya or even Falak (she was ignorant rather than arrogant or evil) or Shano … I am now looking fwd to her Verna with Shoaib Mansoor.. waiting to see what character she has in there ..

      • Dear SZ, you are doing really well with your resolution 🙂

        You’ve got my point – of course VB is a very powerful actress, tremendous screen presence and very versatile. I hope Mahira gets more opportunities so she can get to play more challenging characters. Verna sounds interesting, will wait to see what it’s like. As first appearances in Bollywood go, Mahira has done really well.

    • @Afia: Mubarak! Bas ab Raees jald hi aa jaye gi … I hear Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and Kaabil are releasing this week.. you going to watch those?

  6. My sincerest apologies, guys … will get on this thread in the evening … have loved reading all the comments and insights .. bas abhi milte hain choti si break ke baad … 🙂

    • helpthegaalis!!!! so darn agree!!! being a dilli waali myself , totally empathise with what he says…gaali deni hi hain toh phir khulkar, theek se do… else Shut up and sit down!!!

      Srk is hilarious!! it was lovely to see him so happy and light hearted …been a long time. These days he seems to be earnestly watching his ps and qs. Thus was a pleasant change to see him open up and be so honest…i would happily pay to hear him speak so on life, his experiences and his craft and the industry. He is so self deprecating but at the same time so self aware. And i love that whilst he is self deprecating he never puts himself down. He mocks himself and his stardom but he never belittles it- such a witty and intelligent man! And what he said about collections- wonderfully put out. He is a rare gem. Was lovely to see his true self emerge in this podcast. Have met him on a few occasions-he is utterly charming and captivating-superb conversationalist…if you are lucky to be there when he opens up as he is very quiet otherwise.

        • yayyyyyyyy!!! finally!! looking forward to seeing them together…one impactful conf is all thats needed..much like the AIB podcast

          i hear raaes is going to be screened in pakistan as well….hope everyone there likes it as much as we did so here and makes it a resounding success…will be so glad for mahira!

    • @SZ thanks for sharing this. It’s hillarious!! Not only is he a fantastic actor he has a great sense of humour. so refreshing to watch him relaxed and having fun after all the monotonous promotion interviews.

  7. Finally, question to all you guys.. since you all have as much input into DRNR as I do, would you all like to read reviews of Bollywood movies? I dont watch all, but the bigger ones I do not miss so let me know .. #feedbackneeded thanks!

    • SZ, I’d say go for it! I’m still not able to go to movies yaar (cinemas are too far away, the drive there and back plus 2-3 hours spent there will be a lot to take). I was so looking forward to watching DPS 😦 What I’m trying to say is I may not be able to watch and join in, but always happy to read your review and other friends’ take 🙂 I got the feeling that you would’ve liked to discuss Ae Dil 🙂

      May be you can also review any old favourites too (just a thought).

    • Wrote a reply which just disappeared 😦

      Just wanted to say yes please! Would love to read your and other friends’ thoughts on movies old and new!

      • Its all here, am having issues with wordpress so comments are not showing …

        And on you not being able to watch movies, firstly I hope you get better quick, and secondly, have you ever checked out https://einthusan.tv/movie/browse/?lang=Hindi
        they have a huge collection of movies, all official and HD prints .. I have watched a lot here (Dear Zindagi, Fan, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil all here) when I cant get to the theaters since I too have the same situation with theaters being an hour away …

          • @VZ re enthusan.com : Yes that’s where I catch up with BW ..I watched Ae Dil, Dear Zindagi here too.. I would love to discuss Ae Dil with DRNR gang. 🙂 – but I felt Raees is def a movie for big screens.. As I mentioned eg. bulldozer scene and the meat market were just something else! .. agar ho sakay tou dekhna.. highly recommended! 🙂

            • I saw that bulldozer scene in the trailer FA and it was really well done. I’ll watch ADHM. I’m keen to watch Dear Zindagi and Dangal. Pink is another one that was on my list.

              Oh, have you all heard of a movie called Wadjda? It’s a film from Saudi Arabia, made by the country’s first female director. It’s in Arabic, but there should be a version with subtitles, as the movie is about 3-4 years old. The director’s name is Haifaa al-Mansour. She has written the story as well. She had to shoot in Riyadh from the back of her van I believe. See if you like it.

            • @VZ Dear Zindagi is there too. Dangal still in the theatres so that will be a while before its online.
              Re Wadjda : It was on tele (channel 4 I think) a while ago. I don’t remember the details now but I remember I was touched but also surprised! Didn’t realize it was made by a woman – let alone within Saudi. It was extremely bold and honest for Saudi cinema!

            • FA, oh didn’t know it was on TV! A friend watched it on a flight and recommended it. I agree, I didn’t expect to see such a movie out of Saudi either, let alone by a female director. There’s a book based on it as well.

  8. Hi SZ
    Love all your reviews. I second VZ’s suggestion, certainly old and new from both sides of the border are most welcome.

    The other night I was watching an old drama of SS and the song in the background was a beautiful old naat from Mughal e Azam, after which I promptly watched all the songs from MeA. Such a treat. I would love to see you review some of these classic gems!

    So while on requests, I would love to hear about upcoming dramas even if you are not reviewing them – there is only that much time! I generally don’t know where to look to hear about new dramas. Or perhaps a page where everyone can post what they are watching, so you don’t have to do more work!

    Until soon!
    JR

    • @JR: Chalo then done .. we shall do some movie reviews as and when I watch anything interesting.
      What drama of ss were you watching? Do share the name – thanks!
      Yes, that’s a great idea .. let me figure out a way to do this in a manner where it doesn’t get messy to find info .. hmmm 🤔🤔🤔

  9. Thanks SZ. I follow you on Twitter but alas, not FB. Just that much of social media I can handle. 140 characters to link me to news, books etc., is my speed!

    The drama was “Hawa Rait aur Aangan” and the naat was “beqas pe karam” by Naushad/LM.

    Until soon
    JR

    • Thanks SZ.. just watched the entire press conf ( pls upload the whole 40 mins vid available on google now). Has restored my faith in srk and his generosity. It is so clear they held this conf only to showcase Mahira and give her her share of the spotlight!It was all about her. Cant think of any other star doing this….srk made it more lively with his wit and comebacks and it was so cute to see him hover around mahira protectively and once or twice reset perceptions about her- like when he said , “she aint a newcomer but an already established actor debuting in BW against me”. So thoughtful and generous! Wipes away all my complaints of he not being supportive of her and being too cautious. I guess they were waiting for the right opportunity to turn the spotlight on her and it couldnt have been done in a better way. Infact, on hindsight, i think this is so much better for Mahira than doing the OTT promotions. Agree that since this is her first film , those OTT promotions would have put her firmly on the global map ( its srk after all and even though she is already famous, there is no one more famous than he-lets face it) . But such promotions do tend to get repetitive and monotonous! By the end of it, every star ( barring srk and even he sometimes) comes out looking bored and sounding bored. And being utterly over exposed. Now Mahira has made an expression on the Indian public but also left them asking for more . They know her but they dont know all about her..what a sweet spot to be in.

      She seems to have charmed the blase Indian film media. Loved how at the end of the conf when they are all leaving, one journalist calls out to mahira saying ” mahira, we wish you were here in person!” Was a heartfelt statement. And how nice was shahrukh to pipe up and tell her ‘koi nahin, mujhse kaam chala lo!” Speaks of the bonding and unity the raaes team has. They all seem to be so like minded – genuinely nice, very talented and happy people who get along and respect each other. Thats rare in BW. speaks vols of SRK, rahul and ritesh. They ran a good ship. Hopefully, this will also put to rest all the rumour mongering around indian media being hard on mahira ( nothing of the sort), srk- mahira not getting along, they sidelining her etc etc.

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