IT’S SRK ALL THE WAY
Among the many characters that Hindi cinema has given us, the ‘don’ is a recurring persona. There have been the ‘loved’ outlaws and then there have been complex ones that acquaint us with the dark pysche. Raees falls in neither category. Even though it features the most-loved Shah Rukh, Raees is unlikely to be among the most endearing characters he has played. Said to be based on the life of a gangster of the ’80s, the movie gives enough fodder to SRK to reinvent the anti-hero. It’s a delight to watch him go about his wily ways, with zero celebrity baggage. But Raees fails to satiate the thirst for the thriller it was touted to be. The meetings between SRK and Nawazuddin Siddiqui are full of subtle sparks. While SRK takes the menacing route, Siddiqui does a fine act as the earnest cop. Barring their chemistry, nothing much works in the film’s favour. Mahira Khan makes little impact. The liquor tale plateaus after the initial kick and fails to deliver a high.
Rohan Bhatnager (Hrithik Roshan) is visually impaired but is self-dependent and works as a dubbing artiste. A chance meeting with Supriya (Yami Gautam), another visually challenged girl, makes him fall in love. From there on, the plot unfolds like a fairy-tale romance until their harmony is disrupted by the brutality meted out on Supriya by the street hooligan, Amit (Rohit Roy) who happens to be the town corporator’s (Ronit Roy) brother. Rohan is denied justice and stamped as fraud by the corrupt cop (Girish Kulkarni). This tragedy transforms Rohan into an avenging angel! Director Sanjay Gupta has a fascination for the ’80s and early ’90s Bollywood and his approach reflects that. Hrithik’s terrific acting makes you care for his pain and anguish. Yami looks graceful while Ronit’s menace and Marathi accent is impressive. Kulkarni’s co-act is effective, and he evokes despise in surplus. The prime reason to give it a chance is Hrithik, who has put his blood and sweet into it.
XXX:RETURN OF XANDER CAGE
HIGH ON ACTION, LOW ON CONTENT
If you’re expecting a novel plot or intelligible treatment, stay away. XXX:Retur of Xander Cage is a mindless action blender, which you need to sit back, put on ur 3D goggles and enjoy leaving your brain back home. Dissecting the script would be like opening a Pandora’s Box. By the way, that’s the name of the controller device capable of crashing satellites and causing a possible World war. Obviously, Xander Cage (Vind Diesel) is summoned back to save the planet. He enlists a crew of outlaws from across the globe. A few stunts are expertly handled like Xander’s state boarding intro scene and his bike playing through giant waves. Diesel kicks ass and mouths a fwew whistle-worthy one liners. I particularly likes the scene where Deepika Padukone and he show off their tattoos to each other. Deepika manages to hold her own in front of an ensemble cast. And she does not fake a foreign accent. The rest of the supporting cast including Tony Jaa, Donnie Yen and Ruby Rose are serviceable.
ONE -TIME WATCH BUT DISTURBING
Debutant director Shlok Sharma has handled a difficult subject like a relationship between a teacher and a schoolgirl is not safe territory at all. But his risk has paid off. Nawazuddin Siddiqui has nailed his character as the teacher. Shweta Tripathi looks convincing as the schoolgirl.Sharma has managed to bring out the darkness in the script. The climax, must say, is disturbing.