By Martin D’Souza | Opening Doorz Editorial | March 17, 2018
Rating: 3 / 5
The essence: Raid touches the heart celebrating honest government officials who fight a lone battle. Gupta has kept the narrative alive with moments of intrigue and suspense. It’s a good one-time watch.
Raid is not your typical Bollywood blockbuster, but more on the lines of ‘real’ moments with a dash of drama. It highlights the life of an Income Tax officer, totally dedicating the movie, so to speak, to the dare-devilry of these heroes, “who keep the wheels of our economy functioning.”
Raid is set in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, where statistics at the end credit reveals atrocities on these honest officers who after conducting raids on high-profile individuals had to face the end of the stick; some even paid with their lives. Director Raj Kumar Gupta who debuted with Aamir (2008), a flick that left you breathless, manages to have a similar impact as his central character Amay Patnaik (Ajay Devgn) an honest IT officer, who has been transferred 49 times because of his ‘drive’ to raid high-net worth individuals (who loot the nations by not paying their taxes), but whose connections run deep.
Patnaik gets a tip to raid Lucknow’s respected Tauji aka Rameshwar Singh (Saurabh Shukla). It’s a Rs 420-crore tip off and he sets up his new team with the help of the IT head and sets off on his mission. After a night’s search, when all seems lost, and Tauji taunting him and threating him, Patnaik strikes gold. But will Tauji give up easily?
Gupta sets up this thriller, quickly establishing Patnaik’s character as he goes for the kill. The set-up, dialogues and the raid conducted in Tauji’s palatial place puts into perspective the ‘high-net worth individual, corrupt politician’, angle, and the risk an honest government official has to take, well aware that at the last minute the rug can be pulled from under his feet.
This almost happens with Patnaik as Tauji runs from pillar to post to get the raid called off. But Patnaik is a man of steel. He fights with truth and conviction.
Saurabh Shukla is an institution in acting. That man can just engage you in whatever roles he portrays. He steals the thunder from Ajay Devgn with his power-packed performance that reveals a sinister mind at play. His role also reveals the manner in which the corrupt, the powerful and the politician tango.
Devgn is his usual intense ‘Singham’ self and carries off the simple Patniak with aplomb. Illeana D’Cruz is just a garnish with no role and silly dialogues to mouth. Thanks to her character as Malini, Panaik’s wife, Gupta is emboldened to insert a song when a song is not required!
Raid touches the heart celebrating honest government officials who fight a lone battle. Gupta has kept the narrative alive with moments of intrigue and suspense. It’s a good one-time watch.
Producer: Bhushan Kumar, Kumar Mangat Pathak, Abhishek Pathak, Krishan Kumar
Director: Raj Kumar Gupta
Star Cast: Ajay Devgn, Illeana D’Cruz, Saurabh Shukla, Amit Sial